Published on May 18th, 2022 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Why Do More and More People Prefer to Listen to Music on Their Mobile Phones Rather Than on Other Personal Devices Today?

Our relationship with music is intimate and profound and is part of what separates the human race from what we can see in the other races that inhabit the earth. This relationship is because not only do we make instruments, but we make specific instruments to do something as wholly unnecessary – from a practical point of view – as producing a pleasing sound.

And with the evolution of our portable devices, which we now call smartphones and tablets, music has become one of the primary expressions of this drive. Today, we use our devices to discover, store and listen to music, and we do so with an assiduity that is astounding in numbers: the global market for music recording is expected to grow over $50 billion in 2022 – more or less, the yearly GDP of Tanzania.

But back to our theme, which includes music as part of an integrated ‘package’ that is part of our personal experience with our smartphones. Over the years, it has evolved from a simple communication tool into a portal that allows us to look out onto another universe, the virtual one, and do so anytime and anywhere.

An open door to our innermost world

We no longer need to wait for a computer to start up to enter this world, which is available to us. With the touch of a few buttons, we can be anywhere we want to be. For example, suppose we are fantasy fans. In that case, we can open up our favourite online gambling portal to play the Blue Wizard slot machine game and enjoy its magical and mysterious atmosphere, even if we are travelling or sunbathing on a beach on our holiday.

And all this can happen thanks to the evolution of microchip technology and wireless transmission protocols. These technologies offer us the key to open this secret treasure chest, like a magic door that opens wide with just the touch of our hand (although a fingerprint would be more accurate) to enter our very personal digital sphere. And music, and everything it brings with it, is rightfully part of this sphere.

The phone becomes part of our extended self

The smartphone is the key to our digital life. We store memories, photographs, contacts of loved ones, and texts inside our phones. It is as if the smartphone were a personal archive that holds everything that has ever meant anything to us. The music that represents us and makes us move is part of the assets accumulated in this repository. 

Our extended self brings together all that we are and all that defines us and makes us vibrate – like the music we enjoy hearing. As such, it plays a valuable role as a safe vault where to store our most nurturing memories: and so, we treat our smartphones accordingly, like they were a part of ourselves because these memories (and our beloved music) represents a cosy spot of mild tenderness in our hectic daily lives.

A smartphone is an efficient tool for expanding your musical horizons

In contrast to the limited traditional tools that only play what they already have in their memory, smartphone-based apps have AI features that learn as you listen. The tech enables us to explore and search for new content to suit our tastes and offer tools designed to facilitate this activity, even automating it.

This feature allows these portals to identify music similar to what we have been listening to lately, creating compilations or suggesting to us the works of one musician or another. And so, those among us with a spirit of exploration can discover new authors proposed by the software. 

Of course, as we said, this is not new, nor it is the only way to expand our musical horizons. It happens with other media, too, but smartphone use renders this process much more straightforward, practical, and effective.

Music is a personal and intimate experience

Have you ever noticed that it is challenging for two people to share precisely the same music? This challenge is the main reason why there are ‘horizontal’ categories of music we like. Within them, we identify favourite composers and, often, favourite individual pieces, giving them an absolute value since they express our way of being at a specific moment that we would find difficult to represent with the means at our disposal.

In short, the enjoyment of music, by its very nature, is an individual and intimate experience. This experience certainly explains why one of the most sold items nowadays is headphones, which allow us to enter our universe of sounds and suggestions, leaving the rest of the world outside.

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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