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Introduction

Introduction

Remember the first time you heard about MP3 files? You could take a regular old CD, like The Essential Johnny Cash or an album of Strauss violin concertos played by Sarah Chang, put it in your computer's CD drive, and convert all your favorite songs into the MP3 format. And do you recall your delight when you learned that those MP3 files took up one-tenth of the space it would take to copy the CD audio files directly to your hard drive? You could leave the CD at home and rock out at your desk with your growing collection of freshly "ripped" MP3s (which sounded almost as good as the original CD, come to think of it).

Having a folder stuffed with tunes on your computer made working at it more enjoyable, but humans are always on the go. By 1998, the first portable MP3 players began to trickle onto store shelves, many offering 32 big, roomy megabytes (MB) of memory to store song files transferred from the computer.

Of course, most people wanted more than 30 minutes of music at a time. So, later MP3 players came with more room for music, even if they were a little bigger and a little bulkier.

Then came the iPod.

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