I Want My Mp3

The music industry finally gets the message and goes with the flow--on one condition

After months of fear, loathing and litigation, the music and consumer-electronics industries have decided to try to make beautiful music together. Last week the Secure Digital Music Initiative--a coalition of 100 music, electronics and high-tech companies--announced that it was provisionally blessing a controversial music format known as MP3.

MP3, in case you've lost your abbreviations handbook, is a compression scheme that allows the digital music in CDs to be shrunk to a tenth its size and still sound great. MP3 songs are small enough to be traded online, and they are by the millions--to the consternation of record companies, which fear...

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