To the beat of the crowd: Looking back at 20 years of digital music disruption

In 1999, with little more than a clever piece of code, Shawn Fanning turned the music industry on its head. Napster, a P2P file sharing service, enabled music listeners to download MP3s and share them with others, for free. The genie was out the bottle and the music industry would never soundΒ the same again. The disruption of the music industry in the last 20 years, however, is not just a story about musicians and record companies, but rather a compelling tale about coders, entrepreneurship, legal battles, and listener entitlement. Here are some of the key developments of the last two decades that shaped the music industry into what it is today, leading it into the 21st century, and beyond: 1995: File extension β€œ.mp3” After the advent of the CD in the late 1970s, the next major stride in digital music technology came with the emergence of the MP3. An organization that went by the name of Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) set out to define standards in audio recording in the late 1980s. MPEG compressed music digitally by eliminating...

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