Digital Music Definition

A brief explanation of Digital music

Music downloading in computer at desk
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Digital Music (sometimes referred to as digital audio) is a method of representing sound as numerical values. This differs from analog media such as magnetic tapes or vinyl records for instance where the sound is stored in a physical form. In the case of cassette tapes, this information is stored magnetically.

Physical Digital Media

One of the most well-known physical sources of digital music is the compact disc.

The basic principle of how this works is that a laser reads the surface of a CD which contains pits and lands. The information on the CD changes the reflected power of the laser beam which is measured and decoded as binary data ( 1 or 0).

Digital Audio Files

These are non-physical sources of digital audio that use various encoding formats to store audio information. An example of a digital audio file is an MP3 that you can download from the Internet; listen to on your computer / mobile device or MP3 player. When we talk about digital music, we normally refer to this type of digital audio storage; other examples of digital audio files include, AAC, WMA, OGG, WAV, etc.