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What Was the Very First MP3 You Downloaded? 423

Anonymous Coward asks: "I was wondering whether people remember the very first MP3 file they ever downloaded. For me it was Cher's 1998 single 'Believe.' I was at work and, after reading an article about MP3s on CNET, I figured I'd give it a try. I think it's strange that I remember it so clearly. I mean, it's not like it was a first kiss or anything. I started out using WS FTP LE and Winamp. 1000s of MP3s later, WS FTP LE is a distant memory but Winamp is still my player of choice. What about you?"
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What Was the Very First MP3 You Downloaded?

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  • Very first MP3 I had : Village People - YMCA.

    Snirf ... but why ???

    I wasn't even able to play it at full bitrate and in stereo on my poor 386.

    • Mine was Will Smith's - Men in Black song. I was blown away with the amount of quality audio that I got with just a couple 100k of the song. Although, I really hated that song, I still listened to it over and over again. I was really impressed. But eventually my ears got trained to pick out all the artifacts and stuff, and now I am not impressed with anything branded MP3 anymore. OGG or FLAC for me.
    • by einTier ( 33752 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @02:50PM (#8000452)
      I can't remember the first I personally downloaded, but I do remember the first I heard.

      I was working at an ISP, in late 1996. A friend ushered me into a backroom where he had set up a computer with winamp, and showed me what he had just downloaded -- Alice in Chains' Man in the Box.

      I really didn't comprehend what I was seeing. It didn't make much sense to me. I owned the CD, and I could easily listen to it on a computer, and four megabytes was a huge amount of space back then. The drive I had in my computer could have held maybe a hundred MP3s before being filled. I couldn't put it on a floppy, and CD burners weren't common yet. The only way to transfer these things was with a fast connection, like the one the office had and I didn't. Files were hard to find. To say I was underwhelmed was putting it mildly.

      All that changed within a year. I ran several web based MP3 sites, and I even got a letter from the RIAA for one of my sites because it was hosting nearly two gigs of Tori Amos mp3s, came up first in altavista for "MP3 AND Tori Amos", and was doing about 10 GB in traffic a day. The letter is almost comical today, because they really didn't know the legality then and didn't know how big MP3s would become. I was lucky. Had I done it just a year later, I probably would have been sued.

      If anyone ever downloaded mp3s from or, just wanted to say thanks for the memories!

  • Was Chemicals Between Us from Bush. I was all of 14 years old, just discovering napster.
    • napster, hah.
      spin doctors - two princes

      found it lying around on one (*krhm*) warez ftp 'back in the day' in a .zip .. took a while to find a player (winplay3, none other!) and shortly afterwards being VERY impressed by the audio quality and small size(and thinking that 'this is going to be big' and 'I want more of these' - and surely enough I would leech any mp3 I got my hands on and then thinking that 1 cdr, which were starting to get affordable, full of mp3's is a shitload of them).
    • Chemicals Between Us from Bush.

      See? Even back when he was singing, before he went into politics, he was laying the groundwork to go after Iraq's oil.

  • by alastairm ( 99768 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @05:50AM (#7996316)
    For me it was Cher's 1998 single 'Believe.'

    Well I think we can all see why you don't want to reveal your identity.
  • by KDan ( 90353 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @05:52AM (#7996325) Homepage
    No sir! I didn't! Never! I don't even know what they are! What's an mp3 anyway? Huh? Why you bringing the subject up? Maybe YOU have something to hide, huh? huh? huh?

    *shifty eyes*

    • by Molina the Bofh ( 99621 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @07:58AM (#7996751) Homepage
      > What's an mp3 anyway?

      MP3 is a loathable format created by communists in order to disrupt economics. Those evil terrorists usually approach innocent kids with crap speak like "information wants to be free".

      DON'T FALL INTO THIS TRAP. Chances are if you ever try one MP3, you'll become addicted and need more and more. Countless downloads, and sleepless nights are to come. Not to talk on spending loads of cash for new HD's, and faster broadband. Even worse, you may fall to the perils of file sharing, in wich a bad hacker will download and destroy all your files.

      It's often said that MP3s are a gateway file. Once MP3s are not enough, people usually want stronger files, like .AVI, .MPEG.
    • What's an mp3 anyway?

      I think he means what's the first picture from the 3rd series of Monty Python you downloaded. You know, Monty Python 3rd series pictures are really popular nowadays.

  • Warren G - Regulate (Score:2, Interesting)

    by beat.bolli ( 126492 ) least according to the time stamp. Great double bass drum!

    But I don't download that much, most of what I listen to I ripped from my own CDs.

    • It was a cold black night... lol

      This was my third mp3.. strange

      My first was a punk band called Refused. The song was "Rather Be Dead"... they're still my favorite band.. even though they broke up :(
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16, 2004 @05:57AM (#7996345)
    I remember driving home and hearing a song on the radio. I just got a dial-up account a couple of days before that and as far as I can remember, there weren't any p2p networks back then. So, after searching the web for hours (using HotBot), I finally managed to find the file.

    Ironically, the song went something like "If you buy this record your life will be better..." and I wasn't among the buyers. Must be the reason why higschool sucked so much. ;)
  • Not music at all (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ctr2sprt ( 574731 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @06:01AM (#7996356)
    I first was exposed to MP3s on my college's LAN. This was back when I ran OS/2, so I think my first player was actually a port of mpg123. (Later there came a Winamp clone that was slightly better.) But all my first MP3s were not actually music. At the time I was much more into classical music and very strange genres, which weren't really available. But there were lots of clips from Dennis Leary, Chris Rock, and other comedians. So that's what I started with. The music came later, when MP3s were popular enough that other people on the network got music I actually liked. Eventually I started listening to the other stuff too, just because it was so easy, and found I liked a lot of it.

    I probably had a P-133. My roommate had a P2-266 of which I was extremely jealous. Of course, I graduated with a P3-450 and he graduated with a P2-266, so I suppose I had the last laugh.

  • Sash! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DiSKiLLeR ( 17651 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @06:01AM (#7996357) Homepage Journal
    For me, it was Sash - Encore Un Fios!

    I still love the song.

    This was back in 1997 i think??. I had a Cyrix P166+ running Windows NT. The poor machine STRUGGLED like hell, using 50 to 60% cpu. (apparently because the cpu had a very bad maths co processor, and decoding an mp3 uses alot of floating point math, so it was killing the cpu).

    It also caused it to crash regularly. I found underclocking my cpu to 150mhz fixed the problem.

    But i still have that original mp3 that a friend sent me, burnt to CD-R :)

    I don't use winamp anymore, i use itunes. And i use limewire. I think the file was sent to me over irc (dcc) originally.

    • Heh, for me it also was Sash!, but the single Equador. It did not come from the internet, but from a local BBS on which MP3s where the new big thing. Even tough I got my first internet account in late 1994 I still continued to connect to BBS as late as 1998, because back then my internet subscription was billed on a hourly late, on top of the hourly rates we have to pay on local phone calls here in Belgium, while most BBS's didn't require any sort of subscription. A few months later the first cheap flat-r
    • If you had it encoded as mp2 it might have sounded a bit worse and been a larger file (higher bitrate necessary), but I think it would have used less CPU. :-)
  • I totally can't remember, because I don't download many MP3's. I prefer to rip them from CD myself.

    The hardest to find was "1970's Dictator Chic - Jacknife Lee" which is used in a rather good advert by out local phone monopoly. I wasn't going to buy a CD for just one song (assuming I could have found it for sale) and it wasn't in the library. So I waited probably more than a year, and eventually it turned up. Took me several tries before I could finally download it because the one person who had it kept lo
  • by ezraekman ( 650090 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @06:18AM (#7996419) Homepage

    I also began with WS-FTP and Winamp, though I'm not using either anymore. Many many moons ago, I was on an Underworld binge, and downloaded an Underworld mix of a Chemical Brothers song. A week later, I owned the single. I still do this with music, and now, I'm also downloading AVIs and MPEGs of interesting looking movies that I don't particularly relish paying a rental fee just to see if I like them. But if I do, I'll own the DVD shortly. To me, the archive and legitimacy is worth the cash.

    Hey! Media industry moguls! Pay attention! I'm your target market. I try. If I like, I buy. Go ahead; sue me for sampling what I like for free via P2P, instead of what you think I should like for free, via the radio. I'll keep "sampling", but this time I'll keep what I download, and purchase no more. It's your call.

  • My First Time... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Retribution ( 35798 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @06:22AM (#7996431) Journal
    I think I lost my MP3 virginity to EMF - Unbelievable. Nothing special about it, just the first download that succeeded. The file was full of those skips and bleep-blip sounds that plagued the early days of MP3s. And yes, after some testing of different players for about an hour or two, I settled on Winamp. Still use Winamp now, though I'm also enjoying iTunes.

    Now, so many years down the road, and surprisingly most of my music collection is legal. I think that's more a function of being employed as opposed to a poor college student, but it could be due to other factors as well.

    Here's an interesting perspective for you, though... When you look at the technology we were using in 1997 (I got my first MP3 in September of '97, I think... maybe October), I for one had a 3G hard drive. It was huge, and I was so proud. Now, in 2004, my laptop has 10 times that, and my desktop 30 times that. Also, DVD+/-Rs are becoming more popular, and they have about 10x the space of an old CD-R (I'm talking 640megs). Furthermore, these days I'm typically wired to a 100baseT network instead of a 10baseT, not to mention I'm on DSL as opposed to dialup when I'm at home. What am I getting at? Today, if you wanted to share and store uncompressed 44kHz stereo wave files, at least relative to the technology available now they are SMALLER than MP3s were back then. I can fit more wave files on my computer now than I could fit mp3s then, and I can download waves faster now than I could download mp3s then... It's all about perspective.

    Tell me that's not amusing, I dare ya. :)
  • back in 1993... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dario_moreno ( 263767 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @06:31AM (#7996444) Journal

    I remember someone in the Sun workstation room of my school playing a crappy version of the Star Wars theme ; we were all wondering where the fun was in that (since we all had that famous and when he said that the file was only a few ko (we had a 2Mo quota then) thanks to a new system he had found on xarchie...yes, mp3 !

    Then no mp3s until 1997 when I found a webpage on Dalida with a few songs (at 192 Kbps with excellent encoding !). I still have them since I have the originals.

    • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @11:57AM (#7998341)
      > I remember someone in the Sun workstation room of my school playing a crappy version of the Star Wars theme ; we were all wondering where the fun was in that (since we all had that famous and when he said that the file was only a few ko (we had a 2Mo quota then) thanks to a new system he had found on xarchie...yes, mp3 !

      w00t. Sun .au files!

      My first introduction "digital music" was also (and with some fun with xhost and .rhosts, we told Sally to pretend to enjoy herself by jumping to random machines in the lab, whereupon we walked away and watched hilarity ensue through a nearby window), followed up immediately by both parts of Negativland's "U2" parody.

      The ironic part is that I got the .au files (and later, the MP3s) of the Negativland tracks because you couldn't buy the U2 parody due to U2's label suing Negativland for copyright infringement []. That's right. RIAA's landsharks were suing people to PREVENT people from BUYING music. (Because, of course, it was music that they didn't control. So it's OK to sue people for producing it.) The only way to obtain the tracks in question was to digitize and pirate them.

      Wired [] also has an article on the mess.

      Eventually it all got settled, and the world has been able to download "the forbidden single" directly from the band's own website [] in a wide variety of formats, including (of course) MP3 for several years now.

    • Re:back in 1993... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hymie3 ( 187934 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @12:45PM (#7998954)!!! In 1993 there was this one guy who would sit in the back of the Sun lab and, uhm, look at pictures and, uhm, you know. Stuff.

      I took advantage of the world-writable /dev/audio and kludged together a shell script to play the au on all of the computers in the lab at the same time. (about five minutes after he walked into the lab)

      We never saw the man again.

      I FTP'd my mp3s back in 92-95. Didn't really start seeing them on web pages until about 96.

      Most of the MP3s I downloaded after the September That Never Ended were crappy, so I got rid of them.
  • Audiogalaxy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sklivvz ( 167003 ) * <`marco.cecconi' `at' `'> on Friday January 16, 2004 @06:32AM (#7996453) Homepage Journal
    I can't remember which MP3 I downloaded first, but I do remember having a great time with Audiogalaxy []. It was the best MP3 download system ever, since it let me queue up MP3s (many legal ones too!) via a Web interface, and the application would fetch this list and get it for me. In simple words, choose at home and have it done in the morning at work. At those times I only had V90 at home, but Fiber at work... :-)

    My band [] is an official contributor to Audiogalaxy, you can still get 3 songs for free []! Sorry for the shameless plug (do I smell karma burning? =)
    • Re:Audiogalaxy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by funkhauser ( 537592 ) <zmmay2.uky@edu> on Friday January 16, 2004 @10:34AM (#7997527) Homepage Journal
      Yes! Audiogalaxy was great. To this day, I haven't downloaded as many MP3s as I did with Audiogalaxy. I'd queue up songs in the computer lab at my high school and they'd be done by the time I got home. It has truly been lean times since the days of Audiogalaxy.
  • ...that you'd admit to downloading a Cher MP3.
  • ... it was probably one of these three:
    Doug Anthony AllStars - I want to spill the blood of a hippy.
    Pink Floyd - Wish you were here
    Jeff Buckly - Hallelujah
  • IUMA... the clip I remember (was one of the first three or so) was "A Halo Named Fred" and their song "Hat". This was at the corporate offices (read: hole in the wall) of Florida Internet, just *before* they opened. Later they got pretty big and were absorbed into the Verio. I think it was 1996 or so. If anybody remembers the date Flinet got started, that would be it.

    It's still a great song, reminiscent of early Violent Femmes.

    Of couse, I had been making MODs and tracking various stuff long before the

  • I Worked at a nature camp the summer before I first entered college, Lived in tents with power, was interesting, but before I Went there I didn't really listen to music much. Someone though had a tape from Family Values tour, which we watched alot for lack of much else to do there in our spare time. When I got back I found that my folks bought me a little Compaq Presario with a 333 Cyrix I belive it was, and 3 years of AOHell. Went online, reconnected to Dal.Net for the first time in months, joined #CableMP
    • Also my first downloaded MP3! on a 486DX2 50mhz with 12MB or RAM running in WinAMP with the Integer math 8-Bit Mono to actually get playing. And it was only a 128 encoded file. Ah, those were the days.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16, 2004 @07:20AM (#7996591)
    honestly, not trying to get +5 Funny here, but

    "My name is Lihnus Torvalds, and I pronounce Linux Lihnuhks"
    • You got that as an MP3? I had it as a .au.
      On the SPARCStation, you could play it with

      cat > /dev/audio

      I also had the sound of a cow mooing as a .au, so I made a cron job on a computer in the training room called "bovine" to play that sound at 30 minute intervals. Strangely enough, the trainers couldn't figure out which machine was mooing, nor how to stop it, but they all knew it was me who did it. I was amazed they couldn't make the logical leap from "mooing" to "only one of the machines in
  • The reason that I don't remember is that I couldn't listen to it. This was very early on in '96 or '97, and there still weren't any mp3 decoders for the Mac at the time. Thus, into the trash went the file (which surely would've come down via Hotline). Not too much later there were non-realtime decoders that could be used to convert mp3s into something easier to handle, like mp2. And eventually real mp3 players began to show up, and these files that were rapidly becoming popular finally became useful.

    At lea
    • The reason that I don't remember is that I couldn't listen to it. This was very early on in '96 or '97, and there still weren't any mp3 decoders for the Mac at the time.

      Hate to break it to you after you trashed your MP3s, but SoundAPP PPC was released April 1, 1996 []. It would've been able to play the songs (if you had at least a PowerPC) :-).

  • My first was 'Girld Just Wanna Have Fun' by Cyndi Lauper, again back in '98. It was my first year at Uni, large amounts of bandwidth and, back then at least, loads of FTP sites with MP3s -- I still have a gFTP setup with a mp3:mp3 user from those days.

    Disclaimer: I have never downloaded music and anyone that says so is lying!
  • Wasn't even music. I was trying to find Abbot & Costello's Who's on First routine. I was into collecting MIDI and WAV files at the time, and saw something about a new WAV compression format called MP3. The article had a sample of a 300 second audio file which was only 600kb, drastically better than any wav file I had at the time. The quality was pretty good too, so from that moment on, I was hooked.

    Sometime after that, I heard of a program called Napster that let you download mp3's of songs, and
  • What was the first mp1 or mp2 you downloaded? :-)

    I think mine was the X-files Theme (the extended version). Actually I don't think I had another mp2. I only remember it sounded pretty bad, and was pretty large, but I could play it on my 486 without too much stuttering. They didn't require as much CPU power to decode as those godly mp3's, although the 486 still had problems keeping up in decoding it in real-time. :-) Multitasking with anything else was unthinkable.

    Did mp1's exist too for a while? Maybe som
  • ...I remember it so clearly. I mean, it's not like it was a first kiss or anything...

    Don't deny it, like everyone else here you are a nerd. Of course downloading your first mp3 on p2p was as important as your first kiss. Back in Dec 1999 when "Believe" came out only us cool people even new what p2p and mp3 were. Being able to "listen to mp3s we had leached from p2p on our RH5.1 boxen running the experimental gnome-0.3 that came on the cd-iso" was what set us ahead of the rest that christmas.

    On another a

  • It was probably something by Electrostatic off of My MP3 collection comes from my CD collection and, plus a few other scattered sources (a bunch of new stuff from 8bitpeoples [] for example - The AxelF collection is superb.).

    Of course, I was downloading MODs well before then. Can't imagine what the first one was. Something starting with a number probably since I'm guessing I found an FTP archive and typed mget *.

  • by Kidbro ( 80868 )
    I'm quite sure it was 1994, but it could have been 93 or 95 too (my most active BBS days)

    It was definately not something that was pirated off a CD. Rather, the sysop of one of the local Amiga BBSs introduced a number of mp3s as an alternative to the .mod format which was dominating the Amiga music scene. This essentially means they contained music someone had produced on his Amiga and distributed in much the same way demos were distributed - primarily to show off that they were cool :)
  • I was at college, and happened upon a thread discussing MP3s, where to get them, etc.

    That song was the first one we could get to.
  • I downloaded it to try out mp3s (I was really looking for "Piano In The Dark" by Brenda Russell and Joe Esposito, but I couldn't find it).

    That's when I discovered that my 16-bit Sound Blaster Pro 2 card was really only 8-bit sound, because I noticed that my laptop (which had a true 16-bit card) sounded FAR better than my desktop machine. I hadn't used my desktop's sound card for anything of value before, so I never noticed how bad it sounded.

    (This was 1999. Being in college and grad school, I didn't hav
  • 1996 or 1997, it was "Ready to Go" by Republica... and yes, I had the CD already, thank you very much. By summer I had an entire CD-R of MP3s. Can you believe it? (aside: that CD-R cost me $5 in a lot of 25... ouch)

    It was funny because my suitemate showed it to me and I thought "This is cool, but why would anybody want to do this for CDs that they own already?", what with my brand new 2 gig Maxtor drive (on sale for the low low price of $299), I couldn't really imagine storing much music.

    Several hundr
  • The beatles - she loves you
    downloaded from a website. The file was called 04,mp3 and loopedhalfway through, wow that was a long time ago, i still have that file on my harddisk having transcended about 6 harddisks happy days :-)
  • I had never heard of mp3s until Lars Ulrich from Metallica made me aware that I could download their studio albums for free.

    (I'm kidding of course)
  • Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails to prove to my girlfriend everything existed on the net, tried out this new fanglked thing called napster and got it as it was an unavailable song at the time.

    • <AOL>Me too.</AOL>
      This was back in 97. I think I found it using Scour (back when scour was just a list of spidered SMB shares) or some kind of web-based search (*). I used the Fraunhofer MP3 player because Winamp was too slow on my p-133 with Win95.

      (*) Anyone else remember

  • "Low Rider" by War.. the good old days...
  • I can't remember my first MP3. I was first year uni (1996) and read an article in a news paper about it. I download an antiquated version of WinAmp and Fraunhofer's l3enc. The number of times I downloaded MP3s at Melbourne University, and "pkzip -& -ex" onto multiple floppy disks... ;-)

    I found that there were no programs that automated CD-ripping->mp3 - so I compiled the first program ever to do this automatically. It was called CD2MP3, and it wasn't GUI.

    I spent hundreds of hours on the bulletin bo
  • But I DO remember my first mp2, yes, that's right. The standard before mp3 was indeed mp2 and while it didn't have such as high a compression ratio it was still impressive and I was blown away. Of course the only player that played mp2's at the time was Xing's MPEG Player.

    The mp2 was: I Mother Earth-One More Astronaut.
  • Found a site that gave an address with the mp3/mp3 username and password. Using my brand-new Super Hi-speed USR 28.8k I got the album via FTP LE and played it with Winamp. All on a second-hand Gateway P-90 running Windows 95a. Played great until I tried to play it and run Tomb Raider 2 at the same time.

  • the first time I heard about mp3 was from a coworker in 1996 who was always going on about random new tech -- like firewire and this new tech to compress CDs to 1/10th the size.

    the first file i downloaded was abba's dancing queen. i've lost my mp3 collection twice since then, and i've redownloaded it both times just for nostaligia's sake. i had heard some people complaining about the quality, but i thought it was very good (and still do...).

    i've gone through a couple different players (and OSes) since

  • Mariah Carey - Always Be My Baby
    Played with YAMP on a P200 MMX Win95 in December 1998.
    Up till then I only had Midis and Mods and a few Wavs recorded off the radio at 8bit 22khz.
  • I don't recall what it was. I do recall however skipping several songs I wanted because I could not be sure it was legal. Eventially I found demos from the artist's web page, and I downloaded those.

    I prefer music from small artists, and I try to support them whenever I can. I suspect several of my CDs had a production run of under 10000, and I know for a fact that some it was much less. They aren't making much money, but I like to encourage them to make more real music and money always helps.

  • The first MP3 I downloaded was "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia. Until then, I really didn't put much music on my computers at all. I was an early SoundJam buyer before Apple bought the product and turned it into iTunes, though.

    Nowadays, I have about 2500 tunes on my main Mac in the house that I sync to an iPod. I've probably downloaded no more than a dozen or so from P2P services, tops. Most of them are ripped from my old CD's, and I've probably bought about 4-5 singles and 5+ albums from iTMS since it ope
  • Spiderman by Moxy Fruvous followed shortly by King of Spain.
  • "The Mercy Seat" I was so happy.
  • I remember downloading .mp2 files from various Animes in the mid 90s.

  • by anon* ( 637224 ) <.moc.amrakduab. .ta. .todhsals.> on Friday January 16, 2004 @11:04AM (#7997769) Journal
    I had just installed our new cable modem the previous day, over my wifes mild objections. She just wasn't convinced that we needed all that speed.

    Her best friend was visiting, and they were talking about this new song they'd heard on the drive over - "Sugar" by System of a Down. While they were arguing about whether they should buy the CD just to get that song, I went to my newly-installed Napster, downloaded it, and cranked the speakers.

    They spent the next two hours remembering songs and asking me to download them. I went the next day to buy a router so that my wife could share the broadband connection on her computer. She bought the SOAD CD because she loved all their songs. I took her to see them live in Austin a year or so later.

    And no more arguments that we didn't need all that bandwidth.

  • back in 1996/97 I downloaded some faith no more and mr bungle live/b-sides from the Caca Volante [] FTP server. (Think it was a live version of "Everyone I went to high school with is dead").
  • It was probably fall of 1997. I heard about MP3 and wanted to check it out. I did a web search, probably on Excite [] or WebCrawler []. One of the first hits was for Rage Against the Coffee Machine [], although it probably looked more like this []. (Sorry, 1999 is the oldest archived page.)
  • Barenaked Ladies - One Week. I listened to that song so many times...

    The first MP3 I had, I encoded from MTV using SoundJam MP and an RCA->1/8" jack converter on my Revision A iMac. Can't remember what it was though.
  • mono, and highly compressed something like 3 MB for 60 minutes. Sound was OK. It was authorized.

    I don't download MP3s because the sound isn't all that great. My kids have, and I've listened. It's isn't better than FM, and for some complicated music (including hard rock), this isn't enough.

  • Simpson,
    Homer Simpson,
    He's the greatest guy in history.
    From the
    Town of Springfield,
    He's about to hit a chestnut tree.

    It was the only 22mhz MP3 I could find, the only one that would run on my computer at the time.

  • How much things have changed.

    I too used WS-FTP and Winamp 1.0 to download- of all things- Cotton Eye Joe.

    (No, this isn't a troll)
  • first mp3 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AgentAce ( 246327 )
    a parody of that horrible Aqua song...Barbie Girl...the parody was titled "Ugly Girl" and it was exactly 1MB, I distributed it around school on a floppy disk
  • My first MP3 came with a couple of gig of other ones, when I leeched someone's music collection at a LAN party... and I've never looked back - I believe I still have the original ones I leeched as well.
  • Low Rider by WAR (Score:3, Interesting)

    by schon ( 31600 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @11:31AM (#7998029)
    My first MP3 was "Low Rider" by War, in late 1996 or early 1997..

    I downloaded it on my Amiga 3000, over ISDN.. yes, I had ISDN in my house (on my Amiga!), with a Motorola Bitsurfr Pro.. I got around internet access and time limit charges (the ISDN was metered, but only for outbound calls) by 'borrowing' half of a BRI at work and using callback..

    I can't remember what software I used to play it though..

    Sigh, how far we've come. :o)
  • Somebody told me that I'd probably like these two bands, so I downloaded two songs each from them. I decided I didn't like one, but the other, The Pogues, I liked a lot. Because of those downloads, I've since bought "Rum Sodomy and the Lash" and "The Best of the Pogues", and I'm probably going to buy a few more.

    So take that RIAA - I downloaded 4 songs, and it led to two CD sales.
  • In 1996, 1997 just before the BBS scene died in my area many systems accepted MP3's. So I traded mostly TOP40 of the time. MP3's with 8.3 filenames were weird... I can't remember which album was the 1st one I downloaded but I remember listening to No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom in '96 a lot with my P120 and DosAmp. Later when I discovered the net in '97 converted to Linux (I tried with DOS at first, there was a DOS port of pppd and some weird TCP/IP stack and even a graphical WWW browser and I did manage to get
  • Actually, I uploaded MP3s way before I downloaded.

    My favorite band hand a long-anticipated album coming out, and I had gotten a review copy about a month before it hit the shelves. What's a geek to do, except review it? I put together a little webpage and recorded 30-second snippits of each song, and then uploaded at 28.8k... ta da, people could hear the new direction the band was going in. This was a few years before Amazon started having samples, so it was kindof unique.

    Although it used an MP3 codec, it
  • Blind Guardian - Into The Storm.mp3 RAWR!
  • Last year. After I got the Palm Zire 71 that will play them. Some Chinese classical music, but don't remember what.
  • Not sure if this is the first one I downloaded, but the first MP3 I burned on to a cd was Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt".
  • First audio I downloaded was Monty Python's Holy Grail snippets in AU format on the HP UX machines at work while I was in college back in 1992... It took me forever to figure out how to play them.

  • was Mustang Sally from a Web site I believe. It was only a sampler (30 seconds) to compare WAVE, etc.
  • Back in 1997, I found a website that had the Mission Impossible Theme in mp3 and I downloaded that and Winamp 0.5 or something on a high school computer. I used to run the comp labs so it was a computer in a teacher's office that had speakers. Next was That Thing You Do from that Tom Hanks movie followed by the first 8 seconds of Robert Miles - Children. The problem of course was i started playing Children as it downloaded and just minimized the window, turned off the monitor - Winamp was on repeat. I c
  • Mr. Roboto!
  • I'd never heard the song and don't like the band, but obviously had heard the Wayne's World references. I wasn't about to buy a whole album, either of them or a rock compilation, and none of my friends had it...

    Incidently, the first copy I got wasn't very good quality especially right in the middle. I've downloaded it twice since then and I either get the same crappy copy that's been swapped around like a cheap whore or that's how the original was recorded.


    p.s. Second song I downloaded was "Vid
  • by molo ( 94384 )
    Back in 1996 on the college dorm connection, it took me and a couple friends about 2 months to download enough mp3s to make a cd-rom. We found someone with a brand-spankin-new 2x cd-rom burner (but it really only worked reliably at 1x) and off we went.

    I also burned the two windows mp3 players that were available at the time, and This was way before winamp.

  • anyone else here start their electronic music collection before mp3s, rather with mp2 files?

    The first mp2 I downloaded was a remix of David Bowie's "Heart's Fifthy Lesson" from the truly incredible "1. Outside" album. I don't know anyone else whose first downloaded song was an mp2, but I'm sure there are some of you out there. I believe the year was 1996.

    David Bowie, unlike most artists, is very forward thinking. One could write a long essay about this, but even back then he saw the value, the way it cou
  • by xagon7 ( 530399 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @01:16PM (#7999369)
    Yeah.. my first mp3 has to be the one that came with winamp.
  • An old and rare Billy Preston track called "I wrote a simple song". It's ironic that the song is about the greed of the music industry. I only had it on the b-side of a 45 from until that point.
  • by sl956 ( 200477 ) * on Friday January 16, 2004 @01:24PM (#7999465)

    ...I know it was on 1996/11/03. That post "PROPOSAL: alt.binaries.sounds.mp3 []" in alt.config gave me the clue.

    On a side note, the oldest usenet post mentioning MP3 seems to be this one [] : 1995/07/24. Does any archaeologist have older references ?

  • Left at work... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Punk Walrus ( 582794 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @09:07PM (#8004222) Journal
    In 1997, I had inherited a previous coworker's laptop, and went about the laborious process of removing programs off of it (Win95) that were slowing it down. In "My Documents," I found a handful of Beatles songs. I was amazed at how clear they were for just about 3mb each.

    About a year later, I was on a board when someone linked to a Hong Kong site where this page was dynamically refreshed with this guy's library. That was great for about a month, then it was full of dead links. Then I would some MP3 search engine, and then Napster came along.

    Long story short, the MP3's expanded my music libary from a dozen CD's to over 200. I never bought music because I had so many eclectic tatses, that usually one album only had one good song, and I didn't have the kind of money to buy CD's if I didn't know about the music.

    When downloading became a big issue, the place that I worked at said if they caught anyone with illegal MP3's, whether burned from home or downloaded at work, zzzzzt! You were fired. They put software on the computers that automatically deleted MP3s found on the system, and reported to the IT people.

    I don't work for them anymore, but the whole "piracy" thing kind of turned me off for good to the shared music phenomenon. Sometimes someone will send me an MP3 of some song, and I listen, but now I only use MP3's to store all my music on the network share, and keep all my CD's safe and scratch-free in a box in the closet. :)

    Yeah, no one believes me when I say I don't have illegal MP3's, but if all I had were those, one good hard drive crash and I'd lose all my music. That would so suck. :( I'm a control freak. I want hard copies, original format.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982