Marketing Research Essay

Introduction to Mp3

 

Nowadays MP3 is a cultural phenomenon and it is a matter of fact that millions of electronic devices and computers includes and supports MP3 capacity. In the 21st century MP3 has caused a new shift in developing electronic devices and thus has captured attention of millions people worldwide.MP3 is a standard for audio compression meaning that this standard aims at making any music file smaller and loss of sound quality is little. Actually, MP3 is a part of MPEG characterized by low bandwidth. Millions of music lovers are re-awakened because MP3 gives them an excellent opportunity to store thousands of songs, to search them by genre, artists and title. Thee whole music collection is available when clicking simply one button. Therefore, MP3 is more than a technology. Jones (2000) stated that MP3 is sensational development. Nevertheless, controversies over health risk are present as well as MP3 is stated to entail potential health risk.

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Jones (2000) cited The Institute of Hearing Research who admitted admitted that “new technology and ever-increasing storage capacity enables people to listen non-stop for hours – and at louder volumes than ever before – which could eventually impair hearing”. Thus, MP 3 may cause ringing or buzzing in ears. Andrew Reid, the British Society of Audiology, says (Jones 2000) that “if people experience that they really need to turn down the player straight away and then consult their doctor if the problems persist”. He comments (Jones 2000) that “this evidence suggests that people should get better quality headphones if they want to safeguard their hearing” meaning that MP3 may cause users to crank up music to the highest and the most dangerous levels.

 

 

 

History of Mp3

1970s: Dieter Seitzer of Erlangen-Nuremberg University in Germany was concerned with compressing music over phone lines. He established the first groups of scientists and technicians to research and to tackle the problem. In 1979 he developed the first digital signor processor which was able to compress audio format. Karlheinz Brandenburg, Seitzer’s student, enhanced and developed the basic principles for exploiting the hearing properties of the human ear. He developed a number of coding algorithms under the guidance of Seitzer.

1980s: in 1987 Harald Popp and Ernst Eberlein developed the hardware system which was based on multiple DSP modules. However, today their development exists only as a simulation on minicomputers because of high time need for computation. In 1989 Brandenburg finished his thesis described by Nijmeh (2002) as “many of characteristics of the eventual MP3 coder, including a high frequency resolution filterbank, non-uniform quantization, Huffman coding, and side information structure”. Nijmeh (2002) contended that “the OCF coder is considered a breakthrough at that time and is a precursor of MP3”. Also Bernard Grill drove the software part of the OCF real-time system.

1990s:  in 1991 Frauhofer and his team improved the OCF algorithm and it became a powerful audio codec called ASPEC.  The evolution of ASPEC to MP3 was followed by technological harmonizations, joint stereo coding, etc. In 1992 the International Organization of Standardization developed a compresses digital video and audio standards called MPEG-1. In 1995 MP3 appeared on the scale. (Nijmeh 2002) Frauhofer researched mp3 as the file-name extension for MPEG. In 1998 Diamon Multimedia’s Rio was the introduction of MP3 format. That was the first Korean company which used solid-state flash memory in order to compress music files.

2000: the first headphone stereos were launched in the USA. The USA suppliers also launched the first CD-players which supported MP3 format. (Bellis 2003)

 

Company history

Regarding to company history, we have chosen Apple Company as our example. Apple company was established in April 1, 1976, at first they are just focusing in designing apple computer, but after Tony Fadell come to Apple Company, they started to create mp3 players with massive storage. Ipod was created by Tony Fadell, who is former employee of General Magic and Philips and his team. When he comes to Apple, the executives at Apple were very enthusiastic about implementing Fadell’s plan at Apple. So in October 2001, it represented apple’s first strike into digital music market by releasing Ipod. The first Ipod used 5GB Toshiba hard drives, an operating system from Pixo, large high resolution display, and the scroll wheel which is most recognizable feature of Ipod, After the first Ipod, Apple Company started to release Ipod: the third generation, Ipod mini, Ipod photo, Ipod U2 special edition, Ipod shuffle, Ipod nano, and Ipod which can play videos and photos.

 

Present situation

Nowadays, mp3 players can be seen all around Australia. We can see most of the people are hearing to mp3 player while they are waiting for public transport. Mp3 players are very popular amongst teenagers too; we can see that 8 out of 10 teenagers are listening mp3 players on the streets. The technologies have enabled some of the mp3 players compatible with mp3 surround now. With mp3 surround, you can code 5.1-Kanal Surround audio very efficiently, and the mp3 surround files is only 10% bigger than normal mp3 files. People who are purchasing mp3 player are now concerning about the size, the capacity, and the specification of the player. Almost every mp3 players are now smaller in size, coloured screen, at least 1 GB capacity and with a good headset is important.
Comparative between Mp3 and Mp4:

 

Mp3 was introduced in 1993 which the main strength is in music format. But in the recent time, Mp4 has entered the market with more aestheticism in the perception of digital sound and it is more compressed and wondering version of audio format. However, consumer still did not have a clear understand the different between Mp3 and Mp4.

 

The main features make Mp3 so distinctive from Mp3 is Mp4 format has all the properties to make up the shortcoming of Mp3. For an example, quality of bit rates, Mp4 is much better than Mp3.

Mp3 fails to switch the joint stereo mode for any specifies scale of band.
In optimal window sizes result in optimal time/frequency resolution in Mp3.
Missing properties: Long Term Prediction (LTP), Temporal Noise Shaping (TNS) and Spectral Band Replication (SBR).
Consist of video and audio files at the same time.
Sounds are being structured in a concept known as Structured Audio and mode of describing the sound in an ultra-modern way. Eg. Mp4 going to meet the future standard for the computer music, gaming audio, and varieties multimedia application altogether.
 

Current and Future Activities Mp3:

 

Mp3 player has become a portable device for music. In current market, Mp3 has become so thin and small that allowed you to carried it along in any place, a screen with bright displace and battery life up to 24 hours a day just about the things hasn’t change. Some Mp3 do have a bigger storage for music lover, in 2 GB, to 8 GB which puts up to 2000 songs in your pocket. Mp3 player also has been utilizing in many public area such as the hospital where Mp3 player was a tools to facilitate the patient in the hospital from boredom and also as a tool to induction.

 

In the next 5 years or 10years we might not see Mp3 in the market, customer become so demanding that a with single portable devices would consist of mobile phone, video, internet connection, remote control or even become a card that identify your personal detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mp3 players raise hearing loss concerns

With the swiftly increasing use of portable mp3 players, debates and concerns are emerging and mostly researches suggest that mps players may cause hearing damage or even loss. Actually, Buskirk (2003) says that the number of younger patients with signs of hearing damage and loss is increasing and will in crease in several years. The doctors are worrying about using mp3 because they think mp3 directly transmits music into ears in such a way damaging them. The similar arguments were raised when the first generation of mp3 portable players hit the market in the end of the 1980s. Later iPod created by Apple Computer Inc appeared to hold thousands of songs and thus had even longer-lasting batteries than older players. Consequently, people started listening to music longer time periods. It is claimed that hearing loss or damage depends on the duration of exposure, not simply music volume. There is a concern that long-term and steady exposure to even moderate music volume may lead to problems with hearing. Hearing specialists, in their turn, argue that mp3 effect they are observing now is only the beginning as noticeable problems may appear in many years. Buskirk (2003) cites Brian Fligor, Children’s Hospital Boston who says: “We’re only seeing a few teenagers with hearing loss at this point, and by the time they do, they’ll have done substantial damage”. Researchers assert (Spencer 2006) that many people may have subtle hearing loss they haven’t mentioned and recognized. Nevertheless, the number of emerged concerns about mp3 health risk has driven market to develop new styles of earphones in order to minimize noise exposure. However, such earphones costs about $50-200 and they are made of sound-proof material helping to block out background noise.

Preventive strategies

In order to decrease and to prevent hearing damage when using mp3 player some manufactures nowadays are trying to develop noise-canceling earphones. It means that a person doesn’t hear background noise and he doesn’t have to make music louder to block out those undesired sounds. If people are not increasing the sound to block out background noise, then standard earphone will be suitable for them to prevent hearing damages. For example, researchers (Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss 2006) tend to improve the quality of both in-ear and over-the-ear earphones. It is recommended to buy earphones which sit over the ear and with lower decibel range because such earphones are considered slightly safer than others. Music fans are advised to listen to sound not louder than 80db because this volume even for longer time period is claimed not to cause hearing damage. For example, Dr. Cook (Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss 2006) says: “If you keep the volume at a level where you can still comfortably carry on a conversation, you won’t need to limit the amount of time you listen to your music”.  Thus, the volume should never be turned all the way up. Actually, the noise is considered safer if a person going next to you doesn’t hear your music and if he hears it means that the music is dangerously loud. So, Spencer (2006) recommended being aware of the music style and noise. To prevent hearing loss doctors strongly recommend giving ears necessary rest not depending on music volume because quieter noise continuing for long period of time is more harmful than highly-intensive noise for a short time period. Summing up, the best preventive strategies are to buy earphones with the highest quality, to limit music volume and time of exposure and, finally, to allow ear to take a rest to recover from noise.

 

How mp3 players cause hearing loss.

Les Blomberg, Noise Pollution Clearing house, provides rather original analogy to hearing damage (Hearing Loss 2006): “If you have a field of grass and you walk on it, you compress the grass and it bends down over the night, and in a few days, it springs back up and is OK again. But if you keep doing that over and over, you wear a path in it. And that’s kind of what happens with hearing loss”. In particular loud noises, especially loud music can lead to hearing loss by damaging the hair cell located in the cochlea i.e. part of human inner ear which is responsible for transmitting sound information from the outer surrounding to human brain. However, these cells are able to recover from temporary damages. For example, if a person visit rock concert, his hearing will sound muffled for several days meaning that he is experiencing temporary damage to hair cells. In such situation cells will recover in two days, though if to repeat constantly exposure to lout sound the ability of hair cells to recover will be weaker. As a result, the hair cells may die and cause permanent hearing loss.

Cells can be damaged also by extremely high noise as, for example, gunshot, and by moderately loud music lasting for longer time periods. If hair cells are completely destroyed, they would be never able to restore and at least partial hearing loss would inevitably occur. According to recent statistics (Hearing Loss 2006), about 30 millions of Americans are nowadays experiencing problems with hearing loss, whereas one-third of them were exposed to noise-induced hearing loss. Spencer (2006) constantly reminds that any sound above 85 db is able to cause hearing damage. It is known that some music player can produce sound of 120db and that is significantly louder than a lawn mower and can be compared with ambulance siren. The problem is that a person is unaware of hearing damage occurring because only in several or more years it is possible to find out that hair cells are destroyed if not to visit doctors.

Literature Search

Problem Definition

 

Problem Decision Problem

 

1. How Mp3 player may cause hearing damage?

To identify whether the student aware of the potential risk and harm of listening to Mp3 player

 

2. Why consumer still used Mp3 player when researcher had warn that Mp3 player may cause hearing damage when they listen to music in long hours?

To discover the response of the student when they are informed that Mp3 player can cause hearing disabilities.

 

3. How long does consumers listen to mp3 players per day?

To measure the average time of student listening to Mp3 player daily.

 

 

Research Objectives

 

1. To determine the awareness of student about the potential risk of listening to mp3 Player.

Did student aware of the potential risk and injuries may cause to them by listening to Mp3 Player.

 

2. To determine the average age group of Mp3 Player users.

To verify the age of the student in our research group.

 

3. To determine why student still listening to Mp3 Player.

To understand why student still listen to Mp3 as they realize Mp3 can cause permanent hearing damage to the ear.

 

4. The usage of Mp3 Player.

To determine how student used their Mp3 player.

 

 

 

Research Design Methodology

 

Primary Data Collection Method

 

Exploratory (Qualitative) Method

 

A focus was selected and our primary objective is to examine the awareness and their feedback of the potential risk of listening to Mp3. Start-up question was also provided in order to break the ice and an appreciation card was provided at the end of the interview.

 

The Bibliography of the Interviewee…Why they are chosen….

 

Descriptive (Quantitative) Method

 

The questions in quantitative research are based on the information of the focus group. These questions are mainly focus on the university student and randomly distribute to the students. 20 questions are expected to be answered by the student. 150 copies of questionnaires will be delivered to students and are expected to finish the questions within 5 minutes. There is few ways to send out the questionnaires, student email and face to face.

Questionnaire
Mp3 Player Survey

 

* Please ? your answer

 

1.      Do you have Mp3 player?

¨ Yes

¨ No

 

2.      Are you planning to buy Mp3 Player?

¨ Yes

¨ No

¨ Do not know

 

3.      How do you get your Mp3 Player?

¨ Gift

¨ Buy it by yourself

¨ Found it somewhere

 

4.      How old are you?

¨ 18-25

¨ 26-30

¨ 31-35

¨ 36-40

¨ 40 above

 

5.      What is your gender?

¨ Male

¨ Female

 

6.      How long do you listen to Mp3 player per day on average?

¨ ½ an hour

¨ 1-2 hour

¨ 2-3 hour

¨ 3 hour above

 

7.      What do you use to listen to Mp3 player?

¨ Headphone

¨ Earpiece

¨ Loudspeaker

 

 

 

 

8.      What kinds of music do you listen the most? Please ?

 
1

(Never)
2
3
4
5

(Very Often)
Pop

Classical

Jazz

Rock

R&B

Hip hop

Heavy metal

9.      When do you listening to Mp3 player? Please ?
Never
Rarely
Sometime
Often
Always
When I feel free.

When I feel boring.

When I on the trip.

When I on the way to school.

When I at home.

When I on the public transport.

When I’m doing my assignment.

When I am shopping.

When I am reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. How long have you had your current MP3 player?

¨ 1-6 months

¨ Below 1 year

¨ 1-2 years

¨ 2-3 years

¨ 3 year above

 

11.        How loud are you listening to Mp3 player?

¨ Low

¨ Medium

¨ Loud

 

 

 

12.  What do you focus on when buying an Mp3 player? Please ?

 
Not Important
Quite important
Extremely

Important
Don’t know
Sound quality

Size

Price

Brand name

Battery usage

Function

Colour screen

Design/Stylish

Supporting different music format

13.  Are you aware of the hearing risk when using an Mp3 player?

¨ Yes

¨ No

 

14.  Does it affect your decision of using Mp3 Player?

¨ Yes

¨ No

 

15.  If the answer above is yes, why?

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

16.  What do you think we can do to prevent hearing damage caused by listening to Mp3 player?

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

17.  What brand are you using?

¨ Apple (Ipod)

¨ Creative

¨ Samsung

¨ Sony

o Rio

¨ Others _______________

 

18.  What reason would make you change your Mp3 player?

____________________________________________________________________________________

19.  What device would you choose for listening music?

¨ Mp3 Player

¨ Mp4 Player

¨ Mobile phone

¨ Others _________________

 

20.  Do you know the level of frequencies your ear supported?

o Yes

o  No

 

 

List of Reference

 

http://lowendmac.com/orchard/05/1014.html

http://64.233.179.104/translate_c?hl=en&u=http://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/fhg/iis/bf/amm/index.jsp&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhistory%2Bof%2Bmp3%2Bplayer%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

Bellis, Mary. (2003). The History of MP3. Retrieved April 9, 2007, from http://inventors.about.com/od/mstartinventions/a/MPThree.htm

Buskirk, Eliot Van. (2006, March 20). How to Prevent Hearing Loss. Retrieved April 15, 2007, from http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/commentary/listeningpost/2006/03/70434

Hearing Loss: MP3 Players Can Pose a Risk. (2006). Retrieved April 15, 2007, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hearing-loss/GA00046

Jones, Christopher. (2000, July 27). MP3 Overview. Retrieved April 9, 2007, from http://www.webmonkey.com/webmonkey/00/31/index3a.html

Nijmeh, Gabriele. History of MP3. Retrieved  April 9, 2007, from http://www.lacoj.com/resources/History%20of%20MP3.htm

Spencer, Jane. (2006, January 11). Mp3 Players Raise Hearing Loss Concerns. Retrieved April 15, 2007, from http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06011/636996.stm

The History of MP3. Retrieved April 9, 2007, from http://mp3licensing.com/mp3/history.html

Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss. (2006, September 10). Retrieved April 15, 2007, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=51524

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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