Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “MP3: The Meaning of a Format” as Want to Read:
MP3: The Meaning of a ...
Jonathan Sterne
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

MP3: The Meaning of a Format

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  7 reviews
MP3: The Meaning of a Format recounts the hundred-year history of the world's most common format for recorded audio. Understanding the historical meaning of the MP3 format entails rethinking the place of digital technologies in the larger universe of twentieth-century communication history, from hearing research conducted by the telephone industry in the 1910s, through the ...more
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Duke University Press Books (first published July 2nd 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about MP3, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about MP3

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 230)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Won on Goodreads in May 2012.

A few pages into the book and I can already tell that this book will be terrible to read. The topic is all over the place. One paragraph is about one thing and then the next is talking about something completely different without much of a transfer.

The small print and very long paragraphs don't help it any but that may be due to it being an uncorrected proof. Usually in technical books the jargon is the stumbling point in the writing and reading. Amazingly the jarg
Though I went into this book expecting it to be something quite different, I really enjoyed the way that Sterne constructed the history of MP3s by looking WAY back into the early history of auditory technologies. Moreover, I think his theoretical intervention--the idea that privileging format rather than material when studying media--is an important one that comes at exactly the right time. Overall, his is a thorough and often entertaining account of the various parties and circumstances that go ...more
Kevin Krein
coming off of reading r.kelly's autobiography right before opening this, the shift in.....reading/comprehension levels was difficult. an interesting book that tracks the technology of the mp3 way back to the early days of the telephone industry and how they have become the most widely used audio format, even though most of the time, they sound terrible.
This is one of the best music/sound/media books I have read. I recommend it to everyone interested in the history of sound recording and the MP3. Definitely not just for academics (but not, of course, an easy read).
Duke Press
“Rigorous and quietly philosophical, MP3 situates this world-conquering format in a broader context than the familiar stories of college kids downloading wild and the death of the recording industry. . . . Sterne’s fascination with the MP3 and its possibilities yields a book that is, really, a history of auditory culture’s startling attempts to beam sound across great distances. . . . Sterne’s MP3 is an important work in various academic fields, but his probing questions about the future of digi ...more
This was a pretty boring book. Though there is a ton of detail and history of the MP3 and the general evolution of digital audio, it still seems like a surface level analysis. Though Stearne describes this work as a genealogy, it lacks the depth I would expect. It's no revelation these days to say that certain ideologies and corporate/capital interests influence the way things are produced in the world. What is severely lacking in this book is any sort of analysis of how the MP3 or digital audio ...more
Hard to read and hard to understand.

Nassim marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2015
Ameli marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2015
Chelsea Gunn
Chelsea Gunn marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2015
Emma marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2015
B marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2015
Sasha marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2015
Grassy Golgotha
Grassy Golgotha marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2015
Jorge marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2015
Jesse Baer
Jesse Baer marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2015
Leonore marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2015
David Chapman
David Chapman marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
Nick marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
Alex marked it as to-read
Jan 22, 2015
Eryn marked it as to-read
Jan 15, 2015
Ben marked it as to-read
Jan 06, 2015
David Nemeth
David Nemeth marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times
  • No Sense of Place: The Electronic Media on Social Behavior
  • The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2)
  • Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership
  • Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity
  • The Printing Press as an Agent of Change
  • The Innovator's Cookbook: Essentials for Inventing What Is Next
  • From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism
  • The Woman Reader
  • Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age
  • The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas
  • The Complete Works of Nellie Bly: Ten Days in a Mad-House, Around the World in Seventy-Two Days
  • Paper: An Elegy
  • Punk Rock: An Oral History
  • Turing: Pioneer of the Information Age
  • Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age is Revolutionizing Life, Business, and Society
  • Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies: The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to al-Qaeda
  • Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression
The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction The Sound Studies Reader Meta-Analysis in Stata: An Updated Collection from the Stata Journal Academic Labor: The Politics of Academic Labor in Communication Studies Music and Technoculture

Share This Book