Technology has impacted and changed many things in our lives, including the way we listen to and obtain music. Remember the days of waiting for your favorite artist or band to put out their new CD? Those days are gone. Why wait when you can get your hands on the newest songs by the newest bands easily and sometimes even for free?
In the past, crazed fans have waited until midnight to purchase their favorite band's or artist's new CD at the store on the morning of the release date. The Internet has made things much easier. Attaining music is as easy as paying $0.99 for a song and downloading it to a media player on you computer and uploading it to an MP3 player.
An MP3 player is a mobile portable player much like the "Walkman" or portable radio in past lives. Today the most popular MP3 player on the market is the iPod by Apple. Uploading music to your MP3 player is easy by using a media player. The most popular media player used on computers is iTunes, another Apple product. You can download and purchase songs through iTunes, organize and play music, and even upload photos. You can also import or "rip" tracks from CDs into iTunes. iTunes will convert them to MP3s so you can upload them to your MP3 player, or iPod.
The iPod first began to appear in October 2001. The efficiency and popularity of the iPod has grown immensely over the last ten years. The iPod has evolved in size, shape, and capabilities. Its capabilities have grown from solely being an MP3 player to a small personal computer.
Although all this talk of downloading music sounds great, its had some dark days in the past. Downloading and file sharing music and MP3 files has uprooted some legal concerns. Napster, originally designed by a Northeastern student in 2001, was the first file sharing program available on the Web. A number of artists and bands complained that Napster was illegally distributing copyrighted content. Napster only ran from about 1999 to 2001 until it was shut down. Since then Napster has since regained its power and is now available but with a paid subscription only.
Another way the Internet and technology has changed the way we listen to music is by streaming online media such as YouTube and Internet radio. Services such as Pandora offer free Internet radio. It is free to set up an account and you can choose the type or style of music you want to listen to, your favorite bands, and the more you listen, the more Pandora will play other songs and other bands that resemble your favorites that you have chosen. YouTube will also play music videos or home videos of artists in concert.
Most bands and artists will complain that the Internet has ruined radio stations and how people are now getting their hands on music. However, the Internet has helped today's music in some other ways. Underground bands do not have to try as hard to sell their music to radio stations in order to get radio play or have to work to open for other bands in concerts in order to rack up an audience. It is easier today for fans to get a hold of new music. We no longer have to rely on radio stations to play new music from new artists and bands.
The future of music is already here and it is continuously changing. The days of radio stations using radio frequencies and compact discs are dying out. Less and less of today's generation listen to radio stations. The constant ads, commercials, and talk shows are boring and annoying. It much more pleasurable to plug in your iPod and listen to the music YOU want to listen to.
Read more about Charles Granere and his articles about information technology.