Digitalization of Music


Digitalization is a process in which our society's old ways of doing things are being replaced by new, electronic ways of doing the same things. The new electronic ways of doing things are generally faster and more efficient at accomplishing the same goals that were previously accomplished through the old ways. 

One example of digitalization is with music. Music is constantly being stored in more and more efficient ways. For most of the 20th century vinyl records were the primary means of storing music. In the early 1970s, compact cassettes emerged, followed by CDs which emerged in 1982, followed by the newest digital music services such as iTunes and Spotify which emerged in the decade of the 2000s. The newest digital music services allow people to store more music more easily than ever before.

Characteristics of Digitalization


New music services such as Spotify and Pandora can select music for users based on what they are most likely to enjoy, based on the music they have listened to in the past. These services utilize complex algorithms and artificial intelligence to process information and make decisions. People are able to find new music that they enjoy more easily than they would have been able to in the past.

Digital Footprint

One characteristic of digitalization is that a digital footprint is always left behind. A digital footprint makes it always possible to know what someone has done in the digital world. It is a collected record of what has happened. In the case of digital music, all of the music that someone listens to using digital music services can potentially be "recorded" by the digital music services, so as to enable algorithmification using that information. 

Death of Distance

Digitalization diminishes the negative effects that physical distance between people/places has traditionally posed. For example, in the past, if you left all of your records at home and went on vacation, you would not be able to listen to your preferred music. Today, with digitalization, "distance" no longer exists. As long as you have your smartphone or digital music player, it is impossible to be "away from home". All of your music, and all the music in the world, is right at your fingertip wherever you go.

Thank you for watching.

Akaash Nagra, COM170

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Public - 5/7/16, 1:02 AM