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How the internet has changed making and listening to music

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The internet has completely reshaped the music industry in just a decade, both in terms of how people find and listen to music, and also how musicians interact with each other and write new songs.

Napster started the internet revolution for music, with people suddenly able to find any song they might want in a few minutes, even if downloading the song for free was legally dubious. Napster paved the way for the emergence of the iPod and mp3 music players, along with digital music stores like iTunes or Amazon MP3, or even Spotify with everything available on demand.

The internet has also revolutionised how musicians work together, with it easier than ever to share your compositions as you write them with other bandmates. Email and Dropbox suffice for many musicians to share rough recordings of their latest creation, but there are also dedicated tools for creating a virtual recording studio where geography is no longer so important. Rocket Network pioneered this approach back in the early 2000s, and now services like Jammr make it easier than ever.

However the more we move music creation online, the more musicians are reliant of ever faster broadband to share their digital creations. If you need to send a 24-bit multi-track recording from your home studio to a producer in another country as is becoming ever more prevalent – upload speeds are increasingly important. The faster we can move these files around, the faster we can create a finished product that can upload to SoundCloud or Bandcamp and share with the world.

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