Putting music on the mic

Let’s get straight to the musical point: iPods look the business. Small and sleek they’ve got the ability to store all of your best (and worst) tracks. Which means your entire collection of CDs can resign themselves to a life on eBay. And who’s to argue with150 million sales across the globe? Definitely not us. But like everything, they’ll eventually have their day. Here’s what the future has to say on the matter.

We’re all guilty of wanting everything to be done in an instant. If it’s not fast enough it’s not good enough. Us consumers call the shots and that’s why teams of software designers are locked away in a dark room somewhere coming up with answers. Storing music using less memory with faster download times is what they’ll be thinking about this very minute. No pressure there then.

Which brings us on to ‘lossy’ or ‘lossless’ formats. Don’t worry, we’re not going to get all technical on you. It’s simply the difference between an MP3 and CD. Lossy formats remove info that isn’t considered important (in the case of Celine Dion that probably means everything) giving a file that’s ten times smaller and with A grade sound quality. Music to our ears? You could say that.

But like all things there’s a downside to all this amazing tech stuff: musical piracy. Read more about it here: guardian.co.uk and Peter Gabriel – the future of music

Bands such as Radiohead recently tackled the problem by giving fans the choice of downloading their latest album digitally and paying whatever they liked. For some reason, not paying a penny went down well with the music masses.

Other deterrents like Digital Rights Management (DRM) are also being looked into. This is where codes attached to the files give a ‘nice try mate’ to those trying to copy it. But for now, if somebody downloads music illegally, they’ll receive a telling off delivered by the postman, and it’s no love letter.
Want to make it in the music industry? Then you could become:

  • music industries promotion manager promoting your clients work and making sure their music can be accessed by as wide an audience as possible
  • sound technician maintaining and working sound equipment for recording musicians in live events or in a studio
  • recording industry producer organising and recording music and putting together albums
  • sound engineer making recordings of musicians in a studio for release on CD or in other formats
  • music publisher dealing with the legal and business aspects of the music industry, registering copyright and negotiating contracts
  • software developer looking at ways of reducing music file size while keeping the quality of the music
  • solicitor looking at the laws of copyright and advising clients of legal matters related to music piracy

For more about different music formats and where they can be found, look this way: