Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The recorded music industry’s MP3 blindness

In 2001, The Wall Street Journal ran an article that discussed this new thing called “the MP3″ and how some computer-literate kids were really gravitating to its possibilities, trading song files—illegally, of course—over the internet. The story noted that record industry was watching the situation, but they had plans to make the MP3 obsolete.

They didn’t like that it was an unprotected format and fear not, they would figure out something better, thanks to partners like Microsoft. Besides, they figured, MP3s would never catch on because if the record industry and companies like Microsoft didn’t push them, the consumer wouldn’t adopt them. 

Here’s a quote from the chief technologist at the FCC: “The consumer is going to eat what he’s given.” Oh, really? How did that turn out for you?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37434 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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