What Was The First MP3 Song Ever?

The First MP3 song ever was “Tom’s Diner”. Suzanne Vega wrote this catchy tune in 1982, often labelled as Mother of MP3″.

Thanks to its catchy tune, this a cappella song quickly became a hit on Billboard Hot 100, reaching #5 US.

How did Tom’s Diner Become The First MP3 Song Ever?

As any great achievements and “eureka moments” come to life – it happened by a lucky accident.

Audiophiles of the 1980s and 1990s used Tom’s Diner song as their ultimate sound system test.

Because the song had a warm, soothing human voice, it was perfect to test the speakers for clarity.

Who Created The First MP3 Format Ever?

German audio engineer, Karl-Heinz Brandenburg is the creator of first MP3 format ever.

In light of his PhD thesis, Karl-Heinz was developing a new audio compression system.

The inventor of MP3 song format Karl Heinz Brandenburg
The inventor of MP3 song format
By Christliches Medienmagazin pro; derivative work: Kreuzschnabel – File:Karlheinz Brandenburg.jpg, CC BY 3.0.

Together with MP3 formats, Karl-Heinz created MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Coding (AAC).

What Does MP3 Mean?

Have you ever wondered what does an acronym MP3 actually mean?

Coupled with joint efforts of his research team, Karl-Heinz derived the term MP3 from MPEG-1 Layer 3. Moreover, MPEG stands for Moving Picture Experts Group.

Moving Picture Experts Group is a group of authorities, responsible for all audio and video compression standards.

Furthermore, ISO – International Standards Organization has authorized the work of MPEG and keeps developing new standards.

I love Karl-Heinz’s quote, on why he chose Tom’s Diner as the first MP3 song ever. It goes –

“I was ready to fine-tune my compression algorithm. However, somewhere down the corridor, a radio was playing ‘Tom’s Diner.’ I was electrified. I knew it would be nearly impossible to compress this warm a cappella voice.”

Karl-Heinz on why he chose Tom’s Diner as the first song to be converted into MP3 format.

In his initial trial, Karl-Heinz realised that the compression tool needed more work.

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As a result of the compression, the sound of music was alright, but the sound of the human voice was being distorted.

At first, the human voice was described as the voice of an Exorcist!

As a result of months worth of work, the MPEG team has finally done it and created the first MP3 format song ever – Tom’s Diner.

Looking for more first-evers? Sweet – we have them loads, right here!

This post is dedicated to DiegoInDigital, for coming up with the idea for the post (and just being awesome 🙂 ).