Test Your Nerd Knowledge–Feb 15, 2022

Here’s a review of this week’s questions:

  1. What was the name of the file-sharing service, similar to Napster, that was sued in the Netherlands, Australia, and the U.S. in the early 2000’s?
  2. What is the difference between MP3 and M4A?
  3. What device was first introduced by Sony in 1982?

And here are the answers:

  1. KaZaA. After Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning unleashed Napster on the world in 1999, a slew of competitors jumped into the peer-to-peer file sharing game. After Metallica sued Napster in 2000, services like KaZaA (later Kazaa Media Desktop) jumped into the void. The company was sued for violating copyright laws in the Netherlands, Australia, and eventually the U.S., where individual file-sharers were forced to pay as much as $750 for each song illegally downloaded through KaZaA. By 2006, the company had gone “legit” by offering a “music store” similar to Apple Music, but the name was already too damaged to achieve success.
  2. Sound quality. MP3 is an acronym for MPEG audio Layer-3. MPEG is the acronym for Moving Picture Experts Group, which developed compression systems used for video data like DVD movies and HDTV broadcasts. The MP3 format is a compression system for music. M4A is a type of file that only supports the audio-only format. The main difference between MP3 and M4A is that MP3 has a low quality of audio as compared to the quality provided by M4A. The audio file size of the MP3 files is large, while M4A compresses the audio file with the same bit rate but in a smaller size.
  3. The CD player. Development of compact disc technology had begun many years before Sony introduced the CDP-101 on October 1, 1982. Although there are numerous “inventors” of the medium, the most attributed inventor is James Russell, who in 1965 sketched the idea on a piece of paper – a system to replace vinyl records. Russell envisioned a system that could record and replay sounds without any physical contact between parts. It was a merger and adaptation of many different technologies including the laser, digital recording and optical disc technology. ABBA’s album “Visitors” was the first ever released on the new technology.