Here's W.C. Handy's 1914 song St. Louis Blues, performed by Handy at some point in the 20s, probably.

I should add that's a 341KB opus file at 16kbps.

The flac file it was derived from (found here: is over 60MB.

I went from over 60MB to just over 1/3 of an MB.

And a close listen with some good headphones or speakers will reveal some minor differences on the compressed file, but holy shit it's 341KB.

Here's another rendition that's 10KBps, and that extra 6KB is really missed.

What I'm saying is that modern music compression technology has gotten really really really good.

341 KB for a 3 minute song.

This poster from is nearly 4MB.

12 times the storage space as our song.

Here's Kid Ory's Creole Trombone as a 413KB, 16Kbps opus file.

The "original" here is a pirated recording released in the early 20s of an impossibly rare jazz side from the first black jazz band from New Orleans to cut a record.

Piracy paved the way for preservation.

Now it's in the public domain, and I've compressed it down small enough that it fits more than one copy on a floppy disk.

I've made it small enough that it can be transmitted by basically any means.

It would take a little under 3 hours to transmit this over a standard hayes modem, or to store it in Kansas City Standard.

22 minutes to transfer at 2400 baud.

Faster than real time on standard 56k dial-up. (a little under 1 minute!)


@ajroach42 The trombone player sure likes his schtick. I like it less. Remove that part and the song is really good.

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