Edison: MP3 What??? 120 Years Ago Today...
- From: Michael Hart <hart@[redacted]>
- Subject: Edison: MP3 What??? 120 Years Ago Today...
- Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 16:44:15 -0800 (PST)
Edison Didn't Originally Intend To Invent Music Players
120 years ago today, Edison announced the invention of:
a sort of photograph for sound.
However, he did not really intend it to play music, but
rather as an office tool to replace stenographers, some
early secretaries who wrote everything down by hand.
However, the phonograph was not going over very well so
Edison, Inc. came up with the idea of play some marches
by John Philip Sousa to get people used to it.
It turned out that the musical entertainment aspects of
the phonograph outweighed the office equipment aspects,
and the music recording business was born.
The Moral of the Story:
You never know what you have invented, until the people
out there in the "real" world have had their say.
I think this is only too true of eMail, eBooks, eRef or
any of the other inventions we are still re-inventing.
Who would have guessed 20 years ago that spam should be
the most prevalent type of email, even years after laws
were passed against spammers?
You just never know. . .that's the moral of this story.
What libraries and librarians will become in this world
of electronic books, libraries, databases, Google, etc.
is very likely to have little to do with intentions and
purposes of the inventions we are creating today.
We can however, based on recent legislation and courts'
decisions, be relatively sure that copyrights will take
over the vast majority of the electronic media and that
we will have to "pay per view" to see anything, but the
tiny fraction called "The Public Domain."
"The Information Age. . .For Whom?" will be an obvious,
all TOO obvious, question to those a century from now.
Michael S. Hart