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In addition to the ISO reference documentation ($120 from ANSI in the US), here are some less detailed but more infomative articles.

You can find links to lots of documentation at's programmers' corner.

NDTC Speech and Audio Coding Page contains a detailed and very well written review article on psycho-acoustics.

Davis Pan has a couple of useful overviews of MPEG audio encoding.

Several papers by Frank Baumgarte. The paper by Baumgarte, Ferekidis and Fuchs describes an alternative psycho-acoustic model for MPEG encoding.

A complete (non MPEG) MDCT based audio encoder (MUS420 class project). The assocated paper gives some good information on audio encoding.

A good paper on mid/side stereo encoding:
Johnston and Ferreira, Sum-Difference Stereo Transform Coding, Proc. IEEE ICASSP (1992) p 569-571.

A lot in the MPEG2-AAC can also be used in MP3:
Bosi et al. "ISO/IEC MPEG-2 AAC", J. Audio Eng. Soc. 45 (1997) p 789-814.

And the original MPEG1 reference:
Brandenburg & Stoll, "ISO-MPEG-1 Audio: A Generic Standard for Coding of High-Quality Digital Audio", J. Audio Eng. Soc 42 (1994) p 780-792.

Some original papers on the psycho-acoustics used by MPEG:
Johnston, "Transform Coding of Audio Signals Using Perceptual Noise Criteria", IEEE J. Selected Areas Communications, (1988).
Brandenburg and Johnston, "Second Generation Perceptual Audio coding: The Hybrid Coder", AES 89th Convention, 1990.

Shape of masking curve for tonal sounds (used in ISO model2):
Schroeder, Atal & Hall, "Optimizing digital speech coders by exploiting masking properties of the human ear", JASA Vol.66 N°6 (1979) p 1647-1652

Tonality estimation used in ISO model 1,
ATH shape (sometimes incorrectly reffered as Painter & Spanias formula):
Terhardt & Stoll, "Algorithm for extraction of pitch and pitch salience from complex tonal signals", JASA Vol.71 N°3 (1982) p 679-688

Shape of masking curve depending upon stimulus intensity:
Sporer & Brandenburg, "Constraints of filter banks used for perceptual measurement", JAES Vol.43 N°3 (1995) p 107-115