Not too long ago, a college student created a computer program that would change the world. This computer program is called Napster, and it has been terrorizing the music industry since it's conception in August of 1999. Napster is an internet program used to download mainly copyrighted songs. Napster calls it trading, but the record companies and artists call it stealing.
Before the creation of Napster, people had to drive out to the record stores to buy their favorite albums. Many of these cds had only one or two good songs, and the rest was just filler music. If a person did not want to buy the cd, they could record it onto tape, but the sound quality never came out as good as the origional. One day, all that suddenly changed. During 1997, college students with little money discovered a file format that allowed them to compress the size of an audio recording, without sacrificing quality.
This format is called MP3, which stands for ISO-MPEG Audio Layer-3. The MP3 format was first created in 1987 by an engineering firm called FraunhoferIIS. Back then, MP3's took forever to make. Now, they can quickly be made within minutes. The creation of MP3 provided a practical way to trade music from one friend to another.
The re-discovery of the MP3 format was the first step in the birth of Napster. Prior to Napster, the only way you could get MP3 files were through friends or getting them off the internet. Downloading songs off of the Internet was not much of an option though. They were available, but MP3's were very hard to find. Most of the MP3's found were not anything that people were wanting to download. Basically, the only songs that could be found were uncopyrighted ones. These uncopyrighted songs were...