Explain Streaming Audio Services

The Technical Director (Bent Holter) of Hegel Music Systems in the May/June issue of The Absolute Sound (page 152) states that "CD's, Blu-Ray Discs and similar physical media will be soon obsolete". He goes on saying that "in Europe they see everything moving to streaming audio services like Spotify, WIMP and others".

Streaming audio service is a new concept for me and I do not understand what service I might use, how I would connect my audio system to a streaming audio services or even it makes any sense. What is the expected sound quality from a streaming audio service? Does a streaming source require a computer based connection or some other device?

Currently the musical source for my audio system is the Ayre CX-7eMP and the Magnum Dynalab 809t Internet tuner (connected to the Internet).

Can you please explain how a streaming audio system works, how does one connect to a streaming audio service and what service to use?. Does it make sense to do so? Does anyone have any experience using a streaming audio service? Comments?
I am not knowledgeable in this area but I'll see if I can get this started.

I believe your Magnum Dynalab is a streaming device. If you bought a wireless router, you could stream music to your MD, your iphone and any other WiFi enabled devices you own, once you get them set up properly of course.

I assume you are listening to internet radio now. That's streaming audio. Spotify and other streaming services just allow you to be more selective about what you're streaming and may offer higher quality audio, for a price of course.

If you want to get more involved in streaming you could buy a wireless router at BestBuy and for $70 or $80 one of their GeekSquad would come out and help you set up your network. Before you buy, I would talk to someone at BBuy about what you wanted to do to make sure someone there knows how to set up a high quality, high resolution music streaming network.

Hope this helps.
It seems to me that "streaming" music can have at least a couple of different meanings, depending on the context. I believe what you are talking about is not particularly streaming audio across your home network, but having a third party provide a stream of music to you.

If you are interested in a service such as Pandora or Spotify, you don't NEED a wireless network. In fact, my setup is all wired.

I don't know if any of your equipment is capable of acting as a receiver for any of the services. I have a Sonos and a Logitech Squeezebox, both of which have the capability of logging in and interacting with music services, providing a front end for them. Getting it setup isn't difficult, you just need access to the internet and a router to plug into (or you can use wireless).

I've tried just about all of the services out there and I've kept subscriptions to two of them. The first is Pandora because it works sort of like a radio, but you can tell it what type of music you want to hear. For example, if I tell it that I want to hear some Diana Krall, it will play Dianna Krall, but will also play other similar music. MOG, which is the other that I kept, is completely different. MOG is like having a library at your finger tips. You tell it what you want to hear; artist, track, etc. and you get what you ask for. I've found that it is rare that MOG doesn't have what I want to hear.

I do have to say, that the only reason that I have these services is for convenience during parties or for background music, because that is all they are good for. Pandora only streams at something like 128kbs and MOG does 320, so they are far from high quality. Still, the services are cheap. I think I pay like $25 a month for both of them.

If audiophile quality is what you're looking for, you're not going to get it. If you just want something to listen to, these services are a good way to introduce yourself to new music.
Tonyangel: Thank you for your response above. You answered my question.