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Author Koren Stembridge
Air Date 5/5/2000

MP3s Transcript

Here’s Koren Stembridge on the Internet.

Last Wednesday evening, I got my first introduction to MP3s. Don’t worry, I’ll explain. By 7:45 p.m., the only patrons left in the building were three of my all-time favorite teenagers Sarah, Amanda, and Joe. The kids were winding down from an evening of heavy research each was plugged into an Internet terminal, working intently. Suddenly Sarah blurted out: “This is it you guys!” The three of them scrunched together, trying to share the one set of headphones.

“Hey guys,” I said, “pop out those headphones and you can all listen” Sarah pulled the headphone jack and into the quiet library spilled the music of Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon”–from the new Volkswagon commercial.

Brief sound clip from the Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon.”

Cool ad, Cool music. They’d gone right to the source–the Volkswagen website where they watched the ad, but the sound quality was so bad they could barely hear the music. So Sarah started searching for an MP3. “Ok, what’s an MP3?” I asked. I’m used to playing the luddite to these kids and they’re very patient with me.

As it turns out, MP3s are compressed audio files. You get them on the Internet and download them to your computer. The file compression allows you to download quickly, and the files take up less space on your hard drive.

For around $200 you can buy an MP3 Player a sort of a walk-man-like device. You transfer MP3 files from your computer to the portable player, and you’ve got music to go. The players are small and light and come in hot colors, and because the recordings are digital, you won’t get any skips while you jog. You get tired of the music, just replace it with new songs.

Now, if you have teenagers, or nearly teenagers, this item is probably popping up on a birthday or other gift lists. But a word about copyright is in order. It would be illogical to assume that what you PAY for at the record store is FREE on the net. Some artists make specific songs available for free often to convince you to buy their CDs. But illegal sites abound, so please encourage kids to support their favorite artists by respecting their copyrights!

Posted in Music