Think about how you listened to music 20 years ago. You likely had one of the massive CD booklets, a stack of cassettes, and if you were lucky enough, one of those expensive early MP3 players.
Thanks to smartphones, unlimited data packages, and a lot of streaming options, you can now access millions of songs, albums, compilation, and more from anywhere.
And don't worry; developers aren't resting on their laurels. Big names like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora are now integrating AI to enhance the user experience.
Discover how AI is changing the way you listen to music below:
AI and Music
Your streaming service is much more than a massive catalog that you search whenever you look for specific tracks. There's a lot going on behind the scenes. Streaming services deploy AI in many different ways -- from increased storage to refining search engines and creating customized stations.
With the further integration of AI and machine learning, the streaming industry will continue evolving towards personalization. Services will adapt to suit your specific taste. Of course, you'll always be able to search for any song you want to hear. But these algorithms will also bring you new songs and artists. And these will be a perfect fit for your listening pleasure.
The systems are smart too. Besides remembering the genres you listen to and your top performers, they also can analyze song components. For instance, they can take into account pitch, vocal style, and other musical elements, to recommend tracks for you.
Dangers of Streaming
You should bear in mind that all these recommendations and AI-curated tracks do come with a cost -- your data. Streaming platforms record massive amounts of data about listening preferences.
In some cases, especially with free platforms, this data is then sold to advertisers. That's why it's crucial to read the terms and conditions of streaming services to know what they do with the information they collect about you.
Moreover, data may become breached during a cyber-attack on the streaming platform. So it's best if the service knows about you as little as possible:
● Pay for the subscription using a virtual payment card
● If possible, don't use your real name and surname or primary email address
● Hide your IP address when connecting to the platform
"What is my IP address, and what does it have to do with anything?" you may ask. Your IP address is the unique identifier associated with whatever device you use to access the internet. IP addresses are vital in connecting you to the internet and reveal all kinds of personal information about you -- including your approximate location.
You can use the Tor browser, proxy service, or a virtual private network (VPN) to hide your IP address. For regular users, VPN is the best option. It's easy to use, and it also encrypts your data in transfer. It makes it more difficult for platforms to use your data for advertising and enhances your cybersecurity across everything you do online.
The Bottom Line
Technology is creating new listening experiences. Thanks to AI and machine learning, streaming platforms can introduce us to a whole new world of music.
As amazing as this is, remember that this does come with a whole lot of data collection. Keep that in mind the next time you want to skip reading T&C of a streaming service.