Are you able to import materials from different programs?

I’ve seen a lot of sites that have great non blender materials, like Bryce or 3DS. Is it possible to import them to blender?

simply importing a 3ds file will import its materials in the current scene. Then you have to remove objects yourself in Blender if you just want to keep the materials
to import a .3ds, go to File > Import

There doesn’t seem to be a Bryce importer for Blender for now.