Sonic Boom by John Alderman
Napster, MP3, and the New Pioneers of Music

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Sonic Boom is a fascinating narrative of the controversy that's sending shock waves through the music industry. It reveals how even as the star-maker machinery of record companies remains in the hands of the old guard, innovators are finding ways to route around it. Part industry exposé and part music history, Sonic Boom presents a candid and entertaining account of how digital compression technologies such as MP3 have brought out the best and worst in artists and consumers alike, and how the end result can be nothing less than a cultural and economic transformation. Peopled with a sensational cast of characters that includes rock stars, music moguls, teenagers, and Internet entrepreneurs, Sonic Boom exposes the recording industry's plight as a fascinating microcosm of the vast cultural, ethical, and legal issues that all industries face in the information age.

About John Alderman

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John Alderman has worked in the trenches of the on-line revolution since the launch of HotWired, the world's first commercial Web site. As the culture editor for Wired News, Alderman began covering the explosion of on-line music just as the MP3 phenomenon gathered steam. He has written for Wired, Details, Salon, I.D., and Mondo 2000, and is a frequent speaker on the subject of new media.
Published August 1, 2001 by Basic Books. 224 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Arts & Photography, Computers & Technology, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Alderman, a journalist with Wired and Mondo 2000 on his résumé, ably explains the controversy, from the encoding algorithms used by early online music pioneers, the legal battle between the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Napster ("Being essentially a legal group, RIAA's co...

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