Digital music is 80 years old

An interesting history of music technology from the Sydney Morning Herald reveals that the real credit for the CD belongs to Swedish physicist Harry Nyquist – in 1928!!!

In 1928, Nyquist figured out how it would be possible to represent an analogue audio signal with a stream of 1s and 0s, and worked out how to sample that signal in order to transform a digital stream into audio without any loss of quality.

This led in turn to his development of the Nyquist Theorem, work which led to the 44.1kHz. frequency used on CDs.

The question for some, is – “What would Nyquist have to say about the compression standards – AAC and MP3 – used today?” We suspect he’d be in the same camp as Toby Marks, asking where the CD-quality music download services are…

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