Digital Music – The Way Forward

The era of digital music, it seems, has only just begun. Most of the technologically challenged members of the public had only just gotten used to the idea of a CD (compact disc) when the market giants, such as Apple, started introducing MP3 players and iPods. The next crisis in the music industry seemed to be the sharing of music files and illegal downloading of music, depriving artists and music moguls of their hard earned cash. The new dilemma is the quality of downloaded music.

Sharing music files and downloading music was eventually accepted by the music industry, as a headache that was here to stay. To combat the problem, online companies were created that sold songs to public at a set price. Companies would then basically go into business with the recording companies and record labels, so artist were able to receive some form of compensation for their work. For a set price, consumers are able to log onto sites to download songs of their choice for their iPods and MP3 players. Of course, illegal downloading and sharing of files remains a problem for the music industry, but the legal sites have also run into a stumbling block, namely the quality of the digital music.

To be able to load a vast number of songs and store them in one place takes up space. Songs are therefore changed to compressed files, making them smaller and faster to download. The problem with this is the fact that while listening to the music on the speakers of an iPod or MP3 player, there is no audible difference in the sound quality, but once played on a sound system, the change is easily spotted.

This has led to the search for digital music of a higher sound quality. Not surprisingly, a solution was found to bridge this problem, but with one solution comes more problems. Firstly, the music that is supplied on a lossless system will be of CD quality and music labels have given their support to these sites. Sites have definitely become state of the art, with consumers being able to navigate the sites by wireless keyboard and mouse, on the living room television. Instructions and icons have also been rewritten into instructions that can be followed more easily. However, the files are a lot bigger, need a lot of storage space and are more expensive per song, which excludes a yearly fee.

So as the world of digital music moves forward, it seems that there will always be something faster, better and more technologically advanced around the corner, at a price. As each hurdle is overcome and more amazing features and quality improvements are discovered, consumers are too afraid to wonder where the digital era might end. Many concerns have been put to rest, but there will definitely be more to come. With musicians, labels and online companies fighting for control and restrictions, consumers fight for more freedom of choice. It seems like an endless battle, with no easy solution ahead.