Ah yes I’m back. I managed to survive a day of being kicked and yelled at and bowing to a complete stranger walking barefoot and barking orders. The the sustained kicks to my scrotum for kids who can’t seem to aim their punches and kicks above the waist I managed to snatch an idea on something to write about. Mp3s. How did i come to that idea well….while taking a shot to the temple they where playing an iPod the kids could train to. Stuff on where it came from and how it has improved and also hurt music.
In 1987 a German company called Fraunchofer-Gesellshaft developed the mp3 technology and now lisences the patent rights to the audio compression technology. The inventors named on the MP3 patent are Bernhard Grill, Karl-Heinz Brandenburg, Thomas Sporer, Bernd Kurten, and Ernst Eberlein. The two main names mentioned in the creation of the mp3 is Dieter Seitzer a professor at the University of Erlangen and Karlheinz Brandenburg. He was a professor of mathematics and electronics and had been working on methods to compress music since the 70’s. In 1991 the mp3 project almost died cause they just couldn’t get the compiler to work till finally they discovered the error in the programing. Imagine that no mp3 in our life today. The above source and following stats I got are from
1987 – The Fraunhofer Institut in Germany began research code-named EUREKA project EU147, Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB).
January 1988 – Moving Picture Experts Group or MPEG was established as a subcommittee of the International Standards Organization/International Electrotechnical Commission or ISO/IEC.
April 1989 – Fraunhofer received a German patent for MP3.
1992 – Fraunhofer’s and Dieter Seitzer’s audio coding algorithm was integrated into MPEG-1.
1993 – MPEG-1 standard published.
1994 – MPEG-2 developed and published a year later.
November 26, 1996 – United States patent issued for MP3.
September 1998 – Fraunhofer started to enforce their patent rights. All developers of MP3 encoders or rippers and decoders/players now have to pay a licensing fee to Fraunhofer.
February 1999 – A record company called SubPop is the first to distribute music tracks in the MP3 format.
1999 – Portable MP3 players appear.
Now that I hopefully managed to pound a little info on something we all enjoy downloading and using. Lets talk about the benefits we get and the disadvantages and some stuff it did provide for us as computer geeks and avid internet dorks.
In my eyes the biggest contributions mp3’s have given us is the fact that we can save cherish our music with a single file that can be used in mearly any gizmo or gadget we use daily. Whether its a iPod or a Blackberry ringtone. It provided a fast way for us to share and *gulp* distribute music. Which Lars Ulrich hated. Google, Napster vs metallica or something. In his defense as an artist and having friends in the industry I can understand his frustration of poeple not having to pay for something you make your salary off of. Also I will admit I download music. Wether a p2p program or torrent site, which i wont name cause I’m sure by now you can find plenty of on the net. I get to experience music I would never consider buying. Sorta like a test run.
Let me point out some Pro’s and Cons on the mp3:
1. Easy to access its everywhere and free.
2. Most major gadgets & gizmos support it.
3. We can share our music easily over chat clients or preserve or old CD or vinyls and share those to.
4. I’m able to enjoy music of all kinds of genre at my fingers tips, since its a small file i can download or have it sent to me. If it sucks i delete it 😉
5. I would say it also inspired the creation of many other peer 2 peer sharing. Kazaa, Lime wire, torrents, illegal or not I would say mp3s inspired those to be created for people to be able to share easier.
1. Artist’s losing a grip on $$ for leaked digital media.
2. Its basically stealing when you think about it. They make no money of a download and the artist get a lower budget from their labels knowing this.
3. Boot legging is a problem. I download for my personal enjoyment not to make money off the work of another individual.
I’m sure there’s a ton of pros and cons we can all think of but what it all boils down to. Its here its part of our digital life and in a way we hate to love it but we do. In no way am i motivating or implying that you downloading copyrighted material is right. All I’m saying is take a deeper look at what this technology has blessed us with and be thankful. Instead of my Insignia mp3 player I could be walking around with my huge Sony Walkman with fuzzy covered headphones and extra bass switch popping my tape reel when i rewind my favorite song