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How MP3 Was Born

This Article Is Sponored By You! | Friday, March 9, 2007 by Salman Siddiqui | Comments
I am now blogging on my self hosted blog CompuWorld and started another blog of mine the Senorita


I still remember those days when we used to buy CDs with around 10 songs in them. Then came MP3 and life's of music buff's changed completely. One CD and hundreds of songs, that is the trend today and the guy who brought the revolution, I am sure half of you know nothing about him!

The word MP3 (standing for Moving Picture [Expert Group Level] 3 [Compression]) has become second only to sex on the world's most popular search engines and has become a business that has created millions, mostly through stock market floats, for companies such as MP3.com.

However, behind the huge business headlines and ringing cash registers remains a story that has remained mostly untold; the story of a man whose combined knowledge of maths, sound and electronics brought the whole thing about - but, amazingly, for no personal profit.However, behind the huge business headlines and ringing cash registers remains a story that has remained mostly untold; the story of a man whose combined knowledge of maths, sound and electronics brought the whole thing about - but, amazingly, for no personal profit.

Karlheinz Brandenburg hasn't become a dot-com zillionaire from his work on MP3, but he received a substantial cut of the royalty payments under a German law that entitles researchers to a share of the profits from their inventions. (He won't say how much.)

History of MP3
  • 1987 - The Fraunhofer Institute 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.
With such a major success under his belt Brandenburg has many tempting offers before him, including many professorships in the USA. However, he remains down to earth and modest and seems happy with his small world just outside Berlin - although the FI works over a collection of sites.

He told the German press that everyday he logs on to the Internet and looks for new MP3 sites and people making use of the standard he helped bring about, 'This gives me the best feeling of all' says Brandenburg today. He doesn't have too much time to ponder his success as new digital projects now take up most of his time; including applying his knowledge to the digital video recorder.

However, even if they crack that one neither Brandenburg or his team will personally profit from it. All rights and moneys will belong to the Institute and the Institute alone - just like with MP3.

Karlheinz Brandenburg often is cited as the inventor of the music format. But he credits many for a discovery that has upended the music business. Read on...

Audio Interviews With Karlheinz Brandenburg. [here]

Related:
Convert Videos To Any Format

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  1. Blogger blogpaul Says:

    Great post...did not even know they went back that far!

  2. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    hey what about the tapes. you forgot the tapes :D

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