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ECT News Community   »   MacNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: MP3 Inventor Could've Been a Contender

Re: MP3 Inventor Could've Been a Contender
Posted by: Eleanor Mayne 2006-04-19 07:23:36
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The man who nearly invented the iPod two decades ago let it slip through his fingers along with a fortune worth millions. British inventor Kane Kramer came up with the world's first MP3 player in 1979, a device remarkably similar in appearance to the now ubiquitous music players. A staggering 42 million iPods have been sold since it was launched in 2001, bringing its maker, Apple Computer, an estimated US$9.2 billion. There is no doubt that had Kramer hung on to his invention, he would now be a millionaire several times over. Instead, he runs a furniture shop.

Re: MP3 Inventor Could've Been a Contender
Posted by: anomalous 2006-04-19 07:33:01 In reply to: Eleanor Mayne
Obviously Kramer can't be named inventor of an MP3 player - since "all" he thought about was a digital music player. Granted, he was early, but still.
MP3 is a format for music compression thought up by the science guys over at the German Fraunhofer Institute in the early nineties.
It's wrong to credit him as "MP3 Inventor". All in all, in the seventies he would've more likely compete with Sony's Walkman. They used tape and not chips - which means that Kramer's IXI would always be more expensive.
Even now, almost thirty years later, flash-only players are far more costly than harddrive based ones.
Even if the cards had been dealt differently, I seriously doubt he would ever have made a living of his invention.

Re: MP3 Inventor Could've Been a Contender
Posted by: freak_in_peki 2006-04-20 19:15:32 In reply to: anomalous
Thanks, anomalous! I was thinking the same thing. MP3 is not a generic term for digital music. It seems that he only patented a portable digital music player because digital music was playing well before '79.
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