Orb | Streaming Music
Streaming music became popular with the advent of the iPhone and the widespread use of the Pandora app. Since then, streaming music has taken on many forms, from household streaming to sharing your library across devices connected to the cloud. Devices like Orb Music make streaming as easy as ever, allowing you a simple interface to stream music from your wifi devices such as your computer directly to your home stereo system.
History of Streaming Music
With the popularization of the PC and the Internet in the 1990s, it became evident that “over the air” media, such as television and radio, would eventually be accessible “over the wire” on Internet-enabled devices. Real Networks was the first company to realize this in a big way, launching a multimedia application called the Real Player, which allowed users to play multimedia on their computer, and also stream media that was available on the web.
As broadband became more popular, many companies including Apple and Microsoft began to invest significantly in streaming media. Services like Napster and Rhapsody emerged, and video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo became extremely popular.
Very shortly Apple released the iPhone, services like YouTube and Pandora became widely available as convenient, mobile streaming services. The competition from Android and Windows Phone 7 in recent years has created an ecosystem where consumers can stream the music and video they want, almost whenever they want.
How Streaming Music Works
Streaming music requires a network of connected devices. One device hosts the media, and the other device outputs the music to a stereo or receiver. This can exist in many formats. For example, if you listen to a song from Pandora on your smart phone, Pandora’s servers host the music, and they stream it across the network to smart phone, which processes the stream and outputs the audio via the smart phone’s speakers or headphone jack.
For home streaming, a media bridge like Orb Music receives the signal from your PC and outputs the audio to your stereo, which isn’t capable of communicating over a network to receive the music stream itself. In recent years, devices like Orb Music have made streaming music in the home as easy as creating a playlist on your computer, and streaming that playlist directly to your stereo.
Popular Uses for Streaming Music
There are many times where streaming music is both convenient and enjoyable:
- Listening to your playlists and podcasts while driving
- Exercise and jogging
- Playing your playlists for friends at a party or get-together
- Sharing your favorite band’s new music with someone who likes similar music
We are in an age with streaming music where, if you can imagine it, it probably exists (or will soon!) The greatest benefit of streaming is that you can listen to whatever you want, wherever you want. As easy as this has become in the smart phone age, it will only get easier over time.
The Future of Streaming Music
Smart phones are already music bridges. Stereos will have smart phone funcitionality. Storing your music will be a thing of the past. Sharing music will be slightly easier than finding new music that you love.
It’s an exciting time for anyone who loves to stream their music. Cloud services from Amazon, Google and Apple will make it simple to purchase what you want and listen to it anywhere you are, without ever having to manage the storage of your library. Your smart phone and your tablet and your television will all have instant access to all of the music you purchase, and you’ll be able to create a playlist on any Internet-enabled device just as easily as you can in iTunes right now.