Internet and music… how has it changed?


I Want My MP3

Topic1:1 NET102 Curtin University

Music has also traditionally made up a large portion of many people’s identity, both in terms of self and to others.

As part of an exercise in my studies at Curtin University, I was required to do some research and create a music streaming profile. After some investigation I chose to download ‘Spotify’ as it was well regarded according to Google research. It downloaded easily but then rejected my login requests. After further searching I discovered the notice ‘we’re not able to launch in every country‘ on their website. Back to square one. Australia is not on their list.

My next attempt was to try Grooveshark which I knew was available to us Aussies but had no knowledge of it’s greatness. After selecting ‘create an account’ with no success, I managed to login using Facebook. After searching ‘Muse’ as a starting point, I discovered I had quickly created a playlist and saved it to ‘My music’.

I discovered that this seriously effected the internet bandwidth, which is usually fast and I was unable to work while listening to music.  Other than this, the experience was little different to listening to music in iTunes but is a good option for ‘try before you buy’ and allowed me to create a play list and mix my own.

What does the Internet ‘do’ for music and music consumers and producers?

With the growth rate of digital downloads and music streaming, people are given to voting with their voice. The power has shifted to the consumer and the consumer can and will choose to experience the music they like and take it with them wherever they please.

The music industry is now under pressure to compete with piracy, demand and increasing need for innovation and licensing agreements to enable their business models to drive digital music forward.

Music producers are able to ‘push their own barrow’ although this is a competitive and difficult avenue to take. Interestingly, Laughey, D., (2007) states that bootlegging is more likely to be done by fans than by consumers.

How is music interlaced with our everyday lives in general?

Nowadays people are getting in touch with their creative side and developing their own movies, digital music and websites, incorporating music and backing tracks.  Downloaded music is now taken jogging, on trains, down the beach and playlists are developed for parties and general mood and interests. Cars have the capacity to plug in an MP3 players.

People express their identity over their music choices, which can be very public for those who feed them through social media as well. The capacity to mix music is a very personalised which is easily taken, using playlists and libraries on MP3 players and streaming tools.

Music can now be played anytime, with or without disturbing others. Analogue devices were more cumbersome and difficult to take jogging, onto the beach and train. The ‘Walkman’ cassette tape, although a revolution in portability at the time, was still hefty and conspicuous in comparison and unless one intended to listen to the same tape over and over, alternative tapes needed to be transported with it. Quite powerful speakers are available now for MP3 players, enabling people to share sound if they choose to or use headphones for a better quality and more private experience.

How has the move from an analogue to digital medium changed the distribution and consumption of music?

Once upon a time (when I was young… back in the dark ages), we purchased a record, which had no real options other than to listen to the entire album in one go. There was no capacity to choose songs or mix a playlist.  When cassette tape players came on the scene the world of ‘recording’ came to life. Recordings could be done on an audio tape deck but this was time consuming and tedious as it had to be done in ‘real time’. This meant sitting there and waiting for each song to be played and pressing ‘stop’ on the tape deck, then ‘record’ when you wanted to record another song.

Consumers now have the opportunity to access music at any time and any location. The audience has the power to drive the product and determine the quality and mode of music. The interactivity of digital media has enabled consumers to drive their own choice making.

In saying all of that. recently, my Dad restored an old record player for me (see pic left), which I bought in an op shop for $20. It’s an old 1950’s record player (red) and I just loved that whinny, scratchy sound from the vinyl records. Perhaps it’s just nostalgia:)

References

Laughey, D., (2007).  Music Media in Young People’s Everyday Lives. In Music, Sound and Multimedia: From the Live to the Virtual (pp. 172-187). Retrieved from http://library.curtin.edu.au

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