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Evolution of Music Distribution

Spotify, iPods, radios, cd players, DVD players, boomboxes, walkmans, and record players. A line of great machines made to serve you like the sound of the day. Music is what makes the world move, so why should it have been limited to seated concerts to listen to your favorite song? That is exactly what everyone thought before the original music radio. From there had grown a business of spreading the sounds created by great musicians.

In the beginning, it was hard to believe but we humans actually only had our voices as instruments. Most notably, in the 1920s the radio as we know it was released. Of course, it rocked the world essentially spreading local vibes to towns across the sea. The receiver had its perks with things like radio comms, music, early telephones, and a whole lot more. The radio was originally just made for communications and was not a music service as it is now until the 1940s. This was all thanks to the LP vinyl records.

LP vinyl records were gods back when they came out. It changed so much about how we listened to music. What would you do if your favorite artist was in your drawer ready to sing for you? A lot, and that's what drove the record playing business. Back in the day records were the blu-ray disks we know now. However, none of these things would be possible without Peter Carl Goldmark. He had the idea of personal music and made it happen. He started around the 1920s and worked on the prototype for some time and got it down from only 11 minutes of audio to 23 minutes on each side. He released the finished product in the 1940s. Radio stations bought up and many artists wanted to globalize their music. And they did what they said they were going to do, globalize and personalize records and music.

As said before the radio stations picked up the opportunity to stream music. The radio stations were then popularized relatively parallel to the record hype and almost made a loop of demand for records that demanded more music. This sent shockwaves to artists outputting their music and becoming known worldwide for some of the best songs ever made. In the music business, new styles were being introduced every day as record stores were archives for music styles, songs, and culture. Records are renowned for essentially skyrocketing the music business and creating opportunities for everyone around. Because of this, there are awards like gold and platinum records to show the worth and popularity of the songs. Records are used even now for aesthetic reasons and for pleasure as it is very much nostalgic.

With everything came an upgrade. Records were soon taken over by cassettes and smaller portable music players. Cassettes were the new thing and records couldn’t compete with its size and capacity. It all started in the 1960s when the tapes were released for cars. It didn’t get picked up, but it paced slowly then blew up in the 70s. It became the most common music platform. Cassettes could be played on walkmans, radios, and stereos (i.e., boombox). This became the new thing, and it overtook the record player completely. The cassette tapes were able to hold 30-45 minutes on each side. And they were less than a third of the record player. Musicians could add more, consumers could hold less but have more value, and companies didn’t have to pay as much as records. Slowly vinyl records were overtaken but not forgotten. Records were still made but weren’t anything compared to the large factories all for tapes.

Now that we know the basis of these three pieces of technology, here are the cultural impacts as said before records, along with cassettes, globalized styles, and culture. You won’t understand Chinese or English if you don’t know it, but you can groove rock, and dance to the vibes the music gives off. This grew more understanding of some cultures we couldn’t understand at the time, but we could appreciate the music just as much as the creator. I personally bought a record player for the aesthetic and got a hand-me-down walkman, so I know how they sound feel and the vibes they give. When you play music on them, it’s like a nostalgia trip, but you also have a happy feeling (unless you play a sad song). I suggest trying one out, I mean without it a lot of the music we know now wouldn’t be a thing.


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