Can you imagine carrying virtually every song ever recorded around in your pocket? It's possible thanks to a new compression technology being developed at the University of Rochester that digitally reproduces music in a file nearly 1,000 times smaller than a regular MP3.
"This is essentially a human-scale system of reproducing music," says Mark Bocko, professor of electrical and computer engineering and co-creator of the technology. "Humans can manipulate their tongue, breath, and fingers only so fast, so in theory we shouldn't really have to measure the music many thousands of times a second like we do on a CD. As a result, I think we may have found the absolute least amount of data needed to reproduce a piece of music."
An 80G iPod can currently hold about 20,000 songs. Multiply that by 1000 and the player could hold 20 million songs. Finding that many tracks may actually be the hard part. The World's Largest Record Collection only boasts 6 million songs and Amazon offers a mere 4,683,676 tracks for sale.
But bring on that ISP flat tax on music. I'm feeling up for the challenge.