Blog Post #6 (Mp3 Revolution)

The final frontier of the digital sound, at least at this point in time, comes in the form of a non-physical music format; instead it relies in the form of a virtual, digital form that plays via a computer. Capitalizing on a huge boom in the mid-90s (a 10X increase in the number of online users from 1992 to 1996). Couple this with the personal computers recent upgrade in sound quality through soundcards that could support industry standard 16-bit audio and the home computer was now becoming a new effective and very practical way to store and listen to music. The best part of storing music virtually on a computer is that it eliminates the need for CD storage; instead all music is rendered digitally onto a hard drive, which depending on the storage capacity of that hard drive can store the equivalent to dozens if not hundreds of audio CDs in a very compact and organized means.

With The ability to now store and listen to music via one’s home computer, the issue of where to obtain music was now for the first time, brought into question. Traditionally one would go to a music store and buy records, then tapes, then CDs but with the advent of the internet and P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing, for the first time in history music retailers were not so much a necessity of the industry. Through P2P sharing, songs can be traded and shared via the internet where people would download them directly to their computers and have their own copy of a given song or album. It was the new way to share music without having to trade a physical medium; instead limitless versions of a song could be downloaded and copied from just one original copy of the song itself. People that may never meet each other who share likeminded interests in music listening can now help one another out with this seemingly limitless form of musical trade.

Napster was introduced around 1997 but really took off by 1999. It was this huge P2P database which would allow users to log on to and search for their favorite songs as well as anything that they might like to hear without having to commit to purchase. This was a huge reason that college students gravitated to the software that at Napster’s peek, about 75% of all college students in the United States were using. This brought up a huge issue of copyright concerns and licensing issues as to just what was legal and illegal about the whole file sharing trend. Personally, I feel that sharing music can act as a means of free advertising, allowing you the ability to discover something you may not have otherwise would’ve paid for, and now you can support that band by seeing them on tour or buying merchandise that will ultimately put more in that artist’s pocket money wise. However, I do see the record company, artist, and other industry affected by the sales of album are all coming from. It takes money, time, and creativity to produce and album and these contributions should be compensated for.

The converting of digital audio file to Mp3 format revolutionized the music industry. It had even stemmed over to personal listening devices as car stereos now, as they’ve done for the last decade, all supported Mp3 format and players have been invented for the exclusive playing of this digital audio files. I’m of course talking about the Apple iPod. With the practical advantage of being able to walk around with one’s entire music library literally in their pocket at all times instead of having to find a place to store hundreds of CDs, it’s quite easy to see why digital Mp3 formatted songs have taken off the way they have. With the ability to be shared and acquired, it really is an exciting time to be a music fan.

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9 Responses to “Blog Post #6 (Mp3 Revolution)”

  1. Amy Herzog Says:

    I realized while reading your post that we never talked about how Mp3s change the way we ORGANIZE our music– it’s much rarer, now, for people to listen to albums in a linear way. For many listeners, we’ve gone back to the days when individual tracks are more important than cohesive concept albums. I wonder what ripple effects this “shuffle” mentality might have over the long term– it certainly puts more control in the hands of listeners.

  2. dperry100 Says:

    I feel like I am the only one left still buying Compact Disks anymore. For some reason, I feel that I don’t “own” the music unless it is on some sort of physical element (tape, record, or CD). The birth of Napster changed everything. I remember finding songs and clips that didn’t exist anywhere else but online. My most prized possession was a copy of The Dave Matthews Band, The Lillywhite Sessions. This was a studio recording that was never released to the public. It was leaked onto Napster and created a huge uproar with illegal file downloading. Although these recordings are of great quality, DMB did not approve or want the public to hear them. However, a few years later-I guess he realized the positive response these recording had with their fans, released their album “Busted Stuff” which contained re-recordings of the songs from “The Lillywhite Sessions.”

    So, I completely agree with you when you stated that sharing music can act as free advertising for a band. Although they may loose out on record selling profits, the artist can still profit by other means.

  3. lanters Says:

    The cheap will you bug,I think is a good choice.

  4. Musie Says:

    Mp3 is future format. i used it and very happy.

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