MP3 Players Industry Brief History Term Paper

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The initial MP3 founders backed by the open source model coded the MP3 software that speeded up the recognition of the MP3 audio format. (Behind the Files: History of MP3) at the time of writing the code for MP3 format, an array of compression intensities can be programmed. To take an example, an MP3 made with 128 Kbit compression intensity will have enhanced sound reproduction quality and bigger file size compared to a 56 Kbit compression, hence indicating that lesser the compression intensity, the lesser the reproduction of sound quality. (What is MP3, How does it work, what is (MPEG)

This accounts for growing acceptance of the MP3 format music files with the Internet devoted music enthusiasts since it is the perfect medium for receiving music files through the Internet compared to WAV/AIFF files with takes much longer time to get downloaded. (What is MP3, How does it work, what is (MPEG)) Enhanced compression technologies have been around for certain period, but the efficacy of MP3 is because of the comparatively free characteristic of the format. Another factor accounting for the thrilling and persuasive experience of MP3 is due to the fact that it enables enthusiasts to be DJs by audio mixing of their chosen songs. Several persons have prepared their own collection of CDs composed of their preferred songs from various performers and orchestras and writing them to CDs promptly and effortlessly. (Behind the Files: History of MP3)

Ethics and social responsibility of the industry (impact on society and the planet)

Power shift is continuously moving from the three moguls who had detained control of TV towards the millions of individual people who gaze at it from the time when it was invented. A potentially more innovative instrument than the switcher, called the MP3 player, best depicts this spectacular move. The way music is signed up, put on the market and disseminated may get total changeover due to MP3. Furthermore, they offer vital hints, not obtained so far, on how digital technology will threaten corporate control of other forms of popular culture and intellectual property. MP3's importance extends way ahead of the music industry. It is not only in gathering enormous amounts of graphic and textual material in new, highly compressible ways that Technology is helping but also in making it feasible for millions of people to use, do business and cherish that material at any time they need. There are both merits and demerits of delivery of music on the Web. (the Music Industry and the MP3)

Costs associated with manufacturing, distribution and promotion can be slashed by digital sales. The most famous search engine query term after "sex" is "MP3." It is the music companies own mistake that the outbreak of digital music piracy is very much dreadful for them and no industry ever ought to have it more. Most of their piracy problems would have disappeared quickly, if at all they had been eager to open up their catalogues to sites like customdisc.com. The contemporaries will most likely never pay for CD's another time in their lives as they are now swiftly getting MP3's. This should not be the case. The approach towards buying music by younger people who are either college-goers or have computers can become a case study as to how corporations can isolate large groups of a whole society, which in addition cost them too. (the Music Industry and the MP3)

From WinAmp's MP3.com site, there have been more than five million downloads of the MP3 player. For thousands or even tens of thousands of college kids, geeks and teenagers, music piracy is a well-established cultural, even political philosophy as they have seldom purchased a CD but have some of the plentiful and varied music and song libraries. They are the genuine inheritance of complete unawareness to the Internet by the recording industry. They are also a dominant forewarning to monopoly media companies with regard to information or culture. Thus the free MP3 player accessible on the Web is diminishing the society and the music industry. According to record executives, millions of people have all become music impresarios in their own right, as they need not depend on record executives for what to buy and how to buy it. (the Music Industry and the MP3)

The industry's treatment of women, minorities, immigrants and the disabled

It is so easy that even the new-to-technology sections of women, minorities, immigrants and the disabled can enter the MP3 universe and its huge catalog of music. (Impress your kids with your MP3 knowledge) Due to slash in prices of MP3 players, the listeners to MP3 include physically-disabled adults and children, older readers and readers from the weaker sections. According to audio book listener Phil Cross, a retired executive living in Absecon, N.J., audio books are indispensable because of his eye impairment. He anticipates further fall of prices and bypassing of copyright laws which can lead to search, print and re-read favorite passages and quotes for additional enjoyment. (MP3 Players fit the bill)

Future trends and viability of the industry (globalization and competition)

Compared to the sales of an estimated 8 million hard-drive players, 22 million flash players are projected to be sold globally by the last phase of 2004. (Strong sales forecast for digital audio players) a critical mass of users will be reached by 2006, when the installed base of MP3 players will peak at 26 million, which will help stimulate digital music sales. (Jupiter Research Forecasts U.S. MP3 Player Shipments to Top 3.5 Million in 2003) Standard sales prices of flash-based MP3 players will fall from $117 in 2003 to $98 in 2008 due to waning wholesale costs of flash-memory cards. Also, the hard drive players will face price decline from $304 last year to $171 in 2008. Though More than 20 million combination CD-MP3 players will be sold this year, the volume of sales is anticipated to climb only moderately in the subsequent few years. As the CD happens to be the central distribution medium for the recording industry and as this will not transform immediately, standard CD players won't vanish rapidly. (Strong sales forecast for digital audio players) the ears of worldwide music enthusiasts are already open to MP3s. It is certain that MP3s are here to continue as there are millions of MP3 audio files and thousands of MP3 related software developed by software developers around the world. (Behind the Files: History of MP3)

Government policies relating to the industry

Various public policy concerns relating to online music distribution are detailed below.

A) Copyright laws and 'fair use': Recording of MP3 as a 'fair use' is argued by the consumers and supporters of free downloading that exist in Napster. The Ninth Circuit inclined the argument of Napster, according to which the fair-use provision of Copyright Act enshrined in 17 U.S.C. 107 safeguards the users. The provision of fair use is proposed to safeguard certain copying resorted to for personal, educational or other use and that not necessarily dissuade the copyright holder from taking advantage of his or her rights. The Court set aside such arguments of Napster on the plea that the activities of users are safeguarded by the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, 17 U.S.C. 1008, that permits the consumers to create audio recordings of copyrighted music for their individual use. The judicial panel takes out evidences put forth by the plaintiffs proving that the provisions of Napster harms copyright holders at least in two ways: by compressing the market for CD purchases and by putting the record companies in difficulty to capture the market for paid down loads of digital music. (Effects of MP3 Technology on the Music Industry: An Examination of Market Structure and Apple iTunes)

B) Extension of copyright protection: The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 has emerged to be the most remarkable endeavor in this direction. As a result of the requests of record labels, the Act supplemented a charge towards public performance for Internet broadcast. The record label and the musical publishers are granted a royalty fee to be paid by for the songs played over the Internet. The radio station engaged in transmission of the signal over the Internet is also taken to its purview. (Effects of MP3 Technology on the Music Industry: An Examination of Market Structure and Apple iTunes)

Amendment of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): In order to prevent the manufacture and distribution of tools planned with the motive of discouraging technology used to safeguard the copyrighted products efforts were made to create the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The liabilities of the Internet Service Providers are also explained by the law at the circumstances of online violations. Congress could not resist the widespread popularity attached with online music distribution and the file sharing in particular but encouraged the industry to accept online music distribution. The Act of 1998 required the use of a compulsory license by the Internet radio stations to pay the…[continue]

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