From tapes to online streaming

    Recently, while cleaning my house, I found a box of old audio cassettes. Here it is, in the photo. I specifically applied the effect of lomography to emphasize the feelings that this find aroused to me.
    In this article, I would like to recall how we listened to music, what the players were like, and at the same time fantasized about the direction of their evolution.


    I remember in the late 90s I went to school with a cassette player, and in computer magazines I saw advertisements for mysterious devices - MP3 players. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that player, I only remember that it was a Chinese something with the proud inscription Walkman. Of course, this device belonged to the real Walkman a little less than nothing.
    Cassettes were 45 minutes, 60 and even 90 on one side. But the branded, so-called “licensed” tapes contained only one album, and the party there could even last 30 minutes. If you wanted to be able to listen to something else, you had to carry a lot of tapes with you in your backpack. It was not possible to quickly find the desired song - I hope it is clear why. To this it is worth adding the periodic chewing of the film. And with what appetite this player “ate” batteries - I don’t even want to remember.
    In general, I won’t say that listening to music was easy.

    Compact discs

    Around the same time, there were already players playing CDs, but to me they seemed much more uncomfortable than cassette players, since both the player itself and the disks for it took up a lot of space. Some of the advantages could have been noticed if the device could play not ordinary CDs, but MP3. But still: the size of the CD player is slightly larger than the disk, and the size of the cassette player is slightly larger than the cassette. Therefore, cassette players still seemed more compact to me.
    By the way, 120-mm optical discs are called compact because they were not yet compact 30-centimeter. Fortunately, they did not receive wide distribution.


    After graduating from school, I bought my first MP3 player with a memory capacity (scary to say!) Of 256 MB. To understand how much this is “a lot,” it’s enough to recall that 600 MB was placed on a CD (a regular CD, not a DVD, and certainly not Blue-Ray), which amounted to almost 10 hours of MP3 sound. This player “ate” the battery not as actively as the cassette, but it was necessary to charge the batteries every three to four days.
    Later, having bought a phone with an output for 3.5 mm jack, I thought that here it is, an ideal player. But there were some unexpected problems. If you remove the headphones from the phone, then he suddenly switched to an external speaker, and everyone around him knew that you were listening. In terms of dimensions, the phone was much larger than the MP3-player, and its interface is still focused on calls and SMS, and not on the management of the track list.
    And the replacement of the tapes did not go away, unless now it consisted in connecting the player to the computer via USB and recording the necessary compositions there.
    As a result, I wore a telephone and a player for a long time at the same time, until the tram ride for two hours a day disappeared from my life.


    Whatever device for listening to music we choose, we can not get anywhere from the finiteness of the memory card. No matter how big it may be, but all the music that I would like to listen to will not fit there.
    An obvious property of an ideal player is the lack of the need to download new music. That is, your entire music collection should always be available. It is clear that no information carrier is enough, and it is not needed. Cloud technology will help us.
    Such a solution already exists - ASUS Cloud . Of course, there is a client for it for Android devices . That is, you can upload a collection of music there and, with a fairly fast Internet connection, listen to it online.


    It seems to me that someday specialized devices for listening to music online should appear. And although the market for pocket players has almost completely replaced smartphones, there is another niche - car radios. How do you like a radio that can play any melody from your collection? All that will be needed for this is a sim card and a fairly fast mobile Internet.
    Further more. The need for local storage of music may soon exhaust itself. There will be services that allow you to create a playlist of songs directly on the server, and provide streaming. Something like a personal Internet radio.
    Pluses are available. The consumer disappears the need to upload gigabytes of files to the device in the expectation that some of this will suddenly want to listen. You can easily share music with friends and find out what they are listening to.
    Of the minuses, a new round in the development of the struggle for copyright can be noted. But bulletproof servers, traffic encryption and free licenses under which records will be published will come to the rescue.
    The only problem that has been relevant from the time of cassette players to this day is how to fold the headphones so that they do not get confused?

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