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Music History Events: Technology

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November 1, 1999 With getting music over the internet still a novel concept and technical challenge, Third Eye Blind offer their single "Anything" exclusively online. It's free, but can only be played for three weeks.

October 2, 1999 David Bowie offers a virtual guided tour of the controversial art show "Sensation: Young British Artists From The Saatchi Collection" at davidbowie.com. The show includes Damien Hirst's shark suspended in formaldehyde (titled "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living") and Tracey Emin's tent (titled "Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995").

November 16, 1998 Kmart gets into the online music game, launching a site called Music Favorites.

October 26, 1998 US Federal courts refuse to issue an injunction against makers of mp3 players, one which the RIAA has been pushing for in light of rampant piracy.

November 13, 1997 Ray Charles conducts his first-ever online chat at rhino.com, answering questions about his new five-CD boxed set, Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection.

September 28, 1997 The DVD-Audio format is introduced at the Audio Engineering Society (AES) conference.

November 27, 1981 Before file sharing, there was the dual-cassette recorder. In an effort to stop people from making copies of tapes, ads run in the British press saying, "Home taping is wiping out music."

March 27, 1958 Stereo albums are introduced.

September 9, 1955 Seeburg introduces their latest jukebox, which not only holds a record 100 singles but is also capable of playing the same number of EPs.

February 26, 1955 For the first time, sales of the newer, smaller 45rpm records outpace those of the old 78rpm variety.

February 1, 1949 RCA introduces the 45 RPM record. It's 7 inches wide and plays at a faster speed than the traditional 33-1/3, providing better sound quality. The format takes off, and 45s become known as "singles."

September 26, 1908 The first stereo advertisement, for an Edison Phonograph, appears in the Saturday Evening Post.

November 8, 1887 Emile Berliner is granted the first patent for the gramophone. In the 1890s, he starts manufacturing gramophone players and discs, but in the early 1900s the Victor Talking Machine company becomes the market leader.

February 19, 1878 Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.

March 29, 2020 With most of the world homebound as the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, Elton John hosts the "Living Room Concert For America" from his home, featuring virtual performances by Mariah Carey, H.E.R., Backstreet Boys, and Tim McGraw. The concert raises money to help local food banks and support first responders during the crisis.More

June 30, 2015 Apple launches a new streaming service, Apple Music.

September 26, 2014 Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke releases his second solo album, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, for just $6 on the peer-to-peer file-sharing platform BitTorrent. According to the album's producer, Nigel Godrich, "It could be an effective way of handing some control of Internet commerce back to people who are creating the work." In just over a week, the album averages 1.8 million downloads.

July 24, 2014 Chubby Checker settles his lawsuit with Hewlett-Packard over their app: "The Chubby Checker." The app, which sold for 99 cents, purported to estimate a man's penis size based on his shoe size.

September 10, 2013 Apple announces iTunes Radio, a streaming service that is essentially a competitor to Pandora, creating radio stations based on a particular song, artist or genre.More

August 20, 2012 Edgy alt band Green Day continues its hip appeal by partnering with the smash hit video game "Angry Birds." A special 10-level edition of the game, featuring Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool as green pigs, is launched by video game maker Rovio and players can even unlock a new Green Day song from the tenth level of the game.

September 1, 2010 Apple launches a social media network called Ping, which is integrated into its iTunes software. A rare flop for the company, it closes two years later.

January 29, 2008 Prog rock band The Mars Volta release their album The Bedlam in Goliath. As a promotion, the band also gives away a CD-vinyl single, a special format with an optical side readable in CD players and a vinyl side that plays on a turntable for about three minutes. Both sides contain a cover of Pink Floyd's "Candy and a Currant Bun." The Bedlam in Goliath debuts at #3 on the Billboard 200.

October 30, 2006 Keane becomes the first major act to release a song on a USB memory stick. For £3.99, fans can purchase the 512MB drive at HMV stores, plug it into a computer, and transfer the track "Nothing In My Way" along with various videos and screensavers. The "single on a stick" format would fail to catch on.

April 11, 2006 For the 25-year anniversary reissue of David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts album, the multi-tracks for two songs - "A Secret Life" and "Help Me Somebody" - are made available for download, for fans to remix and upload to the website.

November 30, 1991 Billboard changes its methodology for determining the Hot 100, using SoundScan data to track record store sales and BDS information for radio plays. SoundScan, an electronic system that counts record sales when they are rung up, replaces record store reporting, which was typically done with phone calls. BDS is a Shazam-like service that identifies songs played by radio stations, which eliminates the need for stations to report their playlists. The first #1 on the revamped chart is "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss" by P.M. Dawn.

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