Vinyl, cassette tapes, CDs, and MP3s were at one point mass produced. They were placeholders, meant to expire at the mercy of technological change and evolving listening habits.
So if we take the stream, a file-type that’s in infinite cloud-based inventory, what type of file emerges next?
The next development will focus on the quality of sound, just as mobile cameras improve the quality of resolution. And like photography’s countless editing tools, we’ll be able to work backward to tweak or filter out the type of sound we want to hear.
For instance, we can manipulate music files so they project a sound mimicking vinyl’s surface noise. We reshape it, like putting a black and white or red preset on an image.
The next evolution of music is therefore a personalized sensory experience, whether you want to hear sound in its cracked, hissy, compressed, raw state, or in its mass-marketed radio format.
Music will always be the “killer app” that people make their own.