Invented by : Karlheinz Brandenburg
Invented in year : 1989

MP3 stands for MPEG Audio Layer III. It is a standard for audio compression that makes any music file smaller with little or no loss of sound quality. MP3 is part of MPEG, an acronym for Motion Pictures Expert Group, a family of standards for displaying video and audio using lossy compression. MPEG Layer III or MP3 involves only audio compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio storage, as well as a de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on digital audio players.

Karlheinz Brandenburg along with Bernhard Grill, Karl-Heinz Brandenburg, Thomas Sporer, Bernd Kurten, and Ernst Eberlein are known for the invention of mp3. The German company Fraunhofer-Gesellshaft developed MP3 technology under a project named EUREKA project EU147, Digital Audio Broadcasting. It now licenses the patent rights to the audio compression technology - United States Patent 5,579,430 for a "digital encoding process". The inventors named on the MP3 patent are Bernhard Grill, Karl-Heinz Brandenburg, Thomas Sporer, Bernd Kurten, and Ernst Eberlein.

MP3 was invented in 1989 in Erlangen, Germany. In the late 1980s, together with his team at the Fraunhofer Institute Integrated Circuits at Erlangen, Germany, he invented the MP3 compression of complex sound signals, which provides listeners with high quality music at low bit rates. Sponsored by a small scale German government project, the research was originally intended to find a way to provide convenient transmission of digital audio via narrow-band telephone lines at a time when surfing the internet was bottle-necked by analogue modems.

Brandenburg a specialist in mathematics and electronics was born in June 20, 1954 He earned his diploma degrees in electro technology and mathematics as well as his PhD at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in 1980, 1982 and 1989, respectively. Karlheinz Brandenburg had been trying to see how small he could pack music since 1977. It all started when Brandenburg's doctoral supervisor was fiddling with the idea of feeding music down a phone line. But the patent examiner in Munich told him it couldn't be done. The German professor was now even more determined and he immediately went looking for a doctoral student capable of proving that it could be done. And that student was Karlheinz Brandenburg.

Development in the Invention of MP3

In the early 1990s, Frauenhofer developed the first, however, unsuccessful MP3 player. In 1997, developer Tomislav Uzelac of Advanced Multimedia Products invented the AMP MP3 Playback Engine, the first successful MP3 player. Two university students, Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev ported AMP to Windows and created Winamp. In 1998, Winamp became a free MP3 music player boosting the success of MP3. No licensing fees are required to use an MP3 player. In 1999 a record company called SubPop became the first to distribute music tracks using the MP3 format.

Role of the Invention of MP3 in the Improvement Of Human Life
  • Because MP3 compresses files to a manageable size, you can take it either on a portable or car player.
  • It revolutionised the music industry as MP3 was starting to be used in more than one way.
  • It's invention has lead to further research into music decoding, encoding, mixing etc.
  • It reduces distribution & production cost as Companies can reduc costs on physical media such as CDs or cassettes.
  • Artist Promotions has become more easy. Record companies can simply create a web site for the artist and allow sample downloads of the artist.
  • Customers can buy and start downloading their favourite tracks straight away from artist or record company web sites.
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