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Bit rate ( or bitrate) is a data rate that is expressed in bits per second. This is a similar to baud, but the latter is more applicable to channels with more than two states, such as in modems.

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The common units of bit rate are kilobits per second (Kbps), megabits per second (Mbps), or gigabits per second (Gbps). In data rates, the multipliers "k", "M", etc. typically stand for powers of 1000, not powers of 1024.

The term is also commonly used when discussing digital sampling and sample rates. For example, the MP3 audio compression algorithm is often set to ouput files with a bitrate of 128 kbps. This means that the file contains an average of 128 kilobits for each second of audio (960 kilobytes per minute). This compares with CD audio which is encoded at 44100 16-bit stereo samples per second, or 1408 kbps.[1]

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