What's the Best Way to Listen to Music Today?
As listeners, we’ve never had so many options when it comes to music. We can listen to music in virtually any way we want - so which is best?
Online and Digital
Online and digital ways of listening to music is undoubtedly the dominant form of listening to music in the 21st century. It’s quick and easy, and it allows you to listen to music wherever you are. This is something that has never been possible before the arrival of digital music. You can now listen to live recordings, cover songs and old recordings online. It is a system that creates its own problems though.
It’s very difficult to price and demand money for information goods - and that’s what digital music can offer. This is going to become more and more difficult for record companies to contain and manage in the future. New strategies and ideas will no doubt emerge in the coming years though.
Some people still persist with CDs even though online and digital music has become so popular. This has a lot to do with people wanting to have a physical copy of the album in their possession. They see it as important to have it as part of a real collection rather than just a file on a computer screen.
This is something that is most common with people over the age of 30. People who are young enough not to have grown up with CDs see no real attachment to them. And that’s understandable. They offer slightly better audio quality than compressed digital files. But there aren’t too many other benefits of CDs.
Despite being taken over by CDs in the 1990s, vinyl records have managed to weather the storm. They’re even managing to survive in the digital era. That’s largely thanks to obsessive audiophiles. They’re people who are convinced that the best way to listen to recorded music is on vinyl, thanks to the high audio quality.
Events like Record Store Day have helped keep the sales of vinyl records in a healthy state. Last year, their sales were at the highest they’d been at since the mid-90s. So, don’t write off the possibility of vinyl records. There are more and more people returning to them or discovering them for the first time.
A lot of people still argue that the only truly great way to experience music is live. This is a view that’s especially widely held by people who love classical, orchestra-led music. And you can see why they’d think that. There’s nothing more impressive that watching a full orchestra giving a performance.
We are saying a new focus on live rock and indie music too. Now that it is becoming increasingly difficult for small and medium-sized bands to make much money from album sales, things are changing. They realise that the best way to make money is to go on tour and sell as many tickets as possible.
It’s hard to say which of these ways of listening to music is the best. It all depends on what you prioritise when you listen to music. Some prefer audio quality while others prefer ease.