A Brief History About Downloading Music


 A Brief History About Downloading Music

A Brief History About Downloading Music

The term "downloading" might not seem like the most exciting thing in the world. However, there was a time when downloading meant something different. In fact, it implied that you had to physically go to a store and select a record (often vinyl or cassette) that you wanted to buy. You brought it back home and popped it into your hi-fi stereo. Nowadays, we have included download music as part of the modern world as well.

The first concept of downloading music was introduced by Sony in the late 70's or early 80's. They began the concept of providing you with a compact disc that contained the tracks that you wanted to listen to on your hi-fi stereo. Soon after, other companies quickly followed suit such as RCA and later, EMI. All of this led to a period where each record company wanted to provide these compact discs with their albums.

On October 15th, 1984, a major event took place when Apple released their Apple IIGS computer in a new color: silver. With this new computer came a brand new method of playing records and compact discs in your home stereo--a digital audio tape recorder (DAT). This new DAT recorder was able to record music from your hi-fi stereo onto a special cassette tape.

In the early 90's, the Internet was introduced for commercial use. The most exciting thing about this was being able to send files from one computer to another without needing a physical connection between the computers. In fact, these computers could be on opposite sides of the world and still exchange information with each other! Sound familiar? It should because this is exactly how we download information today... we know it as e-mail.

Apple's technology advanced once again in 1993 when they launched new personal computers that had built-in modems and support for digital audio formats like MP3s, AACs, and others. Soon, people were sharing music files with friends and family all over the world.

The worldwide web was released in 1995, which meant a huge advance in how we download music. Instead of having to rely on separate companies to store our music files, we could now have access to them at any time from any computer. In 1997, Winamp was launched as one of the first media players for downloading songs onto your computer. Think about that for a minute--a media player that played MP3s and allowed you to download those files from the Internet!

At this point, things were really moving along as others began releasing their own media players for free download like RealPlayer and Windows Media Player. However, in the early 2000's, Napster was created. This allowed people to share their music files with one another freely without having to use a physical connection like the Internet. For example, this would mean that someone can download all of the songs from a CD collection into his or her computer's hard drive all at once rather than having to purchase each CD individually. It also meant that you had some sort of server on which you were able to upload your music files onto.

On December 12th, 2002, The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) invited Apple to join them in suing Napster. The RIAA claimed that Napster was infringing on the copyright of their member recording companies. To avoid being sued, Apple had to remove their ability for users to share music files.

In 2003, Virgin Records and Sony Music Entertainment (SME) announced that they had joined with over 60 major recording companies in suing the world's largest peer-to-peer file-sharing network, Kazaa, for copyright infringement. Pathetic.

So what does the future hold for downloading music? At this point there are more free media players out there than ever before--but here's a shocker...


The future of the music industry depends upon consumer's ability to receive music in whatever format they desire. This doesn't mean that we don't buy our music anymore. It simply means we get our music from different places--something we're not doing now. Our biggest obstacle, technology, is rapidly advancing and changing every year. For example, in order for us to download music from the Internet, we need to have a fast connection. In order for us to have fast connections, telephone companies must deploy broadband connections throughout the world faster while simultaneously reducing their high charges. One way this can be done is by providing incentives as well as saving consumers money with the latest technologies like VoIP and DSLR...

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