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DJs of the World



 Moore Mutterings

Mike Moore - DJzone staff writer

Greetings One and all,

This month I'm going to talk about MP3, confused? Probably even more so by the end of this. For those of you with computers, and spending time zapping around the world wide web, you will probably have come across MP3, and for those of you who haven't, I will try to explain.

First, the basics, your standard CD or Mini disc holds about 74 minutes of music or 650 megabytes of digital information, what if you could compress this to about 1/12th of the size, well that is what MP3 does. Although I knew of it, I hadn't really looked at it in any depth, until now. There I was trundling around my favourite sites, one of which is the American on line webzine for DJ's, DJ Zone, and what a lovely write up on our own Shownite, one of this months articles was about MP3. It appears that a lot of big names in music like David Bowie, PIL etc. are now releasing songs free of charge over the internet in MP3 format.

Well I just had to have a look, first I needed the software, that was the easy bit, the player, the decoder, the encoder and the fancy trimmings, then following the links found some music, big names (Beach Boys, Taylor Dayne etc.) and up and coming unknowns ( the stars of tomorrow?) one such band The Cocky Sticks (please rearrange into a well known phrase or saying) which according to the write up are quite well known in the New York club scene for their X rated songs, well I just had to download "I'm A Catholic Girl Of Course I Swallow".

Now A Techie bit, a 4 minute song is about 44 megs in size and with a connection speed of 3.2 Kilobytes would have taken about 2 / 3 hours to download, but in MP3 format, 22 minutes. 22 minutes at 0.8 pence (1cent US) per minute = 17.6 pence (25 cents US) for a whole song, and if you don't like it, delete it. (Editor's note: There is a per minute telephone charge for the Internet in the UK)

Other advantages are, you can record your own music on to your computer, save and playback in MP3 format, burn your own CD's or Mini discs (subject to the legal bits), and not lose any quality of sound. I'am personally looking at recording my old vinyl on to the computer cleaning it up to get rid of the hiss, pops and crackles and saving as MP3.

I worked it out that if CD players could read MP3, you could get about 14.8 hours of music on one CD. This now leads us into the interesting question, with Mini Disc and DVD, are we looking at the demise of the CD as we know it, well it's been around for more than 20 years, you tell me.

A humble opinion is with more people on the web and not necessarily with a computer, you can now link your TV to the internet, I think that this or a yet to be invented format will take over sooner or later. Most of us know that you can run a disco from a computer now, MP3 will make that easier. How about running disco's over the internet, people can sit indoors log on to your site and you sit in your "studio" with all your music on hard disc, a camera so they can see you, and you do the biz, they can ask for requests by typing them in and sending to you, it comes up on your screen, you select it, announce that this is for Fred and Gertrude and hit play, not really any different to what we do now, except we don't have to leave home and we can be in bed within ten minutes of finishing, have a drink and not worry about being stopped on the way home. It could even be possible to run more than one disco in an evening. Now I hear a question being shouted from the multitudes, what about payment, even easier, when they enter your site, they have to enter a credit / debit card number which will automatically remove a pre determined amount in sterling, euro's, dollars etc. straight to your bank account. If you think all this is a bit far fetched, the technology exists NOW, the wife reckons "the radio already does this", but then she is the wife.

Well that's about it for now





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