Music Streaming Timeline

  • The Piano Becomes Popular

    The Piano Becomes Popular
    Pianos became popular with the general public in 1789 after the French Revolution.Pianos began to be mass produced. Music was no longer only performed for aristocratic circles, but in concert halls. This meant improvements needed to be made to the piano so that it would be louder and more durable. Musicians and composers now had a source of income besides an aristocratic sponsor or the church. Beethoven was one of the first professional musicians to make a living without a sponsor.
  • Steam Powered Press

    Steam Powered Press
    Fredrich Koenig and Andreas Fredrich Bauer create the first steam powered press in Germany. It was deemed too costly and complicated to use. In spite of this, the invention would eventually reshape the printing world, and printing sheet music was a source of income for composers that never existed before. Music was distributed to the people. Pieces were performed in public and in the home in ways never before possible. Printing was able to preserve music for the future.
  • Stanhope Press

    Stanhope Press
    English inventor Charles the Third Earl Stanhope invents the Stanhope press which replaced the wooden frame of the Gutenberg press with an iron one. It was the first improvement on the Gutenberg press in 350 years. This was an important step in delivering sheet music the masses, though the press was still run by hand and laborious. Print was done with copper plates. Sheet music dominated the music industry in the 1800's.
  • Koenig's Mechanical Press

    Koenig's Mechanical Press
    Fredrick Koenig moved to London and his steam powered press was finally used. It could print 800 sheets per hour and did not require constant labour.
  • Steel Plates

    Steel Plates
    Steel engraving plates start to replace copper plates in printing. They last longer and can be used more times then copper plates because they are harder. This also meant better tools were required to engrave the plates.
  • Square Piano

    Square Piano
    Alpheus Babcock patented the cast iron frame for the square piano in 1825. The cast iron frame could withstand the tension from the strings. It improved sound quality, durability and made the instrument louder. The industrial revolution provided precision casting for the manufacturing of the frame and quality wire for strings. The cast iron frame became the standard of all pianos. Improvements and innovations in the piano came rapidly after the development of the cast iron frame.
  • Upright Piano

    Upright Piano
    The invention of the upright piano by Englishman Robert Wornum that made the piano popular for domestic use. The industrial revolution led to the development of a middle class with more spending money and leisure time. The piano in the home became a hub of enjoying popular music. Sheet music was popular and the first popular music that could be enjoyed in the comfort of one's own home. Advances in manufacturing and quality made it cheaper and easier to produce pianos of high quality.
  • Lithographic Rotary Printing Press

    Lithographic Rotary Printing Press
    American Richard Hoe created the lithographic rotary printing press using Koenig's steam powered press design. Type was put on a revolving cylinder. Increased printing speed.
  • Web Rotary Printing Press

    Web Rotary Printing Press
    American William Bullock improved upon Hoe's rendition of the steam powered printing press. Pages could be printed on both sides, cut and folded. No labour was needed to feed paper into the machine. Speeds reached 12000 pages per hour, and later 30,000 pages per hour.
  • Loudspeaker

    Alexander Graham Bell invents the first loudspeaker that can produce intelligible sound.
  • Microphone

    British inventor David Edward Hughes invents the microphone. Thomas Edison patents it.
  • Phonograph

    The phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison, but later improved upon by many including Alexander Graham Bell. The device is used for the analogue and mechanical recording and reproduction of sound. The popularity of the phonograph resulted in hit songs and the start of musical genres. Music no longer needed to be performed live to enjoy at home.
  • Gramophone

    n 1887 Emile Berliner created the gramophone. Gramophones recordings were made on flat discs, unlike phonograph models that used cylinders. Gramophone disks played longer, were more durable, and were easy to store. Berliner also invented a way to mass produce records from a single recording.
  • First Radio Broadcast

    First Radio Broadcast
    Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio message across open water.
  • Experimental Radio Broadcasting

    Experimental Radio Broadcasting
    Experimental radio broadcasting began in 1905.
  • Headphones

    Nathaniel Baldwin invents headphones. There was little interest in them, but the Navy ordered many in anticipation of war.
  • Commercial Radio

    Commercial Radio
    Commercial radio broadcasts began in 1920. The majority of homes went on to have radios.
  • Victor Orthophonic Victrola Phonograph

    Victor Orthophonic Victrola Phonograph
    The Victor Orthophonic Victrola was impractical by its weight, but it sounded better than anything created before. Emphasis was put on sound quality. Previous phonographs were made obsolete. The idea of the lid in this design remained in use through modern turntables.
  • Victor Portable Suitcase Phonograph

    Victor Portable Suitcase Phonograph
    Small, portable, and with exceptional sound quality.
  • Magnetic Tape

    Magnetic Tape
    Invented in Germany, magnetic tape radically changed recording, reproduction and broadcasting. Radio that always had to be live could now be recorded and played back. Gramophone records could be recorded in multiple parts and mixed. Later used to make 8-track tapes.
  • LP

    RCA bought Victor and 33 1/3 vinyl players became available. But because of the Depression no one could afford them. It took until 1948 for the format to take off because of Columbia Records.
  • Stereo

    Alan Dower Blumlein was so unimpressed with his trip to the movies with the single speaker that he went on to invent stereo. The first stereo discs were cut in 1933.
  • Two-Channel Stereo

    Two-Channel Stereo
    Originally developed for use in movie soundtracks, Bell labs produced hi-fi sound and through a two channel system could split multiple tracks from a single recording.
  • Variety Shows

    Variety Shows
    From 1948 and beyond record labels coordinated with network television to have their music showcased on tv. Variety shows such as The Ed Sullivan show showcased artists, and tv became a major avenue for enjoying music.
  • Regency Transistor Radio

    Regency Transistor Radio
    The TR-1 was the first portable personal music device that could fit in the palm of your hand. It made music and sports broadly available, and portable.
  • Network Television

    Network Television
    From 1960 onward network television established itself as the major source for new music.
  • Philips Compact Cassette Tape

    Philips Compact Cassette Tape
    Cassettes would become a major vehicle for music distribution. They were also compact and portable.
  • 8-Track Tape

    8-Track Tape
    8-tracks changed the way people listened to music in their cars.
  • Boombox

    Philips developed the Radiorecorder, which was the first boombox. Boomboxes continued to gain in popularity through the 1970's and 1980's. By the 80's some were as big as suitcases and could have a tv.
  • Technics SL-1200 Turntable

    Technics SL-1200 Turntable
    High performance turntable.
  • Sony Walkman

    Sony Walkman
    Sony's Walkman made music even more portable and utilized Philips cassette tape and Baldwin's headphones.
  • First Digital Audio Player

    First Digital Audio Player
    The IXI was the first digital audio player ever created. It was invented by British inventor Kane Kramer. It could play about one song. Kramer also pioneered the idea of DRM and a digital music store.
  • MTV

    The first 24 hour cable network dedicated to broadcasting music videos.
  • Commercial Compact Disc

    Commercial Compact Disc
    CD's took surface laser beam reflections to convert to analogue sound. CD's threatened the future of vinyl and cassette.
  • Sony Discman

    Sony Discman
    Sony released their first Discman, which was a portable device like the Walkman that could play compact discs.
  • The World Wide Web

    The World Wide Web
    The internet decentralized music distribution. Every streaming service, digital store, and any other form of musical expression and distribution possible on the internet from videos to Bandcamp owes its existence to the World Wide Web.
  • MP3's

    Based upon work as far back as 1982, advances in computers and compression allowed the creation of the MP3 audio file.
  • Winamp

    Winamp audio player is released. It led to increased use of MP3 files.
  • MP3 Player

    MP3 Player
    The first portable MP3 player, the MPMan F10, the is launched.
  • Napster

    Free peer to peer music file sharing service that led to lawsuits but whose innovation led to the development of legitimate digital music stores.
  • Sony Network Walkman

    Sony Network Walkman
    Sony's first portable digital music player was released.
  • Apple iPod

    Apple iPod
    Apple releases their version of a digital music player. Future models would be as small as s stick of gum. Unlike some early digital music players, the iPod was easy for consumers to learn how to use.
    Internet radio.
  • Satellite Radio

    Satellite Radio
    Sirius satellite radio launched in 2002.
  • iTunes Store

    iTunes Store
    Apple opens its online digital music store. Others followed.
  • MySpace

    MySpace becomes a hub for music on the internet.
  • Spotify

    Music streaming service.
  • Bandcamp

    Online audio distribution platform and music store that allows artists to upload their music for free.
  • iPhone

    Apple's iPhone allowed people to stream music on a personal, portable device without downloading.