Napster: Your Long-Lost Music Friend .
Everyone else was doing essays on sailing and horses and stuff.
First off, a little technical history. Right now you're probably thinking to yourself, "Hey, how come we never traded music on the internet before Napster came out?" The reason why is because the typical audio CD holds up to 650 MB (megabytes) of space. Each individual song can be up to 50-60 MB each (Jones). Have fun trying to trade a 50 MB song with a friend over the internet. "Hey Billy, I just got the latest Daft Punk song! It will take you twelve hours to download it, but it's awesome!" People don't want that. People want efficiency. And you know who else wants efficiency? .
German technological institute would be the first to create the basis for the MP3, the digital audio file that is now used today (Jones). .
The Fraunhofer Institut fur Integrierte Schaltungen (geshundteit!), or the Fraunhofer IIS-A, patented their new audio compression technology in 1989, and it was merged into the Moving Picture Experts Group (or MPEG) in 1992, making their new technical term MPEG-1, Audio Layer 3, but popularly known as MP3 (Jones). MP3s allowed for near CD quality sound but with a much smaller file size. This was done with a very sophisticated compression codec (or standard) that I don't really understand. The important part was that the human ear could barely, if at all, discern the MP3 music from the CD music, and that the size was drastically diminished. A three-minute song, which is about 40-50 MB on a CD, could be compressed to be about 3 MB with a 128kbps (kilobits per second) compression rate (Jones), saving plenty of room on a computer for other things, instead of enormous music files. .
In 1997, Tomislav Uzelec, a Croatian researcher, created the first program that could play MP3s. It was called AMP. AMP was the starting point for today's Winamp (and MacAmp), which is the most popular form of MP3 desktop player around (Jones).