• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Chapter 1. Start Here > The MP3 Revolution

The MP3 Revolution

Developed in the early 1990s, MPEG-1 level 3 (MP3) became the first widely accepted encoding format that enabled the meteoric rise of digital music, even though it was underground and largely illicit at first. College students and young computer geeks with fast Internet connections used free or inexpensive encoding software (licensed from bodies such as the Fraunhofer Institute that holds the rights to the MP3 encoding algorithm) to convert its purchased CDs into MP3 format. After they were converted to the compressed digital form, these files immediately took on a life of their own, taking advantage of the files' relatively small size (usually 3 to 5 megabytes per song) and the explosive growth of the Internet to leap from computer to computer by way of the new breed of “peer-to-peer” software (such as Napster) that allowed MP3 collectors to seek out music on others' computers and quickly download it. Artists and record labels initially dismissed the threat that MP3 file sharing presented to their business model. However, soon it became apparent that the problem was not going to go away on its own—CD sales were slipping noticeably, and it would only get worse with time. A few high-profile lawsuits against MP3 collectors and broadcasters, and the legal shutdown of the Napster service, officially placed free music file sharing into the public eye—to some, an honorable form of rebellion against corporate tyranny; to others, the very act of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

▸ KEY TERM

MPEG-1 level 3 (MP3)— The most widely used format for digital music, MP3 files sound pretty good but have no copy protection built in.



PREVIEW

                                                                          

Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial


  
  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint