Ever since the PHONOGRAPH RECORD was invented in by Edison in 1878, the means of recording music has steadily changed. The basics behind the PHONOGRAPH (record player) was around with little change for more than 100 years. I remember hearing the last of my mother's 78 RPM records in the 1960's. I know that by the 1970's the available records were only 45 RPM and 33 1/3 RPM. I also know that by the late 80's the PHONOGRAPH RECORD was ALL BUT DEAD with the mass acceptance of the CD. However don't expect such a long life from the CD medium and expect an even shorter life from the MP3 file format. Why?
There are 2 big reasons that the MP3 you are saving today will be of little use to you 2-5 years from now. They can be summed up as the following.
1. Record players were HARDWARE. The MP3 is SOFTWARE.
2. Record players existed ,many years, for the most part, in a CLOSED ENVIROMENT. MP3s exist in a WIDE OPEN ENVIROMENT.
MP3s are SOFTWARE
The MP3 file format is SOFTWARE and because of this, the FILE format can be easily improved by TYPING in a few lines of CODE into the ENCODER. So , in other words, if I come up with an MP3 file that is HALF THE SIZE with better sound quality TONIGHT, I can upload it TONIGHT and you can download it TOMMORROW. (Along with a much improved MP3 player) As for the people that own the dedicated POCKET MP3 players "TOO BAD". They will not be able to cram twice as many MP3s onto those toys. This is the main reason that I haven't bought one myself! I have been hesitant even with the HARDWARE RECORDING mediums of the last 30 years. I have seen the 8track come and go. I have seen BETA HI-FI come and go. I have seen DAT come and go (as a consumer medium) How is the MINIDISK doing? Do you think that DVD is here to stay? So with these HARDWARE PLAYERS coming and going so quickly, what makes you think that anyone is even going to try and make a player that will play the MP3X file format 2 years from now?
WIDE OPEN ENVIROMENT
Because of the WIDE OPEN ENVIROMENT of the mp3 (The entire World Wide Web) You can be sure that as I'm writing this right now there are programmers in the U.S., Hungary, Germany , Japan, Finland etc. working on a BETTER MP3 FORMAT. Because we are all learning from each other, the format will get better and better MUCH FASTER. Because the FILE FORMATS are changing so rapidly, the designers of WEB BROWSERS must constantly add new MIME TYPES. Would you want your browser to be the only one that doesn't support MP3K ? What will the end user do when MP3k is at 95 % of all of the websites? Let me put it a different way. What good is your dedicated MP3 PLAYER without MP3 FILES?
BUILD THE MP3 WATCHDOG INTO THE OPERATING SYSTEM
PROPOSED MP3 LEGISLATION
CLOSING UP ALL OF THE CRACKS....MY FINAL? MP3 PIRACY ARTICLE