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10 Technologies That Changed The Music Industry

Developments that have changed forever the way we listen to music

Photo: LTTL

By Ronald Ross

Technology has come a long way in the twenty first century in transforming our lives. It hasn’t been more than two decades and we’re already progressing at an exponential rate, living life quite differently than what it had been since human inception. Of course, the effects of such drastic changes have resonated into the music industry as well, transforming the way music is produced, distributed and shared all over the world. Given below are 10 technologies that have changed the way we see and perceive music today:

1. MP3

MP3 has transformed how we store and share data today. With the success of the internet, MP3 was able to replace the old cassette tapes and CDs. It required lesser space to store music and thereby increased the number of songs on every other person’s playlist. MP3 made it possible to listen to songs anywhere without the use of hardware (cassettes, CDs etc.).

2. P2P Brigade

Started in 1999, Napster was the first online platform to offer file service that allowed 80 million of its users to share music free of cost. It gave everyone the opportunity to exchange songs and not pay a single penny while doing so. The company initially sky rocketed in terms of sale and covered up to half the revenues bagged by the music industry. Though it got sued later on for copyright infringement, the P2P brigade industry has only grown since its conception.

3. The iPod Revolution

With the inception of the iPod, two aspects changed. First, music became portable with the use of the iPod. Second, people were able to purchase and play music using a music library application. iPod revolutionised the way we listen to music today. iPod could store tens of thousands of songs in a small device. iTunes made it possible to access music on any device like the iPad or the computer.

Photo: LTTL


4. Digital Streaming Software

Websites like Napster, YouTube and Smule have aided many budding musicians to record and upload their music on an online platform that can be accessed by millions of people using it, all free of cost. Not just that, they have also made it easy to access, stream and download music from the internet an easy task. New apps like SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music, with their paid subscriptions allow people to access millions of songs on the go!

5. Satellite Radio

Listening to music on the go has been made easier by the use of satellite radio. With interactive conversations and music playlists that lets you discover new songs, satellite radio became a huge success making music accessible to anyone, anywhere. It has shrunk the world together, with multiple users listening to the same music simultaneously.

6. Headphones

Headphones have made our world of music quite a private affair. We can listen to loud music anywhere without causing inconvenience to others around us. We may take for granted the kind of music gadgets surrounding us but something as simple as headphones has changed the way we listen to music
today.

7. Multi Track Recording

Multi track recording has made it possible to cumulate and combine different parts of the song in a string, making it quite convenient for the musicians as they won’t be coerced to sing the complete song in a single go. This also helps in editing certain sections of the song and finally stringing the whole song together. It has also helped musicians in altering the tunes for different stanzas of the song. Multiple music instruments can be stringed one above the other,
though recorded separately, thereby revolutionising the music production industry.

Photo: LTTL

8. Auto-Tune

Auto Tune allows musicians to alter their voice if they are unable to go in sync on a certain note. It converts the off-pitch part of the vocal discreetly into the nearest semitone creating ‘perfect vocal records’. Many musicians such as Kanye West and Kesha use this technology to create a new kind of music.

9. Digital Software

Digital software allows musicians to create and create their own songs, out of their own bedrooms! Digital software today provides clarity of voice and helps create music of good quality. A few examples of this software are Logic and Protools that provide a multitude of exciting features. Digital Software has been a game changer when it comes to music production even for common people who aren’t affiliated with any recording studios or high-end technology for music production.

10. Marketing

Partnerships between mobile brands and music applications with musicians and record labels have become a common trend today to make music of a particular album popular. Social media has also played a significant role marketing a new song thereby helping in the sale of the albums for musicians. Almost all musicians today are using social media platforms to popularise their music with audio visuals that leave people asking for more!

About the author: Ronald Ross loves to play musical instruments and has been doing so from an early age. His passion for music leads him to create a blog called loudbeats.org where he writes about all kinds of musical instruments.

What Do You Think?

Editor: Ronald has raised some fascinating key events and inventions that have changed music before our very ears. Recently, a well-known local artist asked on Social Media whether it would be OK to not distribute a new album via CD because of the costs!

A lot more of the music that we receive here at Listening Through The Lens is digitalthe good: we get more new releases than ever, the bad: usually no liner notes, sometimes no artwork, credits, lyrics, the ugly: sound quality, wrong track order. Where will all this take us to in the future?

Drop a comment below – we would love to hear your views!

Developments that have changed forever the way we listen to music

Developments that have changed forever the way we listen to music

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