The access to music has grown exponentially in these past few years. Decades ago, we would just play music at home using large discs called records. Eventually, cassette tapes became available which were handy too so one could carry them around easily and play them on “walkmans”. This then turned into small compact discs which made playback seamless with the same walkmans or CD players. Then, just recently, mp3 players became the gold standard of music players. No cassettes or CDs needed but only files of music downloaded from the internet. And then here we are now, streaming thousands and thousands of songs available with just a few clicks and no downloaded files needed! We’ve come a long way, definitely. So, let’s find our more about this current trend of music streaming.
Streaming Media Defined
Streaming, simply put, is a technology that delivers content that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider. To stream refers to the process of delivering or obtaining media in this manner. It is an alternative to file downloading, a process in which the end-user obtains the entire file for the content before watching or listening to it. Music, videos, or even both are easily accessible with streaming media.
In the 1920s, George O. Squier was granted patents for a system for the transmission and distribution of signals over electrical lines. This made it possible for Muzak to stream continuous music to commercial customers without the use of radio. Attempts to display media on computers date back to the earliest days of computing in the mid-20th century. However, little progress was made for several decades, primarily due to the high cost and limited capabilities of computer hardware.
A lot of streaming services available today will let you listen for free. There are some that will charge monthly subscriptions though. However, regardless of the app, music streaming is definitely easily accessible with tons of options. You should really consider subscribing to some of these apps if you want to stream music:
- Amazon Music
- Apple Music
Problems with Streaming
Because streaming delivers data as you need it, slow or interrupted internet connections can cause problems. The most common streaming error, however, is buffering. The buffer is a program’s temporary memory for streamed content. The buffer is always filling up with the content you need next but halts with interrupted connections. For example, if you have streamed only the first 30 seconds of a song and your internet connection drops at the 31st second, the song stops playing.