Long, long ago, (in the 1970s) automobile manufacturers began equipping cars with cassette players. Cassette recorders were hot little numbers. You could buy a recorder for a few dollars and all the blank tapes you wanted from any department store. Everyone had one.
It was not a problem if you went to your local department store and bought a tape of The Eagles or Guns and Roses. The problem came in when people started sitting in front of their radios with a cassette recorder and recorded their favorite song for free. The artists who made their living by selling music went crazy. This was when we were introduced to terms like piracy and copyrights.
This was the beginning of the war
During this time, getting free music was frustrating, but not a major problem. One reason was the quality of a song recorded with a hand-held recorder on a cassette tape was pretty bad. It was rare to get a recording that did not sound scratchy, and more than one or two of the songs were sure to have the sound of the dog barking or your mother yelling for you to “Shut that thing off and do your homework.”
The music industry was right to be concerned. Because the computer age was about to arrive and with it, tools to make all of their fears come true.
Fast forward to the early 2000s. Home computers were everywhere. The internet was alive and well and soon technology made it easy to download music, movies, webinars, and anything else you wanted to. Now, the music industry had a problem. The government had trouble keeping up. Many regulations were introduced. It seemed every few years lawsuits were filed, and more clarification was needed.
Finally, technology found a way to allow people to use their computers and software provided to them from their platforms to download music, movies, media files, and streaming.
The new music technology
This is when companies launched their software. They usually provide a free version or a free-trial, and once you were in love with the software, they could upgrade to a paid subscription. Some of the big players in the field include:
- Radio Tray
- Apple Itunes
- Google Play
The list goes on and on. These are all good companies that operate legally and provide a high-quality download.
What makes them different
First of all, technology is a massive and growing beast. In order to compete in this field, the technical experts must be continually improving and developing. There is not a moment to waste. The race to keep up sometimes pushes smaller companies to introduce a product before it is “ready.” With the quality software programs that are on the market, software that is slow, spotty, and has kinks in it will bleed to death in short order.
The next issue is the variety of equipment that is available now. Smartphones, Androids, IPads, iPods, tablets, Windows, Chromebook, and Mac all own their share of the market. The software to use for music and movie downloads has to be available for each of the devices that people use. Software that will only work on one or two of these products will not be able to keep up.
Computer users are fickled people. You need only to look outside a cell phone shop the day before the latest and greatest model of iPhone is released to know how seriously people take their technology. You will also find they have a short-lived loyalty. When Samsung introduces a new phone that is praised as better than the phone they bought 2 months ago, people will run to the nearest Samsung dealer to check it out.
Where are we now?
Every tech company wants to be the best. To be the best, they keep software up to date. They have versions for every platform and it is easy to get from any app store. It performs as promised and gives the user more than they could watch or listen too if they lived to be 100.
The apps must allow users to drill down and grab their favorites. It must be easy to use and they better have a top of the line tech support staff. As the old saying goes, “If you snooze, you lose”. This is one of those cases.
No end in sight
This is a growing industry. Investors from around the world are looking into these media sensations. There is no end in sight. It is a safe bet that the millions of customers who are already knee-deep in the industry are not going away. You can find free apps at any major app store. One good choice is Music Zoom, for a free demo on http://music-zoom.com, without registering.
All eyes are on this industry. There is big money to be made here, and the movers and shakers of industry want in on it. The consumer is invested in this too. They have their computers and equipment ready to go. It all comes down to who is showing the most progress in the field and who are committed to the growth that is coming in the near future. One thing is sure. This technology is going places. We can hardly wait to see what comes next.