Home > Articles > M&M > A History of the Digital Music Revolution - Introduction




Compiled by the Staff of Boston Beats


e are living through an amazing period of technological development.  Just look around yourself as you read this:  email, the Internet, MP3’s, and the computer itself, have all exploded into our lives in recent years.   And there are more revolutionary changes to come; technologies so pervasive that you will literally not be able remember how you were able to live without them—that is, how you’re living right now.


Looking back, many of the greatest inventions and moments of discovery go virtually unnoticed in their time, their significance not yet understood by the greater public.  More recently, technological advances seem to be happening so fast that many fail to remember just how recently we lived without them.  But the story itself—just the facts of what happened and when—becomes an amazing narrative in the context of the lives we are living now.


To retell the story, Boston Beats has compiled a timeline of the most significant events leading up to and marking the Digital Music Revolution.  This history is the sum of the histories of recorded music, the computer, the Internet, and most recently of the explosion in popularity of (and legal battles over) new technologies like the MP3 and peer-to-peer file sharing.  The patterns of history have lessons for the future.  The challenge is extracting those lessons, and recognizing that history is being made around us every day.


The point?  Look around:  the ride is getting faster.




PART I:  The Dark Ages:  When Time Stood Still

PART II:  Dawn of the Computer Age

PART III:  Dawn of the Internet

PART IV:  The Rise of (and Battle Over) the MP3

PART V:  Life After Napster


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