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The Mother and Father of the MP3

Karlheinz Brandenburg has listened to Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” thousands of times and never tires of it. In fact, the song holds a special place in his heart because it was instrumental in the creation of the MP3. The German engineer and mathematician is known as the father of the digital audio format. Brandenburg explains how he found a way to compress Vega’s a cappella track into an MP3 file that sounded as good as a CD, forever altering the way music is distributed.

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