High Taxes and Inflation reduce Disposable Income and our Music Purchases

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 14th, 2013

Week in Review

If you’re old you remember going to a record store.  Putting a flat piece of vinyl on a spinning disc.  Lowering a needle on it.  And listening to that song through a pair of headphones.  If the music was awesome you bought that piece of vinyl.  If it wasn’t you listened to other songs until you found the one you wanted to buy.

Then came the audio cassette.  Where people would borrow their friend’s records and record them.  So you could enjoy the ones you paid for.  And the ones your friends paid for.  But the audio cassette did not put the music industry out of business.  For people still bought music.  In fact, some people may have bought even more as they could record the one song or two they liked onto a ‘mix’ tape.  Creating a ‘mix’ for each mood.  Hard rock.  Soft Rock.  And the more records you owned the more mix tapes you could create.

But since those days taxes and inflation have sucked away our disposable income.  And we’re not buying as much music as we once did (see Why It’s Hard to Charge for Music by Matthew Yglesias posted 12/13/2013 on Slate).

The problem here is one of supply and demand. It’s not that people won’t pay for Pandora because they don’t see any value in Pandora’s service. It’s that Pandora’s paid service has to compete with Pandora’s ad-supported service. Pandora could solve that problem by eliminating its ad-supported service, but it’s pretty clear that there’s a robust market for an ad-supported music-streaming service so then Pandora would need to compete with a new player. Personally, I really do enjoy an ad-free music streaming experience so I have a paid Rdio subscription which works on my computer, on my mobile phone, and on my home Sonos setup.

So good for me. But if I was a teenager with no money or ran into financial difficulty as an adult and needed to cut back, this would be an easy call to chop. Not because music isn’t valuable but because the margin of convenience offered by a paid service versus a free one just isn’t that big.

It’s the loss of disposable income that is hurting the music industry.  As well as paid subscription services.  In today’s world it is not uncommon for someone to pay for cable television AND a broadband Internet connection AND satellite radio in your car AND a mobile device contract with a monthly payment as large as a car payment.  People have never spent more money on entertainment.  And paying for live-streaming music on top of all this is just one paid subscription too many.  That’s why people aren’t paying for music if they can get it for free.  They love and value their music.  But they love and value so much other stuff as well that they don’t have any disposable income left to pay for music.  Thanks to higher taxes and inflation shrinking everyone’s take-home pay.

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Taking Guns away from the People Least Likely to use them will not reduce Gun Violence

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 5th, 2013

Week in Review

There’s a lot of talk about some kind of national gun control after Newtown.  Anything to take guns out of the hands of people.  Even the most law-abiding among us who have guns in their homes for self-defense.  The least likely among us to use that gun in a gun crime.  So you imagine they are going to get even tougher on those who may be more likely to use a gun in a gun crime (see A Question for Gun Control Liberals by David Frum 1/2/2013 on The Daily Beast).

How can you support gun control and oppose stop-and-frisk? Seriously, how otherwise do you imagine that get-tough rules on illegal handguns would ever be enforced?

Or not.

Apparently the safest place to hide a handgun is under your coat while walking the streets.  It may be profiling.  But if you’re in an area known for gun violence where people illegally carry handguns and sometimes use them in street altercations resulting in innocent bystanders getting shot then that intrusion on personal liberty may do more to protect people from gun violence than taking guns away from the homes of law-abiding citizens.

If we take guns away from people who aren’t using in gun crimes but do nothing to take them away from people carrying them illegally we unarm the good guys while leaving the bad guys armed.  It may stop someone from mass killing people in a theater with a gun.  But they may just find some other way to commit mass murder.  While those with illegal handguns will continue to fire their weapons indiscriminately in places like the south side of Chicago.  A place with some of the most restrictive gun laws.  And some of the worse gun violence.  But since a lot of it is black-on-black crime in a Democrat-controlled city the Left doesn’t like to talk about it.  So they don’t.  And instead propose legislation that won’t address the true problem.  Societal decay.

You can see it on television.  You can see it in the movies.  You can hear it in the music.  You can see or hear something that was shocking and scandalous in the Eighties and kids will scratch their head today and ask why?  And then go back to their videogame in the basement where they will kill people indiscriminately while snacking on a bag of Cheetos.  And washing those cheesy snacks down with some ice cold Mountain Dew.  When kids in the Eighties went to the arcade with other kids and tried to get a frog across a busy street.  Or tried to get an Italian plumber to hop over things a gorilla threw at him to save a damsel in distress.  While chowing down pizza slices.  And drinking ice cold Mountain Dew.  With their in-the-flesh friends.

Kids were still innocent in the Eighties.  Today television, movies, music and videogames have desensitized them to some of the most graphic violence.  And our electronic world has turned them away from human interaction.  Creating a lack of empathy for real people as their world consists of impersonal videogames and social media.  Throw in a breakdown of the family and a turning away from God and religion and it gets worse.  In short, societal decay.  Which is a far greater problem than guns in the home of law-abiding citizens.

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Sound Waves, Phonograph, Stylus, Piezoelectric & Magnetic Cartridges, Thermionic Emission, Vacuum Tube, PN-Junction, Transistor and Amplifier

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 2nd, 2012

Technology 101

The First Phonographs used a Stylus attached to a Diaphragm to Vibrate the Air and a Horn for Amplification 

Sound is vibration.  Sound waves we hear are vibrations in the air.  A plucked guitar string vibrates.  It transfers that vibration to the soundboard on the guitar body.  The vibration of the soundboard vibrates the air inside the guitar body.  Amplifying it.  And shaping it.  Giving it a rich and resonant sound.  Creating music.  And we can reverse this process.  Taking these vibrations from the air.  And putting them into a piece of wax.  Via a vibrating needle.  Or stylus.  Cutting wavy grooves into wax.  And then we can even reverse this process.  By dragging a stylus through those same wavy groves.  Causing the stylus to vibrate.  And if we transfer those vibrations to the air we can hear those sound waves.  And listen to the music they make.

The first phonographs could reproduce sound.  But they didn’t sound very good.  The first phonographs were purely mechanical.  A stylus vibrated a diaphragm.  The diaphragm vibrated the air.  And a horn attached to that diaphragm was the only amplification.  Sort of like cupping your hands around your mouth when shouting.  Which reinforced and concentrated the sound waves.  Making them louder in the direction you were facing.  Which is how these early phonographs worked.  But the quality of the sound was terrible.  And played at only one volume.  Low.

Electric circuits changed the way we listen to music.  Because we could amplify those low volumes.  By changing the vibrations created from those wavy grooves into an electrical signal.  The first phonographs used a piezoelectric cartridge.  Which the stylus attached to.  The piezoelectric cartridge converted a mechanical pressure (the needle vibrating in the wavy groove) into electricity.  Later phonographs used a magnetic cartridge.  Which did the same thing only using a varying magnetic field.  The vibration of the needle moved a magnet or a coil through a magnetic field.  Thus inducing a current in a coil.  Then all you needed was an amplifier and a loudspeaker to make sweet music.

Small Changes in the Control Grid Voltage of a Vacuum Tube make Larger Changes in the Plate Voltage

The first amplifiers used vacuum tubes.  Things that once filled our televisions and stereo systems.  Back in the old days.  Up until about the Seventies.  A vacuum tube operated on the principle of thermionic emission.  Which basically means if you heat a metal filament it will ‘boil off’ electrons.  The basic vacuum tube used for amplification consisted of a cathode and an anode.  Or filament and plate.  And a control grid in between.  Sealed in, of course, a vacuum.  Creating the triode.  The cathode (filament) and anode (plate) created an electric field when connected to a large power source.  The cathode is negative.  And the anode is positive.  When negatively charged electrons are ‘boiled off’ of the cathode the positive anode attracts them.  The greater the heat the greater the thermionic emission.  And the greater the current flow from cathode to anode.  Unless we change the electric field to inhibit the flow of current.  Which is the purpose of the control grid.

Small changes in the control grid voltage will make changes in the large current flowing from cathode to anode.  That is, the larger current replicates the smaller signal applied to the control grid.  This allows the triode to take the low voltage from a phonograph cartridge and amplify it to a higher voltage with enough power to drive a loudspeaker.  Which is similar to diaphragm and horn on the first phonographs.  Only the amplified electric signal moves a lot more air.  And better materials and construction create a better quality sound.  Amplifiers with vacuum tubes make beautiful music.  High-end audio equipment still uses them to this day.  Including almost all electric guitar amps.  So if they have the highest quality why don’t we use them elsewhere?  Because of thermionic emission.  And the heat required to ‘boil off’ those electrons.

Vacuum tubes worked well when plugged into line power.  Such as a radio in a house.  But they don’t work well on batteries.  Because it takes a lot of electric power to heat those filaments.  And you need pretty big batteries to get that kind of electric power.  Like a car battery.  But even a car battery didn’t let you listen to music for long when parked with the engine off.  Because those tubes drained that battery pretty fast.  So there were limitations in using vacuum tubes.  They draw a lot of power.  Produce a lot of heat.  And tend to be pieces of furniture in your house because of their physical size.

Small Changes in the Base Current of a Transistor is Replicated in the Larger Collector-Emitter Current

The transistor changed that.  Making music more portable.  Thanks to semiconductors.  Material with special electric properties.  Based on the amount of electrons in the atoms making up this material.  Atoms with extra electrons make material with a negative charge (N-material).  Atoms missing some electrons make material with a positive charge (P-material).  When you put these materials together the N and the P attract each other.  Electrons cross the junction and fill in the holes that were missing electrons.  And the ‘holes’ cross the junction and fill in the spaces where there were excess electrons.  (When an electron moved, say, from right to left it made a hole and filled a hole.  It made a hole where it once was.  And it filled a hole where it now is.  So it looks like the hole moved from left to right when the electron moved from right to left.)  Neutralizing the N-material and the P-material.  But creating a charged region around the junction.  And it’s this electron flow and hole flow that make these PN junctions work.  When you add a third material you get a transistor.  Made up of three parts (NPN or PNP).  Emitter, base, and collector.

To get the electrons and holes flowing you start applying voltages across the junctions.  A large current will flow from the collector to the emitter.  Similar to the current flow in a tube from cathode to anode.  And a small base current will change that current flow.  Just like the control grid in a vacuum tube.  Small changes in the base current will make similar changes in the larger collector-emitter current.  Just like in a vacuum tube, the larger current replicates the smaller signal applied to the ‘control’.  Or base.  This allows the transistor to take the low-level signal from a phonograph cartridge and amplify it to a higher level.  Just like a vacuum tube.  Only with a fraction of the electric power.  Because there are no filaments to heat. 

Low power consumption and the small physical size allowed much smaller amplifiers.  And amplifiers that everyday batteries could power.  Creating new ways to listen to music.  From the pocket-size transistor radio.  To the bigger stereo boombox.  To the iPod.  Where the basic principle of how we listen to music hasn’t changed.  Just how we vibrate the air that makes that music has.

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FT115: “If you like the arts vote Republican because corporations need profits to make charitable donations.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 27th, 2012

Fundamental Truth

Starving and Suffering Artists

There’s a reason starving artists are calorically challenged.   There isn’t a large demand for them.  One of the greatest Post-Impressionist painters, Vincent van Gogh (1853- 1890), sold only one painting during his lifetime.  He suffered bouts of depression.  And in the end killed himself.  He was a man that truly suffered for his art.  He existed for his art.  And died a failure.  Of course, that was then.  Now if you stumble across a van Gogh in your parent’s attic you can probably retire early.  And live very well.

Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the park with George is a musical based on Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884–1886).  The musical is a multigenerational piece.  The story is part fact and part fiction.  In the first act Seurat loses his girlfriend, Dot, to Louis the baker because he can provide for her.  Unlike the starving artist.  Well, that.  And the fact that his art can’t share the artist with anyone else.  Though Dot leaves George with something of his.  A daughter.  The second act opens with George’s great grandson displaying his new sculpture and schmoozing with rich people who can fund his next work.  Because art costs money.  Like everything else in life. 

Georges Bizet was a French composer who died young.  And a failure.  At least he thought so.  During his lifetime he did not earn much of a living from his skills as a composer.  Instead he made a living by transcribing other people’s music.  Working long hours.  Through depression and ill health.  In his last years he completed an opera unlike any of the time.  He was very proud and pleased.  But, alas, the people and critics weren’t.  Shortly thereafter he died from a heart attack.  A young man of 37.  Sure that his works were as great failures as was his life.  But history lamented the early death of Bizet.  For his last opera, Carmen (1875), is one of the greatest and most beloved operas of all time.  And packs opera houses around the world whenever it’s performed.

Art Belongs to the Wealthy

Artists not only starve.  They suffer.  And it’s often their suffering that produces their greatest art.  As their art provides an outlet for their pain.  Which keeps them going.  At least for those who don’t quit life.  So when they can’t find rich patrons to fund their art they hunger and suffer more.  For it isn’t the poor who buy their work.  Not when they’re struggling to put food on their own tables.  Leaving them with little if any disposable income.  No.  Art belongs to the wealthy.  Some modern art has changed this.  Such as the music industry.  Where musicians can sell a work of art millions of time.  Something that just wasn’t available to van Gogh, Seurat or Bizet.  Though in the world of digital music some artists are experiencing what it was like during the times of van Gogh, Seurat and Bizet.  Where people copy their music from others instead of buying it.  Though their starving and suffering today is not quite what is was in the days of van Gogh, Seurat and Bizet. 

Also different today is that many artists don’t have to die before we recognize their talent.  Today you can make millions from your art.  While living to enjoy those millions.  Which for many is the goal of their art.  Today the artists live like the rich patrons did in the past.  Who didn’t create art.  But enjoyed it.  And paid for it.  Making art possible.  Today all it takes is to be popular.  You don’t even have to be good.  If you can ride a wave of popularity the people will shower you with money.  Which is a heck of a lot better than having to please a king or queen.  Or the rich upper classes.  So some artists are doing well.  These new artists.  While the old ones continue to suffer.  Well, not so much the old artists but the venues for their old art.  Where some things never change.  For this art is still the art of the wealthy.

Anyone can buy a ticket for the cheap seats at a symphony orchestra or an opera.  And they do.  Rich.  Middle Class.  Even the poor.  But these people aren’t patrons of art.  They enjoy some of it.  But not all of it.  They may buy a ticket for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.  Or Bizet’s Carmen.  Or a showing of Post-Impressionism including van Gogh and Seurat.  So they’re less likely to buy season subscriptions.  And even less likely to make generous donations.  No.  These people enjoy a nice night out or two.  They don’t immerse themselves into the art.  Which is a problem.  Because art costs money.  Especially the ones with symphony orchestras.  Whose musicians tend to belong to unions these days.  Making a season of symphonic music very expensive.  As is a season of opera.  Which is even more expensive because they have very expensive singing talent.  Sets.  And all the people behind the scenes to make it all work.

Corporations and their Shareholders typically make the most Generous Donations to the Arts

Chances are if you went to a symphony or opera during the Great Recession you noticed some things.  For the recession caused great hardship for the arts.  Because when people lose their jobs they don’t buy tickets.  Or make donations.  When a corporation is losing money they make their donations less generous.  Or stop making them altogether.  Simply because the economy is so bad that their sales are down.  And they’re bleeding cash.  So just like people who lose their jobs cut out the nonessentials like vacations or going out to dinner, corporations have to make cuts, too.  Employee benefits.  Jobs.  And charitable donations.  Governments, too.  As unemployment rises more people fall into the social safety nets.  Unemployment benefits, food stamps, housing assistance, health care, etc.  Less economic activity brings in fewer taxes.  While the recession put more people into these programs.  They have to cut something.  And programs for the arts are high on their list.  Because human physical needs take precedence over spiritual needs.  For people can die if we don’t meet their most basic physical needs.

Art is a business.  Members in an orchestra don’t play for free.  Or cheaply.  If ticket sales and donations are down orchestra members may be unable to get the contracts they want.  And go on strike.  The orchestra, opera or ballet may shorten the season to cut costs.  And, of course, they will ask you for money at all times of the day and night.  Before performances.  In your email.  On the telephone.  Everywhere.  They’ll even approach you in a parking lot if you once made a donation but haven’t in the current year.  They will do this because people don’t universally love their art.  At least they don’t love it as much as they love their football, baseball, basketball or hockey.  Whose players have gone on strike.  But their seasons never lived or died from the affect of the economy on their rich patrons.  For sports is a business, too.  Only one with a far greater audience.  Which makes fundraising easy for them.  While it’s difficult in the arts.  For if just one corporate sponsor is struggling to survive bankruptcy and doesn’t contribute as they had in the past it could put the artistic business into bankruptcy.  Especially if they are already heavily in debt.  Which many are.

People in the arts eschew capitalism.  They say it is cold, harsh, cruel and callous.  That it’s all about profits and money.  Which they say is wrong.  And disgusting.  Not like their noble world of the arts.  Which is warm, caring, loving and nurturing.  For music has charms to sooth a savage breast.  As do the other arts as well.  The only problem is that so few people enjoy them.  Which means like in days of yore art still must rely on the generosity of rich people.  And corporations.  To make those big charitable donations.  Without which art cannot survive.  And what do rich people and profitable corporations need?  A healthy economy.  A free market economy.  That generates jobs for everyone.  Giving more people disposable income to try different things.  Like the arts.  And makes fat profits for corporations and their shareholders.  The people who typically make the most generous of donations to the arts.  The rich who don’t have to work.  And need something else to occupy their time.  Such as the arts.  So if you like the arts vote Republican.  Increase the pool of disposable income.  Where all charitable donations originate from.  So the rich patrons can pay for the Carmens of the world as well as the more obscure works no one has ever heard of.  Because these people love the arts.  And immerse themselves into them.  Giving life to more art than ticket sales alone could ever generate.  So thank these rich people.  These lovers of art.  And help them give us more art.  By letting them make money to give away.  And not demonize the thing that lets them do this.  Capitalism.

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Music, Radio Transmitters, Radio Receivers, CD Players, Compression, MP3 Players, Internet, YouTube, Live Streaming and Music on Demand

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 29th, 2012

Technology 101

The Roaring Twenties brought Electrical Power and Broadcast Radio into our Homes

We take music for granted today.  We can listen to pretty much anything we want to.  At any time.  In any place.  In the home.  In the car.  At the gym.  It’s nice.  You can listen to some of the most beautiful music at your convenience and leisure.  It wasn’t always like this, though.  During the time Edvard Grieg composed his masterpieces few could listen to them.  Unless you attended a live performance.  Which weren’t that readily available.  Unless you lived in a big city.  Where a symphony orchestra could include some of his music in a performance.  But you had to listen to what they played.  And what they played was the only music you were familiar with.  Unless you had a friend with a piano.  Who could read sheet music.  And was a concert-level pianist.  Again, something not that common.

But today you can click on a computer link and listen to almost any obscure piece of music there is.  From Grieg’s beautiful Bådnlåt (At the Cradle), lyric piece for piano, Op. 68/5.  To something really esoteric like Sparks’ As I Sit Down To Play The Organ At The Notre Dame Cathedral.  You can listen to them.  You can buy them.  Download them to a portable MP3 player.  And take them anywhere.  Just imagine trying to do this in 1899.  Going to the lake.  And wanting to listen to Grieg’s new lyric piece for piano.  Opus 68.  Number 5.  At the Cradle.  Unless you took a piano and a concert-level pianist with you that just wasn’t going to happen.  But this all changed.  Beginning around the dawn of the 20th century.

Nikola Tesla had recently won his war with Thomas Edison.  His AC power replaced Edison’s DC power as the standard.  And in the 1920s we were electrifying the country.  We began to generate and transmit AC power across the land.  To businesses.  And to homes.  Where we could plug in the new electrical appliances coming to market.  We were working on another new technology during this time.  Something that could plug in at home to the new electrical power.  The radio.  This technology had something to do with electromagnetic fields and waves.  Transmitted between antennas.  One on a transmitter.  And one on a receiver.  As long as the transmitter and the receiver were tuned to the same frequency.  The first use of this new technology was in the form of a wireless telegraph.  Which few people had in their homes.  These were more useful to communicate with others who were not connected by telegraph lines.  Like ships at sea.  Where we sent Morse code (those dots and dashes that spelled words).  Which worked well.  As long as all the ships didn’t tried to communicate at the same time on the same frequency.  But transmitting speech or music was a different manner.  Because everyone talks more or less in the same band of frequencies.  And notes played on one violin tend to play at the same frequency on another violin.  So if some radio transmitters broadcasted different concerts at the same time you wouldn’t hear a nice concert on your radio.  You’d hear a cacophony of noise.  To get an idea what that would sound like open up three or four browser windows on your computer.  And play a different song on YouTube in each.  What you hear will not be music.  But noise.

In the Eighties we traded our Phonograph Needles for Laser Beams in our CD Players

Of course, this didn’t stop the development of commercial broadcast radio.  For we tune radio transmitters and radio receivers to the same resonant frequency.  The transmitter transmitting at one frequency all of the time. While the radio receiver could tune in to different frequencies to listen to different radio broadcasts.  When you turned the radio tuning dial you changed what resonant frequency your receiver ‘listened’ to.  Which was basically a filter to block all frequencies but the tuned frequency from entering your radio.  We call that frequency the carrier signal.  Typically just a plain old sinusoidal wave form at a one frequency that we imprint the information of the speech or music on.  The transmitter takes the music waveform and modulates it on the carrier signal.  Then broadcasts the signal on the broadcast antenna.  The receiver then captures this signal on its antenna.  And demodulates it.  Pulling the musical imprint from the carrier signal.  And restoring it to its original condition.  Which the radio than amplifies and sends to a speaker.  I left some steps out of the process.  But you get the gist.  The key to successful broadcast radio was the ability to transform the source signal (speech or music) into another signal.  One that we could transmit and receive.  And transform back into the source signal.

The Roaring Twenties was a Neil Armstrong moment on earth.  It was one giant leap for mankind.  For it was in this decade that the modern world began.  Thanks to Nikola Tesla and his AC power.  Which allowed us the ability to plug in radios in our homes.  And power the great radio transmitters to get the signal to our houses.  Tesla, incidentally, created radio technology, too.  Well, Tesla, and Guglielmo Marconi.  (Patent disputes flared between these two greats about who was first.)  Great technological advancement.  Created during a time of limited government and low taxes.  That unleashed an explosive amount of creativity and invention.  The Eighties was another such decade.

The Eighties launched the digital age.  The world of bits and bytes.  1s and 0s.  Digital watches.  Clocks.  Calculators.  PCs.  And, of course, our music.  For the Eighties gave us the compact disc.  The CD.  Music that didn’t wear out like our vinyl records.  And didn’t pop or hiss with age.  Because a CD player didn’t have a phonograph needle.  That rode the groves on our vinyl records.  It had something far more futuristic.  A laser beam.  That reads information encoded into the CD.  Information encoded onto a reflective layer through a series of pits.  During playback the laser either reflects or doesn’t reflect.  This information is than processed into a series of 1s and 0s.  Then converted into the analog waveform of the source material.  And becomes music again.

The Eighties gave us the Digital Age which led to the Internet and Music on Demand

This process is similar to the process of broadcast radio.  Not in any technological way.  But by changing a source signal into something else.  And then converting it back again.  In the case of the CD we sample an analog signal (i.e., an audio recording).  By taking ‘snapshots’ of it at regular intervals.  Then convert these snapshots into a digital format.  And then transfer this digital information to the reflective layer on a CD.  Those 1s and 0s.  When we play it back the laser reads these 1s and 0s.  Then converts these digital snapshots back into the original audio signal.  Sort of like modulating and demodulating a signal.  Only instead of modulating we’re converting from analog to digital.  Then vice versa.

The quality of the digital format depends on how much information each snapshot contains.  And the interval we sample them at.  Larger chunks of information taken in short intervals contain a lot more information.  And improve the quality of the sound.  But it will also take up a lot of space on those CDs.  Limiting the number of songs we can encode on them.  Which lead to compression.  And MP3s.  Which worked on the premise that there’s a lot of music in music.  But we don’t necessarily hear all of that music.  Some sounds mask out other sounds.  Certain frequencies we barely hear.  So while the CDs tried to reproduce the music as faithfully as possible, we learned that we could discard some of the information in the music without reducing the quality of the music much.  This saved a lot of space on CDs and portable MP3 players.  Allowed faster downloads on the Internet.  And live streaming.

The Roaring Twenties changed our world.  Modernized it.  And gave us many things.  Including broadcast radio.  And music in our homes we never had before.  And the Eighties also changed our world.  Further modernizing it.  Giving us the digital age.  That led to the Internet.  And music on demand like we never had before.  Where we can listen to anything.  No matter how obscure.  It’s now all available at our fingertips.  To listen online.  Or to buy and download to a portable device.  From Grieg to Sparks.  And everything in between.

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