How MP3 came into being.
I find it wild that the primary inventor's name is Brandenburg. The wiki doesn't mention if he's related or not.
I just get off on trivia like:
- The a cappella version of "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega was the Everest of digital music compression. To invoke Alanis Morissette's version of irony, it amuses me that Vega, who has as limited a vocal range as Lou Reed, is the creator of a song that chokes digital compressors. (Though come to think of it, most of Reed's work after Warhol's band was also dynamically rich. A theme, perhaps?)
- Supposedly Beethoven's 9th Symphony was instrumental (koff) in determining the length of CDs.
If you, too, love trivia of accidental discoveries and seemingly unrelated ephemera that coalesce into a greater whole, check out A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It's nirvana for that sort of thing.