Listening in the cloud

The transition from physical music to digital music has become prominent in today’s culture.

A notification from Twitter pops up on your screen. Your favorite artist just released a new album. In the tweet, a link is included to download the music.

You unlock your phone, eager to listen. With the click of a button, the new album is downloaded onto your device, and you begin to enjoy the music.

It wasn’t always that easy.

Prior to the popularity of digital music, CDs and Vinyl were common forms of entertainment. However, these methods are not instant, and immediate gratification has led many users to rely solely on technology.

The rise of technology has placed digital music into forefront of the lives of many people, resulting in the disappearance of physical copies of music from everyday life.

Digital music providers including Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud have different features, but they all share the common purpose of providing users with music to enjoy from the convenience of a digital device.

Sophomore Natalie Troglio said, “I tend to use digital music more than [CDs] because it is more convenient for me. I always have my phone with me, which allows me to listen to music whenever I want.”

CDs and record players are becoming less favored, due to the reliance on the internet for music. However, some people still prefer classic versions of music, such as Vinyl.

English teacher Jody Humes said, “I mainly buy digital copies of music, but if I really like an artist, I’ll buy their album on Vinyl for a more authentic recording.”

One of the many reasons for the transition from old-fashioned music devices to modern-day ones is that access to the Internet gives users the potential to stream a numerous amount of songs.

Apple Music gives users access to many songs and albums.

Sophomore Emma Armstrong, an Apple Music user, said, “Apple Music allows me to enjoy all of the music that I’m interested in. It’s convenient for me to use because I can access all of my music on my phone.”

Apple Music is a relatively new music provider. Subscribers have the ability to stream the full iTunes library, and they enjoy the liberty of downloading music onto their devices for offline listening. Subscribers also have access to Beats 1, Apple’s 24-hour radio station. In addition, subscribers can also skip songs as frequently as they wish on Apple Music radio stations.

“Apple Music is the next chapter in music,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a keynote introducing Apple Music.

Spotify is an alternative to Apple Music. This service offers users access to streaming millions of songs. Spotify membership enables users to enjoy their music offline and free of advertisements, similar to Apple Music. However, Spotify claims that their music library has high quality audio.

SoundCloud is a distinct music service, due to the freedom that users have to post their own sounds. From the convenience of a smartphone, users can post their own media at no additional cost.

Despite the massive increase in digital music, many people still value physical copies of music due to distinctive features that are found only on hard copies.

Armstrong said, “Though I use digital music more often, physical copies of music are nice to have because many of my favorite artists release bonus songs that are only available on CDs.”

Music has always been part of many people’s lives, and due to the transition from physical to digital entertainment, people have changed their ways of enjoying music.

Troglio said, “Though I prefer physical copies due to their authenticity, I listen to music several times a day. I use digital more often due to its convenience.”

The steady increase in digital music services has enriched lives with new forms of music entertainment.

Armstrong said, “Digital music will change the way that people experience music forever.”