New developments for music and audio:
Following the demise of all older music carriers such as LP, tape and CD and the meteoric rise of music download services, there arose the need to find new ways of achieving fidelity audio at home. The main driving factor is that people, through convenience and availability alike, stopped buying CDs and opted instead for downloading music on their phones and PCs. This gave rise to the development of music servers and similar components that locate one’s music on a central or directly connected storage server and plays it back via the hi-fi system. This has the added benefit of resampling the audio files and making the most of the (often very lacking) mp3 music files.
In addition to playing music from a server and up-sampling the audio quality, many such streaming players have now developed the ability to play audio files of much higher quality than was ever available on CD or DVD. This means that in addition to the convenience of having one’s complete music library available at the touch of a button, a much higher quality music is fast becoming a reality.
It has long been a basic requirement for many people to have music played and distributed throughout their homes, offices or places of entertainment. This was conventionally done by connecting a CD player, radio, satellite decoder or other source of music to an analogue audio distribution system that plays these music sources in the room of your choice. Even though this was a reasonable solution, control and selection was quite limited, mainly by the fact that one has to be at the system to select the desired music, by inserting a CD or choosing a radio channel.
With the advent of digital music streaming services, a new world has opened for distributed audio entertainment. Now control is in your hands in the form of a smartphone or tablet and the user has the ability to browse vast libraries of music and select directly from them to play in the room of their choice.
Online music streaming:
Better still are the plethora of new online music streaming services. These are mostly subscription-based services that charge a nominal monthly fee and offer massive catalogues of music for playback. The main difference in these services to what went before is that they do not save or even download any files to the user. All content (music) is streamed directly from the services directly and all that is required is a stable internet connection. This type of service improves the user experience in a number of ways by offering a much bigger selection of music than most people will ever have as well as the fact that it is instantly available and is totally independent in each room of the home. This also includes a previously stifled format, namely radio. All FM and AM stations now offer their programming over the internet and is included in streaming services for free, which frees up the conventional restrictions placed on a household whereby one radio tuner equalled one station - often resulting in clashes within the family over what to listen to.