Music has always been an integral part of humankind. For many people across cultures it is the way of life. Martin Luther – the famous German monk of the sixteen century, once said ‘Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.’ In 21st century, we have Music Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience Of Music, Music Therapy etc. well looking back one can easily say that Martin Luther was onto something when he made that statement.
A form of art that uses the mediums of sound and silence is the simple definition of Music. Initially passed on through written and aural traditions, in our modern times music is recorded in different audio formats. It is then, stored in various audio devices usually with just a click of the computer mouse. More than a song in his heart, the modern man prefers a song in his iPod or MP3 player. However, it was the requirement for a song in the heart that initially fueled the passion for making music and sound portable.
How Did MP3 Technology Start?
It all started in 1950s, with the first portable battery operated reel – to – reel tape recorders produced by Uher and Nagra. Philips soon followed suit by introducing the battery – operated compact cassette recorder in the mid 1960s. However, it was only in 1979 the first true portable cassette player was introduced – the Sony Walkman. The prerecorded compact cassettes were used in the walkman with an earphone or a headphone attached for good audio output.
Portable Digital Audio Players
The analog world of audio soon gave away to the digital world with the launch of Compact Disc (CD) and Compact Disc – Digital Audio (CD – DA). An evolution from the LaserDisc technology, CD was more durable and economical compared to LaserDisc. In 1982, within a year of its launch, the Walkman of Sony started walking out and was eventually replaced by the Discman. The features of the Discman like play/pause, hold, Liquid Crystal Display of the songs playing were considered revolutionary at that time. This revolution received an additional boost in 1995 with the invention of a new audio encoding, MPEG – 1 or MPEG – 2 Audio Layer III, commonly known as MP3.
Audio Portability – MP3 Music On The Go
Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) using a form of lossy data compression designed the MP3 audio format. The initial MPEG – 1 standard was extended to MPEG – 2 standard and the world of portable audio/music was changed completely. In 1997, Saehan Information System launched the first portable MP3 player. The different digital portable players that supports the MP3 audio formats include but are not limited to Flash-based players, MP3 CD/DVD players, Hard drive – based players, Networked audio players and USB host/memory card audio players.
The Cutting Edge
What gives MP3 technology the cutting edge over other audio formats is the amazingly maintained sound quality with a file size that is possibly 1/11th of the size of a CD – DA audio track. The modern portable MP3 players are ergonomically designed and some are as small as the size of one’s finger. This portability has been met with true appreciation from music lovers who love listening to their songs. Today, with Transcoding (digital – to – digital data conversion) one can even convert any video format to MP3 format. So, if a music lover finds their favorite music video on YouTube but can’t find the audio version of the song anywhere; all one has to do is convert the video from YouTube into a MP3 file. Copy the MP3 file to the MP3 player and the favorite song is now available on the go. It is clearly evident that the passion for music and having a song in your heart is what may have been the true secret behind the success of MP3 formats and players. Like the wise German monk said maybe music does calm the agitations of our soul; especially in our modern stress inducing age.
This article is authored by Peter White. He is a flourishing business man, a music lover and a tech enthusiast. He uses video2mp3 to convert his favorite videos from YouTube to MP3. He is an avid blogger and loves writing tech articles.