The way people listen to music has changed dramatically. In the past decade, music is now available digitally by accessing websites that host music that you can download direct from the website onto portable listening devices that hold the digital content. While that may seem commonplace now, fifteen to twenty years prior to that, individuals consumed music primarily as compiled records on a format called compact discs (called CDs) that were played on portable, car, or home stereo systems that could play CDs. The producer or distributor of the content, not the user, determined which songs would go on a CD – and typically a CD represented a single record of an artist.

With the advent of direct download of music from websites, music distribution started to become available on a song-by-song basis instead of by a full record. Users could buy the songs they wanted to listen to and not the whole record. Artists, distributors, and producers started selling songs individually for as little as ninety-nine cents. A whole new pricing model was born from this digital download technology and all parts of the value chain had to change in order to support this new model.

Not all users prefer to download songs from websites. Some users feel that the quality of sound from these digital sources are not high quality. These users seek out high-quality CD recordings – which is distinct from mainstream CD recordings – so that they can control the processing of the recording from the high-quality CD to the portable listening device. Additionally, many audiophiles choose portable listening devices that are considered high-quality systems. Sound quality in these high-quality systems is controlled by investing in distinct products that make up a listening system – similar to what audio aficionados would do with a home stereo system – they have not just the music storage system, such as an iPhone or other portable digital storage product, but also other ancillary devices, such as digital audio converters (DACs).

While some user still choose to buy high-quality CDs and rip music from the CDs to the their computers and then download to their listening devices, the ease of buying music song-by-song and syncing from a computer application to their portable devices is pretty compelling since it saves so much time and effort on the part of the user. Eventually, we may see CDs disappear from the market altogether just as CDs caused vinyl records to eventually disappear from the market.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the love affair of listening to great music while driving.  Here’s a great resource for getting up to speed on rockford audio amplifiers for your car.  Amps are the foundation of a great audio system and Rockford Fosgate have been making great ones for decades.  Pairing them with some high quality speakers and source electronic equipment means you’ll be ready for audio nirvana, regardless of your musical tastes.