Digitalization of Music

Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play etc. 



Before the digitalization of music, if a person wanted to  listen to a song or an album they would have had to use an analog medium like a cassette tape or vinyl record. After vinyl records and cassette tapes, technology evolved into another medium called CDs. CDs evolved into MP3s, a digital audio recording.  Today most older analog forms of music or audio are becoming obsolete and Digital Audio has overtaken the music industry.

What is the difference between Analog and Digital? Is Digital Better?


Not long after the digitalization of music, Apple Inc. pioneered a new direction for music industry. Digital audio/music recordings were soon available on iTunes, a media library used to play download and organize digital audio. Other companies saw the economic possibilities and music streaming websites became available as well. 

Online audio and music streaming services have become increasingly popular over the years and now leaders of the digital music streaming industry include Spotify, Soundcloud, GooglePlay, Rhapsody, Pandora, Apple Music and more. The streaming music can now be played from smartphones, laptops, and most other current electronics.


Poly-directionality and the Digitization of Music go hand in hand, especially with the rise of different online music streaming modalities. An example of this poly-directionality can be seen in one of the major online music streaming services, Soundcloud. Soundcloud gives users the ability to upload their own original content through the website and the music can then be distributed from that one person to many people throughout the entire world.


The concept space of flows and the digitalization of music are two interesting topics that correlate with each other. Space of flows put simply is an idea that the digital age has overcome geographical barriers because of network space. A relatively simple example of space of flows applied to digitized music is that Justin Bieber a Canadian singer can post digitized songs on music streaming sites from North America and instantaneously on another continent that song can be heard, showing the true death of distance that the digital age has created.


Timeless time can be related to the digitalization of music in various ways.  An example of timeless time in digital music could be a song posted onto a major online music website like Soundcloud or spotify. The digital music that was posted can be viewed at a later time making the digital music asynchronous. If the music were streamed live online (in realtime), the music would be considered synchronous. A song could be posted and not be popular for a long time that would be asynchronous information processing. The combination of both the synchronous and asynchronous information processing modalities is possible in digital music and allows to negate a sequence.


If the digital footprint is almost inevitable then the digital footprint of digitized music is most likely very large.... There are millions of songs on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Google Play, Pandora, Rhapsody, and other music libraries and streaming websites. According to CNN, 25 billion songs have been downloaded from iTunes alone. It is likely that these songs will stay on the websites for a long time, if not forever. As digitized music is compressed like a lot of other information on the internet. It is true that some online music streaming websites services out there essentially allow users to give their digital footprint away (similar to social media) by posting music in online websites and agreeing to terms and conditions. 

My topic: Digitalization of Music was somewhat broad but I tried to focus on digital music streaming websites like Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play. I think that these streaming websites highly relate to several of the characteristics of digitalization and I hope that came across in my presentation.

 Personal notes: sometimes thinking about all the music that we have access to today brings me to cloud nine. I believe that we are very fortunate to live in a world where virtually any type of music that we could want is available to us in digitized form at anytime. 

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Digitalization of Music

by savannahdlove


Public - 7/13/16, 7:54 AM