From turntable to music streaming, via MP3

As soon as the catchy rhythms of rock and roll began to rumble on the ground, there was nothing to stop them! Stars like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Bill Haley really knew how to get audiences to move their bodies in the 1950s and ’60s, and they pioneered many of today’s musical genres. But it’s not just music that keeps evolving, as the way we consume it is also in a constant state of flux. The predominant trend today is streaming music over your home Wi-Fi network.

Enjoying music has become a digital experience

Rock and roll was enjoyed on record players well into the 1970s. Then, in the 1980s, cassette tapes began to take our living rooms by storm, followed later by the compact disc (CD). From the 1980s onwards, dedicated playback devices such as the Walkman® made it possible to listen to music even when away from home: when cycling, jogging or traveling by bus or train. In the mid-90s, a new digital format for music consumption appeared that revolutionized the way everyone listened to it: the MP3 format.

The origins of MP3

In 1993, the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), led by German researchers, engineers and scientists from the Fraunhofer Society, ushered in the modern era of music. The idea was simple: to make digital music more accessible, audio files had to be compressed in such a way that they used less data, with little audible loss of quality. Thus was born the ISO / IEC 11172-3 standard, the origin of what became known as MP3 (MPEG Audio Layer III). Its premise: the human ear does not process all the information and there are certain frequency ranges that it does not perceive at all, which was taken advantage of by compression methods such as MPEG.

Audio files are processed in such a way that acoustic information is missing, but the human ear can hardly tell the difference. This new standard paved the way for downloadable music. However, there was a long period of time when computers were the only option to play this music. With the arrival of the first portable MP3 players in the late 1990s, the spread of the MP3 format accelerated.

The era of streaming

Some years later, devices used solely to play music disappeared again. Smartphones have taken over the role that MP3 players once did, and the era of music streaming has begun. Today, most people listen to most of their music using streaming services like Spotify®, either with a free ad-funded account or through a paid subscription. The providers offer a wide range of services: some trim your files to ensure low data rates, while others specialize in lossless, high-resolution encoding methods. And even if the MP3 format itself has had a natural technical succession and is hardly actively used in these services anymore, the truth is that it laid the groundwork and achieved the goal of making digital music more accessible.

State-of-the-art amenities

The benefits and convenience of online streaming have already become an essential part of everyday life. We now literally have entire music libraries at the click of a button instead of individual records, cassettes, or CDs that have to be exchanged manually. It’s also incredibly easy to share music recommendations or entire playlists with others over the Internet. Not even the creators of MP3 could have imagined how its development would end up shaping and changing the way we listen to music, even if we take into account that users of today’s streaming services are less concerned about available hard disk space and more concerned about the volume of data and the quality of the connection.

Perfect music streaming with perfect Wi-Fi

A stable online connection is essential to enjoy music today. This means having perfect Wi-Fi coverage in your own home. Devolo home networking solutions help you in this regard, thanks to stable Wi-Fi Mesh connections combined with the latest Powerline technology, which turns the power line into a data highway. All this allows you to enjoy music from the attic to the garden without interruptions, because devolo Mesh WiFi 2 provides a stable network for your whole family and throughout your home.