Online audio consumption, a beat changer



For most people, listening to their favorite radio show or song is simply a tap away. The deejay is you. The songs you want to hear are customized and if you don’t like it, you’ll never listen to that annoying song again.

When it comes to radio, iTunes offers the widest selections of podcasts, which is the free way to listen to most audio shows on your schedule.

Long gone are the days of waiting until Sunday to hear NPR’s Car Talk, the popular weekly show in which Tom and Ray Magliozzi dish out automotive advice. Subscribe to their podcast and download all of their episodes and listen any time.

There’s Pandora, an ad-supported online radio station that customizes a playlist based on a listener’s favorite artists. Here, I’ve learned of amazing new music that I would probably not have come across otherwise.

More recently, Spotify, the award winning ad-based streaming music service landed in the U.S. after a successful European run, bringing millions of tracks ready to play instantly, on a computer desktop and smartphones. Spotify is built on a freemium business model.

The “freemium” model is when a service such as software, media or games is given for free, but additional functionality, product or service comes at a cost. For the ad-free or mobile version, you pay a monthly fee.

With social features built into all of these services, users share their playlists with friends on Facebook. These companies continue to grow fast.

Other music sites are keeping up with the larger ones and the Internet has opened wide the field for music distribution.

But all this music comes at a cost. Employers are watching the heavy bandwidth usage at work and some are pulling the plug.

Have you implemented a ban on streaming music sites at your workplace? Email me your answer.

music, audio, npr

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