Why did MP3’s and compressed files become so popular?:

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– MP3’s were designed to save file space when storage limits on portable players was comparatively low, and at a time when broadband connections were not as prevalent as they are now.

– The fidelity of an MP3 depends largely on the bit-rate used, and a variety of other factors. Additionally, when portable media players first became popular, some suffered from poor battery life and long recharge time; this was especially true for some very popular hard disk-based players.