The Computer Revolution/Entertainment/Music

Computers have come a long way in the entertainment/music area. We have watched music evolve from the record album to the 8 track players to cassettes and now compact discs (CD's) and portable media players (PMP). We can either play CD's on the computer or download music from the internet. Years ago we used to use an engine called Napster to download music. Now we have engines like 'Limewire' (file sharing software) where we do not have to pay to download music.

We have the option to either rip songs from existing CD's onto new blank CD's or download music from the internet and burn songs onto a CD. There are other options we can use which are downloading onto MP3 players or iPods. A portable multimedia player, or PMP is a hard disk or flash memory based electronic device, such as an "MP3 player", which is capable of storing and playing files in one or more media formats. MP3 format is a compression system for music. The MP3 format helps reduce the number of bytes in a song without hurting the quality of the song's sound. With MP3, a 32 megabyte (MB) song on a CD compresses to about 3 MB. This lets you download a song in minutes rather than hours, and store hundreds of songs on your hard disc without taking up much space. The main attraction of portable media players is often their versatility: being able to load and play different formats of video (including MPEG, DivX, and XviD), audio (including MP3, WAV, and Ogg Vorbis), or digital images, (including BMP, JPEG, and GIF). Some even count some Handheld game consoles like sony's PSP and GamePark Holdings' GP2X as being a PMP for their media playing capabilities.

A portable video player is a type of portable media player which focuses on the playback of digital video. Some portable media players can store and display digital images. In this instance the Apple 5th-generation iPod could be considered a portable media player- as it is capable of playing back audio as well as displaying digital pictures and video. Also the Creative Zen Vision:M is another player that can play both audio and video, picks up FM Radio and records voice as well as the larger screened (2.5" to 4" respectively) Zen Vision. The Sony HMP-A1, released only in Japan and Europe, had these same capabilities as well as longer battery life. The Samsung Yepp YP-T8 also provided these capabilities, as well as voice, FM radio, and line recording. It also included a USB host capability for link up to other portable devices without the use of a PC. Some other examples of portable media players with these capabilities include the Archos Gmini series, aigo E-858, X2 MegaView series, the Neuros 442, the iriver series of media players, the Olympus m:robe, the acclaimed iStation v43, MP4 Star by Intechip Corp. and the Cowon A2. MSI developed and showcased the first solar powered player, the MSI MEGA 540, at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany [1]. Other portable media players combine a focus on recording capability with playback features, for example the Neuros Recorder 2 records as well as plays back several audio and video formats.

The bundled software used for transferring music, photos and videos is called iTunes. As a music jukebox application, iTunes stores a comprehensive library of music on the user's computer and can play, burn and rip music from a CD. The most recent version of iTunes has photo and video synchronization features.

The iPod is currently the world's best-selling digital audio player, and its worldwide mainstream adoption makes it one of the most popular consumer brands.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for music technology.

We have come a long way from playing music from the early days only on vinyl, 8 tracks, or cassette form. Now of days you can enjoy listening to music on CD’s through the computer using Windows Media Player by default or downloading them to your favorite MP3 Player. If Windows Media Player doesn’t want to play for any reason like in Windows 7 with the newer version of Windows Media Player 12 because of the darn wma server execution error, you can use any of the following players to play your music that include ACE Mega Codecs Pack, Banshee, ITunes, Nero, Overdrive Media Console, QuickTime Player, Real Player, Rhapsody, Winamp, and VLC Player to name a few. If you want to purchase a CD you can listen to it first before purchasing a disc you would hate spending $20 for it. You can use several sites on the internet to check them out. My favorite websites include YouTube, MySpace, Kazaa, Rhapsody, Napster, or ITunes. The best website to my knowledge for the past two years being visually impaired and works the best with accessibility software such as JAWS and Zoom Text is Kazaa. Even though it’s a paid subscription for $19.99 a month you get unlimited downloads of the entire collection to play through Windows Media Player or Winamp. Plus you can download unlimited ringtones of the tracks to your cell phone for free since it is a part of the subscription. I have thrown away my package to my cell company since they were charging 3.00 for 1 ringtones at a time.

Media Players are software programs for playing multimedia files, audio or video on your computer. Windows has various types of free downloadable devices you can choose from. You can create your own library of playlists by purchasing music through ITunes and transferring them to a cd. I like purchasing the music because you just buy the songs you really like. These playlists allow you to burn cd’s or watch dvd’s. You can also stream music on your computer (listening) while working on files or documents. I found that out this year when I wanted to listen to music but didn’t have a small radio or cd player. This is a nice feature and I don’t normally use media players. My husband has burned cd’s for our car cd player using this. But you have to be careful because of copyright laws, do not do this to sell music. It hurts the artists and record companies who are trying to sell their music.