Your Music Your Way

By RENEE SUMMERS, A&E Editor

Believe it or not, there was a time when consumers actually went into a music store to purchase music. The retail stores went by names like Sam Goody, Harmony House and For Your Entertainment (FYE), to name a few. This was before the turn of the millennium in 2000.  

First there were vinyl records, which declined in popularity during the mid-1980s in favor of compact discs. But those too lost their novelty and fell out of popularity within a 30-year time frame.

According to the New York Times, CD sales reached $9.4 billion in 2006; nearly a decade later sales fell to $1.5 billion, a drop of 84 percent. In addition, the practice of downloading music has practically been abandoned.  

The preferred method of obtaining music by consumers has now become streaming. According to the New York Times, streaming made up 34.3 percent of music sales in 2016. Consumers use digital retailers such as Spotify, Rhapsody, Internet Radio from Pandora or even videos on YouTube.  

According to Matthew Moskovciak, who writes for C/net, about a dozen such subscription services exist around the world. Really? That’s all? Moskovciak also states that some artists choose not to stream their music as they don’t make much money through a streaming service. He cites Taylor Swift as a prime example. He also claims that streaming music via your desktop computer is preferable if you are concerned about sound quality. A computer offers more keyboard controls than a smartphone. If your desktop computer is your method of listening, Mark Harris, a music producer who writes for Lifewire, says that although web browsers have the ability to play some streaming music formats, he recommends installing a software media player such as Microsoft Window Media Player or Real Player.  

The bottom line is, if you’re going to listen to music, listen to quality music. And you can forget the trip to the music store, it went the way of the dinosaur.