How Music Got Free
How Music Got Free The End of An Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy By Witt, Stephen Book - 2015

As someone who grew up on computers beginning in the early 90s, a lot of the stuff mentioned in this book really brought back some fond memories. IRC, Warez and of course, Napster, the file sharing service that revolutionized the way we listen to music are all covered in How Music Got Free, which looks at the pirates that took the wind out of the sails of greedy record companies who were gouging their customers for years with overpriced CDs that usually only had one or two good songs on it. What I found to be the most interesting chapters were the one's dealing with the origins of the mp3 format and how it was for many years considered to be the "Beta" of audio compression in comparison with mp2. But with the explosion of broadband and file sharing software, mp3 files, and later devices like the iPod which served as a money launderer for Napster's spoils took off, leaving the recording industry flat footed. Also interesting was the true crime aspect of this book. Ever wonder how albums got leaked weeks before their release date? It all goes back to a plant in North Carolina and employees who did the old fashioned way: by literally stuffing CDs in their pants behind their belt buckles to evade the metal detectors. A really great look at early computer history and how a bunch of kids operating in their parents' basements dismantled a multi-billion dollar industry.

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