“They are demanding to get our MP3s.” Actually, that seems to be semiserious conclusion my friends and I attained some years back as we realized subscription streaming services, namely Spotify, were not just a vogue. Whether “they” symbolizes tech companies or the music industry, storage space restraints on smartphones and the load of iTunes keep was a huge time suck. Certainly, these mobile apps were here to keep on, and they would be captivating our music libraries missing by making them extraneous.
Though, it looked like such sugary sarcasm. How is this possible that so many years of collecting, downloading and tagging been left void? How had it possible that an severe moral ambivalence to the unfairness of piracy, a reckless ignorance for everything however having all of the music we might fit on our hard drives been nominated and sold back to us for a monthly payment?
Of course, it was a silly notion. As we all knew, subscription services were probably the future, even if they employed a bit esoteric pay scales and were discarded by some musicians, like Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, who unexpectedly helped orchestrate the beginning of the end of the download era when 2007’s “In Rainbows” was released on a pay-what-you-want model. In spite of everything, the streaming apps are yet seem to be better option than pilfering music. Seemed, an even louder demise knell for our MP3s? Spotify software is grander and cheaper than anything in our wildest imaginings.
Although, undoubtedly we were the download generation, the denizens of the Wild West of recent music customs, where everything you most wanted could be yours. Not only to listen, but also to be fashioned by. Green Day’s “Insomniac,” was my first tape cassette, when I was seven years old. I snooped to it on a Sony Walkman. Thus far by 11, I had previously glimpsed the future. I asked over my parents for CDs that were empty and nameless in order to load with downloaded music from my older brother’s Mac. It was the Napster age; even then the capability to re-align it all with the technology complete it think like incredibly big was around the corner.
And believe me that was something named as iPod firstly launched on October 12, 2001. Apple heaved the plug on the separate MP3 player behind a 13-year run, this past Tuesday. The iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, as its minor personifications, live on; the company enthused the music business to digital has lastly sent the signal: a long journey is being over for the MP3. The time to move on!
End of an iEra
For me, I got my earliest iPod at age of 13 as a present. That was the third-generation model with the glossy click-wheel and shimmering red backlit buttons. It had the ability to save up to 7,500 songs. I and my friend was regularly ensemble over hauling around the future in our pockets, but we weren’t alone for long. For sure, the iPod was a miracle. I am one of those who had used CD players, stereos and cassette players for years, so understood how ridiculous it was that a lone device might grasp that much music. However, it was black magic for my parents.
Though, they really didn’t realize how it was technically possible, for one, akin to loads of at the time, nevertheless more significantly what it intended for music at large. Neither did us as kids. However, we were little keen to dangle on to the past and more open to the opportunity of music consumption drastically shifting in the upcoming years. As I received my iPod, Apple’s iTunes Store revealed the year with 200,000 songs. In the course of 3 years, the company sold its billionth track and iPods everywhere. We, the hasty downloader’s see it as a golden age. We lived in spite of iTunes’ triumph as we were yet on the right side of the digital music rebellion, the one that tacit the supply of music might practically be unlimited. It was magnificent.
As we all know that the culture conflict wasn’t for all time pleasing. My father bought me the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ lately launched “Stadium Arcadium” CD as a gift in 2006, just to have me utter with pleasure at the dinner table. On the very same night, one of my friends had e-mailed me the MP3s only some hours before. To my parents, CDs were lively music that had value, and I was a sign of the flawed, instantaneous pleasure obsessed youth to whom album art and liner notes intended zilch. Music was a file, rather than somewhat formed by real human beings who needed our money to carry on. In some or the other ways, I believed, and yet believe, the reality of that nasty categorization.
Other than, it was impractical to refute the effects of a culture spilling over with all piece of auditory art we could pack into a gigabyte. An artist’s discography was similar to discerning a whole planet, our iPods fetching galaxies by way of which we could find out what sort of person we were what we recognized with and what our friends could edify us about them by giving their personal MP3 puck.
Steve Jobs Former Apple CEO, was a devout music lover, he had succeeded in infusing consumer culture with his eventual gift: a daily life influenced by music of all types that was so available and natural like the Internet and cell phones, it’s hard to imagine what life was like before the iPod.
It was a fact that our lives always had soundtracks, and every facet of the iPod, from white ear buds to menu layouts, became a foundation of the modern generation’s aesthetic.
Jobs famously believed in 2001, “If anybody was ever wondering why is Apple on the earth,” structure a elementary first-generation iPod, “that would be the best example”
At times music collection became a senseless competition. Who could have more up to date music, that was more pleasingly classified and that represented a cooler, more exclusionary taste? We think that Our MP3s would last forever, unlike discs or cassettes or vinyl. Technology first empowered us, and then it proved us wrong.
The iPhone did away with files by creating our mobile lives with lots of applications. By September 2009, as iPods puff up in storage capacity, to 160GB, iPhone got slimmer, faster and more feature-packed, but without more space.
IPod sales swayed for the first time in 2009 and then prices began reducing like rocks. Apple made almost 21 times more profits last year on iPhone than it did on iPods. Subscription music services have a long way to go before they expel digital download sales, but for the first time when digital downloads dropped that was the turning point because prices are decreased by 1 percent to $2.8 billion annually. Streaming music grew 39 percent in 2013, to $1.4 billion.
The iPhone is about as revolutionary as a bag of potato chips, and music doesn’t define anyone anymore. Soon there will be no such thing as your music library. There will be no such thing as your music. We had it all wrong! Information doesn’t want to be free; it wants to be a commodity. It wants to be packaged into apps that differ only in terms of interface and pricing models. It wants to be rented.
The Bitter-Sweet Attractiveness of Spotify
Last year, my connection with digital music was a constant struggle over space. Having a smart phone meant selection and curating a constant list of less than 1,000 songs that would fit on the 16GB device together with apps and other software. It was rarely fun to curate a tighter collection, but more often than not it was a tired, unpleasant affair that lasted years while I drifted in and out of touch with my music collection and tastes. I used to carry around more than 10,000 songs in my pocket, and it felt retrograde to compromise.
I pick for Spotify last year, mostly for its similarity to an online catalog I could drag from to create a playlists. It was described that it would forever change music for me. Spotify, as the iPod once was, is one of those products you can’t quite wrap your head around till you go all in. That means paying the $9.99 a month charge for premium and getting benefits like offline listening and no advertisements.
Spotify contains nearly every song in existence, with few exceptions — all cover up in an boundary that’s both more functional and easier to use than iTunes. To past music pirates, Spotify is like Valhalla. It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of confusion that hits the first few times you use the app and realize the vastness of its reach. It has music sighting and radio features, and it gives you the ability to know, what all your friends are listening to. It’s everything iTunes should have become.
With Spotify, you can explore the entire area of modern music with only a fanciful impulsiveness for what x or y may sound like. To say that Spotify has turn into music free is superfluous. Music, in the world of Spotify, is all or nothing. We just pay for the best tool to hear it. Not on YouTube, where we’re busy with ads and poor quality, or television, where we have little control over what we hear, or Sound cloud and Band camp, where artists can release and control their own library of tracks.
Some composers and longtime music fans I know think of Spotify as an egregious offend to music ownership. Others haven’t given it a chance yet, and continue to buy an album here or there. Spotify has curved me on to the utmost reaches of my musical tastes to the weirdest electronic tracks and overlooked classical compositions to Top 40 and even the songs and albums that used to fill my iPod way back.
Apple resistant the idea that musicians “don’t sell music at all,” but pursues promotional chances and plan big-budget concert tours. A world of free, limitless access to music is a time to rejoice, you’d think. Yet every now and then I find that Spotify is too bitter. As a music library, it’s random, and indifferent to my tastes. My music is not mine and never will be again. I’m reminded of what it felt like to open iTunes and feel at home, to be familiar with my music, as I imagine past generations felt as they gazed at their CD rack or their shelf full of vinyl. All I have now are digital playlists. They’re another struggle, not of space, but of time, as I attempt to carve out my own corner of Spotify’s enormous super bunch of songs.
At last I look at my smart phone screen, at the pointer flashing in Spotify’s search bar, and think about what to write, or which artist to look up. The choices might as well be never ending. But before long, I’m at my bus stop or I’m running late or I lose the motivation to listen, and I don’t play anything at all.