At the beginning of the decade, I distinctly remember sitting in the backseat of my sister’s car, sifting through a huge CD case, searching for the exact song we wanted to listen to. I was also known to lug my bulky, battery-powered Walkman portable CD player, which, if only slightly jostled, would skip, ruining my personal jam session.
At the beginning of the decade, the majority of people went into actual stores and bought actual CDs – until they found out about Napster and for a brief time were able to download an unlimited amount of songs for free.
It is almost hard to believe how much music consumption has changed. The popularity of CDs is fading, and it looks like the Apple Empire is slowly taking over.
I must admit I’ve jumped on the Apple bandwagon, and I’ve never regretted it.
The iPod was released in 2001 but gained popularity in the U.S. during the middle of the decade. Not only did this single device change the physical way we listen to music, but it changed the way music is sold, purchased and stored.
When the iPod and its partner, iTunes, first hit the scene, people were skeptical, but the device helped launch the music industry into the digital music age. Instead of physically taking out one CD from a music player and replacing it with another, people can instantly switch from album to album, song to song and artist to artist with one scroll of a wheel.
Music listeners are no longer burdened by large CD cases full of their favorite tunes.
They can hold up to 40,000 songs in their pockets – and even more on their computer.
When I’m interested in buying an artist’s latest album, instead of running to the closest music store, I can sit in my room and download from iTunes, Amazon or any number of Web sites selling music. Then, after purchasing almost any song, I can create an unlimited number of playlists.
Internet music is also becoming the new trend. Web sites like Pandora offer people the option of listening to music they don’t own.
I remember a time when CDs were relatively new and replacing cassette tapes, but I never thought about what would come next.
With so many vast changes in digital music over a decade, I can’t wait to see what surprises us in the next 10 years.