Sonic Boom: Napster, MP3, and the New Pioneers of Music

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Perseus Pub., 2001 - Business & Economics - 205 pages
2 Reviews
Digital compression technologies such as MP3 and Napster are having an explosive impact on the way music is distributed. Every day, hundreds of thousands of music files are searched for, shared, recorded, and listened to by computer and Web users-all free of charge. It's a boon for consumers and a disaster for record companies, and the end result can be nothing less than a cultural and economic transformation.Sonic Boom is a fascinating narrative of the controversy that's sending shock waves through the music industry. It's the story of musicians such as the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, who are reaching fans without record company support; entrepreneurs who are distributing MP3 files without licensing agreements; and record-industry executives who are fighting for their business at every turn. It reveals how, even as the star-maker machinery of record companies remains in the hands of the old guard, innovators are finding ways to outsmart it. Peopled with a sensational cast of characters that includes rock stars, music moguls, teenagers, and Internet entrepreneurs, Sonic Boom exposes the recording industry's plight as a fascinating microcosm of the vast cultural, ethical, and legal issues that all industries face in the information age.

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Review: Sonic Boom: Napster, Mp3, And The New Pioneers Of Music

User Review  - Heather Clabo - Goodreads

Interesting. Read full review

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User Review  - rcgibson - LibraryThing

Interesting history of the music industry and the challenges they faced during the start of the Napster boom. Read full review


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About the author (2001)

Eliot Van Buskirk (San Francisco, CA) is the Technology Editor of, a division of CNET Networks. Van Buskirk's MP3 Insider column is the longest-running single-writer column at, the largest online tech publication in the world. Winner of the Maggie Award for Best Online Column of 2003, MP3 Insider is regularly featured on,,, and Van Buskirk is frequently featured in the mainstream media as an authority on digital music, and has appeared on CNN, NPR, the BBC, CBS Evening News, "San Francisco Chronicle, Smart Money Magazine, USA Today, Time Magazine Online," and more.

John Alderman (San Francisco, CA) is a digital music expert, musician, and author. He has held editorial positions with such leading technology publications as "CNET, Wired News," and "" He has also written for "The Guardian,, Details, Mondo 2000," and "Yahoo Internet Life," and has spoken on the topic of digital media at conferences and in appearances on CNN, BBC, NPR, and others. His widely acclaimed book, "Sonic Boom: Napster, MP3, and the New Pioneers of Music," was a "New York Times" Notable Book of the Year for 2002.

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