The Development of Portable Music, From the Traveling Musician to the MP3 Player

Of all of the inventions of the last few years, one of the favorites is the portable MP3 player. It is a small device that holds a lot of music, making it the best way that we have to provide a private soundtrack. A popular brand is the iPod. Kids can be rough on their iPod, though, and break the screen. When this happens you need to find someone who can perform iPod screen repair. This repair person will also be able to provide iPhone screen repair. At the moment, the MP3 player is the acme of music portability.

Up until the Twentieth Century, music was only as portable as the instruments carried by the musicians. In those days, all music was live. For professional music, music lovers traveled to the local concert hall to hear a symphony or view an opera. For an evening at home with friends whether it is a dance or dinner party, music was provided by friends or local musicians. Since all music had to be performed live, most people studied music, whether voice or an instrument, as children. This meant that a person could provide his or own music by playing or singing in solitude.

The first development that allowed people to listen to music outside the presence of musicians was the phonograph. Musicians could record their performance on a record, and this record could be reproduced for sale. Phonographs, or record players, varied in their portability. The first victrolas were somewhat portable. They were table sized but did not require electricity. The turn of the crank gave the device the kinetic energy it needed to turn the turntable. Later, the living room hi-fi was a piece of furniture that remained in place, but kids preferred portable record players that they could take from their bedroom to the basement for a party.

Next along came the radio. The first radios were also pieces of furniture that occupied an honored spot in the living room. The radio allowed the music lover to listen to a larger variety of music because the radio provide live music or had a supply of records that was larger than most people could have. Over time, although they still needed electricity, radios shrank to smaller, more manageable sizes. The next breakthrough came in the 1960s when transistor radios became an inexpensive option. These small radios ran on batteries, allowing the young people to carry their broadcast music with them for the first time.

After the transistor radio became popular, development of other small music players happened quickly. The next developments were the cassette tape and eight-track tape. The Walkman was the first portable tape player. It was small enough to carry easily, but it required the listener to carry a supply of cassette tapes. Then along came CDs, which are more durable and indestructible than a fragile tape. But still, a supply of CDs needed to be carried. The final breakthrough was the.mp3 file and web sites that sell them for about a dollar apiece. Now a tiny MP3 player can be strapped to the arm to play the thousands of songs that can be stored in its memory.