The Beginnings of Digital Music
Music piracy has been around for at least as long as the eight-track tape. For years, people have asked themselves, "Why buy music at the store when it's so much cheaper to copy it from a friend?" Unfortunately, until the digital music revolution, music piracy suffered from a major drawback - loss of sound quality. Each time music is copied from tape to tape, it sounds worse and worse. But no matter how many times a digital music file is e-mailed from person to person, it will always sound the same. This makes digital music an ideal tool for music piracy.
Unfortunately, for many years, it was impossible to make a full-length song into a quality digital music file, let alone digitize a whole album or e-mail music to a friend. Computers just didn't have the huge amounts of storage space required for digital music, and Internet connection speeds were too slow to transfer the files.
But within the past five years, all this has changed:
- Methods of "compression" have been developed, such as MP3, which can transform a massive digital music file into one twelfth of the size with no noticeable loss of quality.
- Computers have become powerful enough to readily provide the vast amounts of processing power and storage space required for compressing, storing and playing digital music.