I understand why multiples of 2 show up so often in with computers because of their binary nature, but I haven't been able to figure out the most common mp3 bitrates (64kbps, 128kbps, 160kbps, 192kbps, 256kbps, 320kbps, etc.) tend to follow this rule as well.
- Since MP3s are just sequential encodings of sound waves, why does it matter that each second is represented with a number of kilobits that is divisible by 2?
- Do music players like iTunes just keep reading the file and reproducing the encoded sound regardless of where the second boundaries are, or do they read the file second by second?
- In the later case, reading a 256kbps file would require reading slightly fewer pages in memory than a 257kbps file, but the player could always just read in 256-kilobit chunks regardless of them bitrate and just process it gradually, right?
- Are MP3s at 128kbps popular just because this is a generally accepted bitrate or do they actually have some advantage over files at 126kbps and 131kbps other than a very slight difference in quality/filesize?