Music streaming and downloads
downloading and streaming music

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The music business was in crisis. After CDs took over the market over vinyl records, computer and Internet technology turned the entire music industry on its head as consumers could easily download digital files of songs such as MP3s, posing an existential threat to the music industry's monetization model. Sites like Napster became the enemy.

The Steve Jobs came to the rescue with iTune and the iPod! Just when you thought that putting together a rational, legal music download system was hopeless due to the greed and stupidity of the record companies, along came Steve Jobs with a cool new service that actually works.

Armed with his awesome iPods and great downloading software, the iTunes music store let users purchase songs for 99 cents and actually lets them keep the songs and use them! What a novel concept!

For a while, Apple dominated the music business with a huge percentage of legal downloads. Other services tried to compete, but the mighty iPod and then the iPhone made it very difficult for others to have a real impact. Of course there were complications. Music labels and artists weren't making as much money on downloads versus CD sales. Some high-profile artists like Radiohead let fans download their music for free. Others like Moby didn't care much about getting paid for downloads, and many artists now realize that they can give away music and make money on tour.

Then everything changed again with music streaming. This was incredibly convenient for consumers, and music labels and artists had a new revenue source. The situation isn't ideal for those who make music, but the industry has stabilzed and many consumers are thrilled.

Our latest entertainment content can be found in the entertainment category in our new magazine format. Find more music content archives by checking out the Music thread on our blog.

Resources

Spotify
The introduction of this app completely changed the music industry . . . again. With the subscrition service, users basically have access to a staggering music library. Do you like Bruce Springsteen? All of his albums are on there, along with select live recordings. You can easily follow artists, make playlists, and download songs and albums. Throw in podcasts and this is an amazing app.

Apple Music
iTunes is dead, and now Apple Music is the new platform that offers real competition to Spotify.

Pandora
This app came before Spotify, but it's really more like a radio app. They are slowly adding features in an attempt to compete with Spotify and Apple Music.

Tidal
This new streaming service is focusing on hi-def audio and video, trying to gain market share by focusing on quality.

Emusic.com
This music blog covers developments in the music business.

Articles

Best Music Streaming Services
Helpful article on how to choose among Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and more.

Apple's Lossless Streaming is Here. This Is How It Compares to the Competition
It is official: 2021 is the year of lossless streaming. It's taken years and huge leaps in technology, but it's finally getting easier to listen to high-quality audio without taking out the record player or CD player. That's because Apple and Spotify are both introducing lossless streaming tiers this summer. And that's on top of an already packed list of lossless streaming services that have been around, such as Tidal, Amazon, Qobuz and Deezer.

The Best Hi-Res Audio Streaming Services
Only a handful of streaming music services offer Hi-Res Audio, or HRA. Here's where to find the high-quality music streams that offer a superior listening experience—if you have the right equipment.

15 Best Places to Get Free Music Downloads
Download free music legally.

Archived Content


Which Music Service is Right for You?Which Music Service is Right for You?
November 14, 2011

Jeff Morgan breaks down the various music services available for streaming your tunes on the web.

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