Rewind: the beginning of streamed music


The want for portable and on-demand music is definitely not on pause, and that has given rise to streaming services and devices that allowed listeners to jam to their favorite songs at any time or place.

One of the first devices for taking music on the go was none other than the Song Walkman. Released in 1979, the Walkman was a portable cassette player. Listeners could pop in a cassette and listen to their favorite artists or a mixtape of their own while walking down the street. Previously, the only other device to satisfy the want for on-the-go music were boomboxes, which were bulkier and heavier than a Walkman making them less convenient.

Decades later, a new device finally struck the heart of the music lover market: the iPod. Released by Apple in 2001, the iPod has become the most popular MP3 player. With the ability to hold 4,000 songs, the iPods flew off the shelves. By 2010, 275 million iPods had been sold. This was the first taste of the union between digital devices and music streaming.  

Pandora Radio launched in 2005 as an American music streaming service with the intention of providing personalized radio stations based on customer preferences. On Pandora Radio, users can choose a genre, musician, or song and the app will develop a station based on the criteria handed in by the listener. After this, users can rate the songs given to them with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” and the station will adapt to the user’s preferences. 

Soon after, SoundCloud became the first on-demand service to focus on music in 2007. Through this online music distribution platform, musicians were given an outlet to share their music for free and allowing free publication (and perhaps success)  for starting artists. 

Over the years, there has been a great increase in the number of different streaming services. Two of the most popular recent additions have been Apple Music and Spotify. Both of these services offer unlimited streaming with a payment each month. 

Though all these musical puns might come off as being flat, the impressive technology that houses streamed music will only grow into a crescendo that provides music for all.


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