A Revolutionary new Technology Is Christened “MP3″

Representatives of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) were not in attendance at the 1995 christening of the infant technology that would shake their business model to its core just a few years later. Known formally as “MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3,” the technology in question was an efficient new format for the encoding of high-quality digital audio using a highly efficient data-compression algorithm. In other words, it was a way to make CD-quality music files small enough to be stored in bulk on the average computer and transferred manageably across the Internet. Released to the pubic one week earlier, the brand-new MP3 format was given its name and its familiar “.mp3″ file extension on this day in 1995.

The importance of MP3, or any other scheme for compressing data, is made clear by some straightforward arithmetic. The music on a compact disc is encoded in such a way that a single second corresponds to approximately 176,000 bytes of data, and a single three-minute song to approximately 32 million bytes (32MB). In the mid-1990s, when it was not uncommon for a personal computer to have a total hard-drive capacity of only 500MB, it was therefore impossible to store even one album’s worth of music on the average home computer. And given the actual connection speed of a then-standard 56K dial-up modem, even a single album’s worth of music would have taken literally all day to transfer over the Internet. In this way, the nature of the CD format and the state of mid-90s computer and telecommunications technologies offered the music industry a practical barrier to copyright infringement via Internet file-sharing. But then came MP3.

Over the course of the late 1980s and early 1990s, several teams of audio engineers worked to develop, test and perfect the standard that would eventually gain the blessing of Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG). Their approach took advantage of certain physical and cognitive characteristics of human hearing, such as our inability to detect the quieter of two sounds played simultaneously. Using a “perceptual” compression method, engineers were able to eliminate more than 90 percent of the data in a standard CD audio file without compromising sound quality as perceived by the average listener using standard audio equipment.

Suddenly, that digital copy of your favorite pop song took up only 2-3 MB on your hard-drive rather than 32MB, which in combination with the growth in average drive capacity and the increase in average Internet connection speed created the conditions for both the rampant, Winamp- and Napster-enabled copyright infringement of 1999-2000 and for the legal commercial distribution of digital music via the Internet. In the eyes of the RIAA, those are the conditions that also explain the 29 percent decline in the sales of music CDs between 2000 and 2006.

Posted in Music.


  1. That is very fascinating, You’re an excessively skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to searching for more of your
    great post. Additionally, I’ve shared your web site
    info in; <a href="http://tinyurl.com/y9wgrzpn">tinyurl.com</a>, my social

  2. slots lounge aol
    [url="https://2-free-slots.com"]slots game free online[/url]
    house of fun free online slots

  3. san manuel free slots
    [url="https://411slotmachine.com"]infer tonoslots[/url]
    777 casino

  4. scatter slots topless
    [url="https://beat-slot-machines.com"]scatter slots naked[/url]
    wms slots

  5. casinospil slots online
    [url="https://download-slot-machines.com"]mr cashman slots music[/url]
    slots house of fun

  6. las vegas slots
    [url="https://download-slot-machines.com"]play ginger wild slots[/url]
    baba wild slots

  7. machine casino
    [url="https://download-slot-machines.com"]caesars slots facebook[/url]
    vegas slots casino

  8. free slots 12×12
    [url="https://freeonlneslotmachine.com"]slim slots free games[/url]
    best casino slots

  9. slots casino games
    [url="https://giocoslotmachinegratis.com"]jackpot magic slots blog[/url]
    wining slots

  10. slots era
    [url="https://pennyslotmachines.org"]best online slots[/url]
    free slots real cash

  11. live slot play
    [url="https://slotmachinegambler.com"]fre slots[/url]
    online real money slots

  12. free ceaser slots games
    [url="https://slotmachineonlinegratis.org"]free konami slots online[/url]
    slots winning video 2022

  13. free cats slots
    [url="https://slotmachinescafe.com"]free slots casino games[/url]
    aol slots

  14. Exuygi [url=https://newfasttadalafil.com/]Cialis[/url] Elimite For Sale Pqjiav <a href=https://newfasttadalafil.com/>cialis pills</a> Jqvgff Uogtmf https://newfasttadalafil.com/ – Cialis Cialis Verkauf

  15. interactive slots
    [url="https://slotmachinescasinos.com"]slot website[/url]
    online slots for real money

  16. free slots cleopatra
    [url="https://slotmachinesforum.net"]casino slots[/url]
    magic jackpot

  17. scatter slot facebook
    [url="https://slotmachinesworld.com"]casino world free slots[/url]
    igt free slots no download

  18. free online penny slots
    [url="https://www-slotmachines.com"]slots lounge[/url]
    7s slots free online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.