Used by hundreds of millions on a daily basis, there is finally a comprehensive study out on the MP3 audio standard. Sound theorist Jonathan Sterne not only describes the political economic background of how this technology came into being in the early 1990s but also provides the reader with an interesting history of sound and hearing in the 20th century in which telephones and radios play surprising roles. MP3 was born out of the challenges of how to ‘push’ live audio through the existing copper infrastructure. This is a story of monopolies, compression, and perceptual capital, “the accumulated value generated by a surplus definition.” In his book Sterne develops the notion of MP3 as the product of perceptual technics, through which a company can economize a channel or storage medium in relation to perception. The MP3 saga boils down to the question of how to make a profit from the insufficiency of the human ear or the distracted state of most listeners.