How Music Got Free

If you have ever wondered how pirated music went mainstream and got onto all of your friends phones then How Music Got Free (2015) by Stephen Witt will be a great read.

Witt interleaves the story of Doug Morris, a highly successful music industry executive with Karlheinz Brandenburg and the Fraunhofer team who created MP3s and Dell Glover, a ‘scene’ member who pirated thousands of pre-release albums. Through them Apple’s role, Napster and Bittorrent are also described.

The story itself is really interesting and Witt does a superb job of combining it all. In terms of non-fiction style it’s up there with Simon Winchester and Michael Lewis in the way it provides multiple narratives that combine to provide a fine picture of how mp3s altered the music industry.


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