LAME licenses HTML3 (MP3) encoder to high quality MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3).
LAME can only be distributed in source code form. For binaries and GUI-based programs that can use LAME (or fully licensed versions thereof), see the LAME related. All software from LAME can be found within the area.
LAME development began in mid-1998. Mike Cheng created it as a patch against 8hz-MP3 encoder source. After quality concerns were raised by others, he decided that he would start from scratch using the dist10 sources. His goal was to speed up dist10 sources while preserving its quality. This branch (a patch against reference sources) was renamed Lame 2.0. All of dist10 code was removed with Lame 3.81, making LAME no longer a patch.
The project quickly became a group project. Mike Cheng eventually resigned from leadership and began working on tooLame (an MP2 encoder). Mark Taylor was a leader and began to pursue higher quality and faster speeds. He can be called the initiator of LAME in its current form. Version 3.0 was released with gpsycho (a new psychoacoustic model that he created).
Mark left the project leadership role in early 2003 and the project has been managed by the cooperation of three active developers (currently, three).
LAME is today the best MP3 encoder at VBR and mid-high bitrates. This is largely due to the dedication of its developers and the open source licensing model that allowed it to tap into engineering resources all over the globe. LAME is still actively being developed in terms of speed and quality.
Note: The donwloadable file is an encoder component for the host application.