Tech Spec: A dying breed

Looking back over the past few decades, anyone can see how fads with music technology have arrived into our culture and later fallen off the map. There’s always something new—a replacement.

First, the Walkman moved out to make space for the portable CD player. The portable CD player became a thing of the past when the mp3 player arrived. Now, it seems that mp3 player is falling into the past as well.

Smartphones, tablets and other smart devices have music playing capabilities, and since they are becoming more mainstream, they are rendering iPods and other devices useless for many.

What is happening with Microsoft’s Zune brand appears to be a sign of what is to come.

Friday marked one more step towards the end of the Zune mp3 player/software when Microsoft announced that many of the software features are being discontinued to make way for their new Xbox Music service (anyone who followed Zune knew that the end was near for a while now).

The skull and cross-bones mark the end of Zune. Photo by Courtland Jeffrey.

Companies like Apple and Microsoft have realized that people are utilizing the music functions in their smart devices as their main source of music. So, they are transitioning away from music-specific devices and towards devices that can multifunction.

If you are one of the people making the switch to smart devices as your default music source and are disposing of your mp3 player, make sure to dispose of your device properly. Many stores like Target and Best Buy have recycling stations that allows you to drop off your device to be disposed of properly.

The mp3 player may be slowly joining the ranks of the Walkman and the portable CD player in history but this jump forward in music technology is happening faster and faster, to the point where we can see some new transformation from the smart devices within the next few years.

You can reach me at cejeffre@asu.edu and you can also follow me on Twitter @Court_Jeffrey.