Most of us use mp3 file almost everyday. MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, more commonly referred to as MP3 file. It is nothing but audio files to play on computer and other devices. It is compression format so that large audio file such as .wav stored in small size w/o losing quality.
So how MP3 was born:
Karlheinz Brandenburg often is cited as the inventor of the music format. But he credits many for a discovery that has upended the music business. Karlheinz Brandenburg doesn’t like being labeled the “inventor” of MP3. He points out that the most popular format for digital music on the Internet is the work of at least a half-dozen core developers and many others who made important contributions. Even folk-rock singer Suzanne Vega inadvertently played a walk-on role in the creation of MP3. “I know on whose shoulders I stand and who else contributed a lot,” says Brandenburg, now director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology in Ilmenau, Germany.
=> Read more : How MP3 Was Born
PS: Wikipedia has more information about MP3 history