Since the release (9 September 1995) of FraunhoferWinPlay3, the first real-time MP3 software player, people were able to store and play back MP3 files on PCs. For full playback quality (stereo) one would have needed to meet the minimum requirements of a 486DX2/66 processor.
By the end of 1997 l3enc stopped being developed in favour of the development of MP3enc, which is the successor to l3enc. It was often referred to as the “gold standard of encoders”. It was available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, SunOS, IRIX and Alpha. Development of MP3enc stopped in late 1998 to favour development of a parallel branch FhG had been developing for some time, called Fastenc. None of these programs are still marketed.