To create MP3, Brandenburg had to appreciate how the human ear perceives sound. A key assist in this effort came from folk singer Suzanne Vega. “I was ready to fine-tune my compression algorithm,” Brandenburg recalls. “Somewhere down the corridor a radio was playing [Vega’s song] ‘Tom’s Diner.’ I was electrified. I knew it would be nearly impossible to compress this warm a capella voice.”
I haven’t heard anything by her since Solitude Standing (1987) was released.