Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Online Music: Turn on & Tune In

For the music lovers and music fans the Internet is a one stop source for music!! A high-speed broadband connection and a good set of speakers can turn your PC into a digital jukebox. The internet allows you to listen to music from commercial-free channels or download and burn songs to a CD or load them on a portable player for listening on the go!!

How do music services work?

Music services are available in two basic categories - subscription and non-subscription.

  • With non-subscription services, you pay to download individual songs or an entire album. Apple's iTunes Music Store has sold over a billion songs for US $.99 per song.
  • With subscription services you pay a monthly fee to access libraries of a million or more songs.. Once the subscription ends, you can no longer listen to your music, unless you have purchased individual songs. Most subscription services also charge an additional fee for their "To-Go" service, which let's you load songs on a portable device.

Sometimes the music service might not have the music you want in spite of them having thousands of songs. So, you can take advantage of the free trials they offer to check out their music vault.

If you don't like the service ,do cancel before the trial period is up or you'll will be billed for at least a month. Alternately,you can use the option of mixing the services like downloading songs from MSN Music and subscribing to Napster for everyday listening. Since most services only require a month-to-month commitment and in case you are not satisfied with the service you can cancel it at any time .

Digital Rights

Since the industry makes its money by selling CDs, there will be a revenue loss if people can generously exchange digital copies of songs. Hence, many digital file formats have built technical safeguards that does not allow duplication and sharing of music. This is called Digital Rights Management or DRM. Both AAC and WMA files utilize DRM technology while MP3 files don't.

With this technology you may not be able to burn songs to a CD or even if you are able to, it will be for a restricted amount of times!

Have fun with Online Music!!

Copyright © 2008 Laila Rajaratnam. All Rights Reserved

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Internet Radio

Computer can be used to listen to the radio. But then, to listen to radio online, your computer must be equipped with a sound card and speakers or headphones. You'll also need a media player or an audio plug-in for your web browser There are thousands of radio stations around the world and by putting their programming online, these stations can now reach a global audience.The best part is that the internet radio puts you in control. You can listen to what you want, when you want. The technology that makes this all possible is called streaming audio.

What is streaming audio?
Streaming audio is a process where you hear the music as it arrives at your computer over the internet, and therefore you do not have to wait for a complete download. Once a small amount of
the file is buffered, the audio begins. Therefore, this is different from the usual method of receiving Internet audio – which is downloading a .wav or a .au or other type of file completely before being able to listen to it. As the data arrives it is buffered for a few seconds and then playback begins. As the audio is playing, more data is constantly arriving (or streaming), and as long as you are receiving a constant stream of data, you should hear constant

Tune It Up

Depending on the station, it will probably use one of the 2 major formats currently available: RealAudio or Windows Media Player. These two media players

are are not cross-compatible; you can't play a RealMedia file with Windows Media Player file and visa versa. However, some types of files, like .mp3, will play on both. A growing number of stations are using streaming MP3 format and Winamp also can be used to play these. Another popular and versatile program is Apple's iTunes for both the Mac and PC.

In general, speech sounds better than music. But the faster your connection, the better will be your audio experience .However, software audio players have control panels, so you can play, pause, fast-forward and rewind at will. Also, a few online radio programs are indexed, hence,you can directly access the content you want, like skipping the weather report to take in the local sports scores.

Turn it on

There are radio station search engines on the internet and the Radio-Locator is the most popular one.They have links to thousands of radio stations worldwide . The other popular radio websites are the National Public Radio and BBC Radio, which offers talk, sports world news and music.

Enjoy the Web Radio!!

Copyright © 2008 Laila Rajaratnam. All Rights Reserved

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