Satellite Vs Terra Vs Internet Vs Personal Music Players

Want music? It’s everywhere!!It used to be that if you wanted to hear a song, you loaded up a round black object onto the spindle of a turntable, lowered a needle onto the round black object, and then a song came out. Either that, or you could turn on your transistor radio if the batteries weren’t dead. Voila! Music played and all was right with the world.Then technology got more varied, and you could still have the round black objects, or you could have a small plastic case with tiny wheels tractoring a very thin piece of tape, or a larger plastic case with only one bigger wheel, tractoring a wider piece of tape in a Mobius loop to play the music. But you still had music…unless the tape player jammed.Then, a very futuristic thing happened. Someone designed a tiny laser that could play a shiny silver disc and get music off of it, so cd’s were born.During all of these technological changes, that transistor radio was still available, ready and willing to play your songs when you wanted to hear them.Then another few things happened…personal music players went from transistor radio to small computer chips which could be programmed with your own selection of songs, ripped from your own personal collection of cd’s and stored on your own personal computer. The mp3 players were tinier than those old-fashioned transistor radios, plus they held only the user’s favorite songs, not anything they didn’t like, and certainly not any commercials.Satellite radio was born, streaming hundreds of channels at once to tiny antennas for a monthly fee, and some people got on that train, too.Internet discovered the power of radio, and terrestrial radio stations offered streams of their on-air programming, and internet-only radio stations sprang into being.Music is all around us and we have so many choices that it’s rare that anyone would think to play a vinyl record or listen to a cassette or 8-track tape anymore.Music is all around us and we have so many choices that it’s rare to see someone walking around listening to a transistor radio anymore.Music is all around us and we have so many choices that it’s rare to hear of any segment of the music industry as being in “growth” mode. The wonderful variety of choices we have is helping to gut revenue in the music industry, in terrestrial radio, and now in satellite radio.It’s interesting to note that now that the satellite providers Sirius and XM have merged, it doesn’t look like great news for either them or their subscribers. It’s even more interesting to note that Mel Karmazin, CEO of the newly combined Sirius XM, publicly spoke about the lack of viability of terrestrial radio at the same time his company was downsizing their revenue and subscriber projections.And it’s extremely ironic that he was making his comments at an event put on by the no longer independent Merrill Lynch, who agreed to be white-knighted by Bank of America instead of heading into bankruptcy.The world is in flux…the financial markets are a bit shaky…natural disasters have disrupted the lives of many…and still music is all around us.Enjoy that music, no matter how you hear it. Know that changes happen and will continue to happen, and hope that those who make the music for us can ride out the storms that are pounding the music and radio industries. When there’s music, all is right with the world for you at that moment.