MP3's rule the digital world!
MP3's rule the digital world? Why? The best reason has to be the versatility of what the MP3 file format can bring to the average listeners world, with the explosion of Communication Technology namely the Internet and WWW the ability to and availability of downloading MP3's is common place amongst technology users especially students who are subject to the fastest download rates on the WWW. Also the fact that the MP3 file is one tenth the size of a regular CD or wave file, the ability to carry your whole music collection on a couple of disks has given the MP3 file prominence in the Digital world.
V e r s a t i l i t y.. of the.. M P 3
The future of Music Technology is compact and MP3 is the zenith of Audio compression. The design trend of media players in the last 30 years has been based upon versatility of use and compression. Out have gone the Plastic Records the Bulky HI FI systems that take up half of your living space, the dodgy tape cassette and the CD is now next in line for falling by the wayside of media players. Why? MP3 players give a user versatility that no other method of playing Audio has achieved in previous decades.
(White, R. and White, W. 2001) say that the MP3 player has made the Walkman and the Portable CD player obsolete due to its quality of Sound, Size, Storage and Accessibility to various different music types all stored on one player. A MP3 player can now be bought for as little as 200 Euros that can hold over 2000 Songs. A MP3 player has become so versatile that it can be plugged into a Multimedia PC or into a MP3 Speaker System (replacing the HI FI) that can be stored in your living room and performs all the basic needs that an average music listener requires from a home based music system.
(Moody, G. 2003) adds that the MP3 format is appearing more and more as a component of DVD and CD HI-FI systems.
In conclusion Moody, G. also points to the explosion of the MP3 into the Media player hardware marketplace which has given the effect that the MP3 is invading the other Media players that have been established in popular culture prior to the MP3's release to the public. This highlights the industry?s trend toward MP3 as the industry standard file format.
I n d u s t r y.. T r e n d
A correlating trend is occurring in the Communication Technology and the Music Industry world which highlights the impending dominance of the MP3 as the ruler of the Digital World. As far back as 2000 the trend can be found intelligible, (Jones, S. 2000) applies a comprehensive look at the trend of the Internet and Communication Technology providers merging with big Music companies in a bid to control the illegal copying and production of copyrighted Audio through the numerous computer networks that have sprung up throughout the online community, the focus of the convergence between the two entities is mainly centering on CD to MP3 replication.
(Jones, S. 2000) states that in the period of 1998 to 1999 some of the major Communication Technology companies including IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Matsushita, AT&T, WorldCom, Motorola plus various other Technology companies have bought or made agreements with big Music companies. (Graham, G. Et al. 2004) explains how the Music Industry is controlled and dominated by the so called ?Big Five? major record companies: EMI, SONY, Universal -Vivendi, Time Warner and BMG. The music industry is worth over 30 billion dollars to the Big Five, piracy is taken very seriously in the music industry and it is fair to say that the MP3 has spawned a revolution in the way music is being produced to the public.
(Jones, S. 2000) states the convergences in the Music Industry, the most notable of them being AT&T and Matsushita teamed with BMG and MTV, Sony teamed up with Digital-on-Demand, AOL?s purchase of Nullsoft Inc. maker of the MP3 and media player Win Amp, this type of trend gives credence to the Music Industries realization of the MP3 as the ruler of the digital world.
S o u n d.. Q u a l i t y
There are a lot of Anti MP3 dissenters in the Music Industry, amongst them the famous heavy metal band Metallica. There are many complaints against the MP3 for many different reasons but it is the demand that MP3's should not rule the digital world and the claim that the MP3 casts away to much data to mimic real life audio that seems to be brought against MP3.
Also the general sound quality of an Mp3 is brought into question being called poor quality and demands that it should not be recognized as the industry standard format for listening to music on the Internet meaning the WWW or in handheld media devices. In the next two paragraphs I will explain that the afore mentioned claims about the MP3 are no more than a hasty generalisation of the MP3 file format.
An MP3 file is an audio file that has undergone a transformation known as file compression. When an MP3 is compressed to one tenth of its original size and original state it is usually compressed into MP3 from the CD DA or wave file formats. Although some sound quality is lost this is minimal and an average listener would have to have the audio senses of an animal to notice this unconsidered loss of sound. (White R. and White W. 2001) explain this invisible loss of sound as Psychoacoustics. Psychoacoustics is the science that verifies that there are certain sound ranges where human perception does not register sounds being transmitted or carried, most humans cannot hear any sounds more than 16Khz, this is the audio range where the majority of sound is cut off in the process of compressing a raw CD DA file to MP3 format.
(Starrett B. & Mc Daniel J. 2000) explain also Psychoacoustics as Filtering, known as Signal Masking, Frequency Masking or Auditory Masking. To imagine this process take the example of a person blowing into a wind instrument a Trumpet, but you can only recognise the sound of the blowing, now imagine that the person is blowing the same sound and now you can also hear the notes being played parallel to the blowing. By splitting the two sounds or filtering out the blowing sound, is a process called audio masking or filtering.
Manipulating this type of Psychoacoustics is also implemented into the compression of CD DA and wave file audio into the MP3 audio file format. Also (Starrett B. & Mc Daniel J. 2000) explain that MP3 also cuts out or eliminates very low sounds from Audio below the range that is called the Minimal Audition Threshold thus maximising the compression of the MP3.
C o n c l u s i o n
Its versatile usability in regard to its size and storage capacity leave the MP3 in good stead under the weight of the bulky and poor quality of the CD Walkman of the 1990's, the MP3 runs away with first place when judging its portability when out and about listening to music or traveling. It is quite transparent that the Major Music Record Labels or companies and the Major Communication Technology or Internet companies are merging together to supply the Music and Technology Industry with the MP3 as the Industry standard file for public consumption,
To gather evidence of the MP3's emerging dominance over the other forms of media replication one only needs to stop at the local Electronics Hardware store or browse through the latest Argos or Shopping catalogue and witness the overwhelming amount of MP3 related products being marketed toward the general populous. This trend of marketing and the evidence that I have displayed in this essay of the MP3's quality is the proof of the pudding that the MP3 rules the digital world.
Academic Essay on the MP3 by Reason User
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