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Radio Survivor

On July 14, 1995 the file exten­sion .MP3 was cho­sen and set in place for an audio for­mat that would go on to change music. Artist, schol­ar and cura­tor John Kan­nen­berg marks the 25th anniver­sary of this event with an online exhib­it, MP3 @ 25: The Anniver­sary Exhi­bi­tion” at his Muse­um of Portable Sound.

John joins this episode to explain why it’s impor­tant to observe this anniver­sary, and to recount some of the mile­stones in MP3’s his­to­ry. From the some­what apoc­ryphal sto­ry of Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Din­er” as the first MP3, to the intro­duc­tion of the iPod, he helps us under­stand the role of MP3 in deliv­er­ing us into the ful­ly dig­i­tal music uni­verse we now inhabit.

We also dive into his sin­gu­lar muse­um, which exists on a sin­gle iPhone 4s, with a print­ed cat­a­log to guide the vis­i­tor. Because of COVID-19 John is now avail­able to pro­vide guid­ed online tours of the many sound arti­facts that Muse­um of Portable Sound has in its archives. Either way, it’s about expe­ri­enc­ing sound direct­ly and pure­ly, with­out dis­trac­tion. (And we are here for the love of Radio and Sound.)