Author Topic: The impact of music streaming services  (Read 3084 times)

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Offline Que

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The impact of music streaming services
« on: March 04, 2020, 01:28:31 AM »
Some weeks ago my CD-player died after 20 years of service. :(
I'm contemplating my options - this might be the time for an upgrade of my entire system... ::)

Meanwhile, I have resorted to my wife's Spotify account and headphones.
Sofar, it has been an interesting experience. I already decided that any new gear should make it possible to play and listen to streamed music the same way as my CD collection.

I was wondering. How has the availability of muscic streaming affected your buying and listening habits?
How do you use streaming services? Has anyone stopped buying CDs altogether? Do you still play CDs?

Q

Offline "Harry"

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2020, 02:16:34 AM »
Some weeks ago my CD-player died after 20 years of service. :(
I'm contemplating my options - this might be the time for an upgrade of my entire system... ::)

Meanwhile, I have resorted to my wife's Spotify account and headphones.
Sofar, it has been an interesting experience. I already decided that any new gear should make it possible to play and listen to streamed music the same way as my CD collection.

I was wondering. How has the availability of muscic streaming affected your buying and listening habits?
How do you use streaming services? Has anyone stopped buying CDs altogether? Do you still play CDs?

Q

I have a streamer in my home and could in principle listen to lots of music. The problem is in that respect that i have piles and piles of CD's yet to listen. Streaming would only add more. And furthermore I am too old for starting yet another venture into technology. Plus that the audio quality is in most cases not enough for me. So I stick to CD'S. Less stress for me.
And by the way Que, 20 years life for a CD player is quite a feat. :)
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Offline Biffo

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2020, 02:30:40 AM »
I use Spotify for previewing music (CD or download) that I am considering buying or have seen reviewed or mentioned in this forum. Sometimes I use it for listening to music that I am interested in hearing but not in buying. I have quite a few albums in my Spotify library and dip into them occasionally. I suppose there is the possibility that one day they will disappear for some reason but it wouldn't be a great loss as they are free (apart from the modest Spotify subscription) and mostly marginal to my main music listening.

The subscription is well worth the money and has saved me from buying well-received albums that I didn't, on hearing, actually care for.

The sound quality of Spotify Premium  is more than adequate for my purposes.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2020, 03:05:58 AM »

How do you use streaming services?

Q

To explore and discover new things -- new composers, new performers, new music, new releases.


 Has anyone stopped buying CDs altogether?

Q

No because some things I want to hear are only available in high quality audio on CD

Do you still play CDs?

Q

No. I've not played a CD for about 10 years.



 I already decided that any new gear should make it possible to play and listen to streamed music the same way as my CD collection.



I've achieved this. I would advise getting advice from the internet rather than shops. The reason is, the advice from shops is constrained by their their margins and the products they have reseller ageements for. They may not give you best advice.

You won't quite manage it with spotify by the way, because of the sound quality, but it may not be important to you.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 03:11:22 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Madiel

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 03:22:46 AM »
Some weeks ago my CD-player died after 20 years of service. :(
I'm contemplating my options - this might be the time for an upgrade of my entire system... ::)

Meanwhile, I have resorted to my wife's Spotify account and headphones.
Sofar, it has been an interesting experience. I already decided that any new gear should make it possible to play and listen to streamed music the same way as my CD collection.

I was wondering. How has the availability of muscic streaming affected your buying and listening habits?
How do you use streaming services? Has anyone stopped buying CDs altogether? Do you still play CDs?

Q

I bought a new CD player about a year ago. I specifically hunted down a system that could both play CDs and stream on wifi (a surprisingly difficult exercise, though it seems units that can use Bluetooth are a bit more common).

While it turns out to not be completely perfect, I literally had a tear in my eye when I first got it home and set up. Being able to do both on the same system was a joy to me.

I use streaming for two main purposes.

First, to try out things with a view to buying them. I already used iTunes 90-second samples for this purpose, so I suppose what streaming has done is enable me to listen to a complete work or album. For things where I really want to nail down which version I want to buy, iTunes still operates as a kind of shortlisting mechanism and then I will mark the relevant versions in Deezer to listen to. Hence, picking out versions of the Bach cello suites and Shostakovich preludes and fugues for piano last year. And intermittently trying out different editions of Ravel orchestral works and Schubert piano sonatas at the moment.

Second, I use streaming to explore repertoire I'm somewhat interested in but don't own. It's enabled me to do my full chronological explorations of various composers, filling in gaps (and still sometimes leading to me making notes about works/recordings I want to purchase). More recently if something is mentioned here on GMG and takes my fancy, I might well go and mark it in Deezer as a 'Favourite' so that I can try it out when I'm in the right frame of mind for exploring new music.

This has not stopped me buying CDs by any means, and I'm not sure it's even slowed it down. I have very firm philosophical views on putting the music that I value into my library as a way of reflecting that value. Having some recordings online marked as 'favourites' is not a substitute for this in my opinion. Streaming has just made the process less prone to misses because I generally have a high degree of certainty that what I'm buying is going to be satisfying.

But it's worth pointing out that my CD-purchasing approach has long been very different to many people on GMG. I buy a lot less than many people, because I'm a lot slower to buy. I don't want to end up with a dozen versions of the same work, normally I'm aiming for 1 and it's only some very select works where I'm looking for multiple performances. I was sampling and considering in record shops and going away to ponder before coming back to purchase long before any of this internet purchasing was available, never mind streaming.

I still listen to CDs at home for anything I own. At work, I'd already gradually gravitated from being armed with a portable CD player (particularly for classical) to putting parts of my library on my iPhone (easier for pop music, but over time I'd worked out reasonably good ways of organising the metadata for classical as well, and one the best things about iTunes is that it makes editing the metadata for CD rips pretty straightforward). A Deezer subscription has  made it possible for me to spontaneously listen to something that I haven't loaded onto the iPhone.

I certainly have noticed that I now spend more time listening to things that I don't own, ie the exploration aspect has been strengthened by access. At times it represents around 50% of my listening. But what I won't do is listen to any particular album repeatedly on streaming. Any more than a couple of times, if I want to keep listening, then that's a sign that the album belongs in the shopping cart. CD if it's available, and if it's clearly not going to be available on CD from anywhere then a download purchase.

Not least because: 1. A streaming service can lose material at any time if the licensing is withdrawn, and 2. Sometimes they really, really fuck up the metadata in spectacular fashion or have tracks missing or whatever. My personal library = in my control. Anything you stream is not yours.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 03:30:10 AM by Madiel »
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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2020, 07:04:03 AM »
I bought a new CD player about a year ago. I specifically hunted down a system that could both play CDs and stream on wifi (a surprisingly difficult exercise, though it seems units that can use Bluetooth are a bit more common).

While it turns out to not be completely perfect, I literally had a tear in my eye when I first got it home and set up. Being able to do both on the same system was a joy to me.

May I ask which CD player/streamer you purchased?  Am curious as to whether or not it's available in the States.

Que,

I'm probably one of the few people here (I'm guessing) that hasn't ever used a streaming service.  Years ago, I remember hearing about one that was available in at least parts of Europe that was a very high-quality audio streamer.  Forget now what the name was, but last I remember hearing about it, they were hoping to be able to operate in the US?  Then that didn't work out and I think that they ran into issues overseas to and are no-longer?  Does this ring a bell with anyone here?

Are there any high-quality audio streaming services these days?  If not, I could still see the value in trying them out...regarding exposure to new music, new artists, new recordings, etc.  A relative loves Pandora, but I think that that is different than the other ones that you gents are talking about--in that it's random.  Also, I don't believe that one can pick and 'keep' albums with that service?

Best wishes,

PD

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2020, 10:01:00 AM »
I'm reluctant to switch to streaming because, as of yet, most of the offerings are compressed and less than CD quality and because I already have so many recordings.

I have been ripping my CD collection to lossless (FLAC) and basically never listen to a physical CD. I almost always listen to my FLAC files through my CD player, which has Digital inputs so it can effectively work as a DAC. Sometimes I listen through a portable DAC and headphones.

Effectively my hard drive is my hard-copy streaming service. I have about 2 Tb of flac files, and rarely buy new recordings. When I do, they are either lossless downloads (flac) or used CDs that get immediately ripped.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 10:57:39 AM by Baron Scarpia »

Offline San Antone

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2020, 10:51:54 AM »
Some weeks ago my CD-player died after 20 years of service. :(
I'm contemplating my options - this might be the time for an upgrade of my entire system... ::)

Meanwhile, I have resorted to my wife's Spotify account and headphones.
Sofar, it has been an interesting experience. I already decided that any new gear should make it possible to play and listen to streamed music the same way as my CD collection.

I was wondering. How has the availability of muscic streaming affected your buying and listening habits?
How do you use streaming services? Has anyone stopped buying CDs altogether? Do you still play CDs?

Q

Streaming has completely altered how I listen to music, and for the better. I used to spend more than $100/month on CD purchases, often quite a bit more.  Now for about $150/year I have access much more music than I ever tried to acquire.  I will still make a CD purchase but only if it is not available to stream and is of music that I feel a strong need to hear and have available.

My spending has dropped precipitously while at the same time the amount of new music I listen to has increased dramatically - a state of affairs I am very happy about.

 8)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 10:53:45 AM by San Antone »

Offline Madiel

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2020, 01:28:11 PM »
May I ask which CD player/streamer you purchased?  Am curious as to whether or not it's available in the States.

Que,

I'm probably one of the few people here (I'm guessing) that hasn't ever used a streaming service.  Years ago, I remember hearing about one that was available in at least parts of Europe that was a very high-quality audio streamer.  Forget now what the name was, but last I remember hearing about it, they were hoping to be able to operate in the US?  Then that didn't work out and I think that they ran into issues overseas to and are no-longer?  Does this ring a bell with anyone here?

Are there any high-quality audio streaming services these days?  If not, I could still see the value in trying them out...regarding exposure to new music, new artists, new recordings, etc.  A relative loves Pandora, but I think that that is different than the other ones that you gents are talking about--in that it's random.  Also, I don't believe that one can pick and 'keep' albums with that service?

Best wishes,

PD

Panasonic SC-PMX series. My exact model is PMX 152.

Lots of services advertise CD quality these days, often for a higher subscription price. Tidal is one that makes a thing about only being high quality for example.
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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2020, 01:34:46 PM »
Panasonic SC-PMX series. My exact model is PMX 152.

Lots of services advertise CD quality these days, often for a higher subscription price. Tidal is one that makes a thing about only being high quality for example.

Thanks!  I googled Quobuz a short while ago and read the info on Wiki; that was the company that I had heard about.  I remember them being in financial straights and thought that I also had read that they were going out of business at one point.  Nice to hear that there are other companies too which care about the sound quality!   :)

PD

Offline Madiel

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2020, 02:00:03 PM »
PS I know that Marantz also makes units that can do both CDs and wifi, but they’re not a complete mini stereo like mine. You need to buy speakers.
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Offline j winter

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2020, 02:01:58 PM »

... I'm probably one of the few people here (I'm guessing) that hasn't ever used a streaming service....
 

I haven't used one either, unless you count Sirius XM radio (Tom Petty's Buried Treasure!  8) ).  I've had probably 90% of my CDs digitized to high quality MP3s for years -- I've considered upgrading them to FLAC, but it would be such a PITA to re-rip, and honestly I do a lot of my listening either in the car or over bluetooth earbuds or speakers, and the MP3s are fine for that.

If I'm listening at home, either in the evening or on weekends, I listen to CDs, either on the big system in the living room, or on a bookshelf-sized system in my home office.  I've recently set up a spare laptop with a copy of my digital music library and the Sirius XM, and have also plugged that into my main system for convenience, as I do have some music in digital format only -- not a lot, maybe 20% max of what I have....
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 04:56:23 PM by j winter »
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

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Offline hvbias

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2020, 02:19:05 PM »
I had a Tidal premium (or whatever they called the hi-res one) subscription but cancelled it since the ugly Universal watermark was audible in many releases. I'll use Spotify now to determine if I want to buy a CD.

Youtube is probably my favorite of them because you can read comments which are often pretty damn funny or educational with people pointing things out in scores. Like Reddit's /r/cm I get the impression many of them are university/conservatory students and their unique insights into music is often pretty interesting.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 02:21:52 PM by hvbias »

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2020, 02:41:04 PM »
I'm reluctant to switch to streaming because, as of yet, most of the offerings are compressed and less than CD quality and because I already have so many recordings.

I have been ripping my CD collection to lossless (FLAC) and basically never listen to a physical CD. I almost always listen to my FLAC files through my CD player, which has Digital inputs so it can effectively work as a DAC. Sometimes I listen through a portable DAC and headphones.

Effectively my hard drive is my hard-copy streaming service. I have about 2 Tb of flac files, and rarely buy new recordings. When I do, they are either lossless downloads (flac) or used CDs that get immediately ripped.

I didn't write this, but I could have. Sorry, PD, but you aren't quite alone there outside the main-stream, I've never streamed either. However, my listening routine is aptly described here by Scarpia, and within the last 6 months, I have got to the point where I don't buy a CD at all unless is is not available as a FLAC download. Sometimes, downloaders don't provide liner notes, and I have been known to buy a used CD to get them. This has been a major reordering for me, but it is nowhere near as huge as going to streaming would have been. I have a Fiio X5 gen 3, so I can use it as a DAC, maybe will when my old Onkyo stereo finally craps out on me. I could ever stream with it, but I don't see streaming in my future, even in the long term. :-\

8)
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Offline steve ridgway

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2020, 04:39:30 AM »
I too have never streamed, mainly play CDs, physically or ripped to lossless or MP3 depending on the playback device. I don't like the idea of paying a subscription but never having a permanent copy and needing an internet connection to listen to anything.

Offline Madiel

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2020, 05:04:01 AM »
I too have never streamed, mainly play CDs, physically or ripped to lossless or MP3 depending on the playback device. I don't like the idea of paying a subscription but never having a permanent copy and needing an internet connection to listen to anything.

To be fair:

1. Many services have a free version, though with some limitations. Weirdly these limitations are often different for using a desktop version versus using a mobile app version. For desktop, I was quite happy with free for a long time because I could still properly control what I listened to and just got the occasional ad break.

2. Most services will allow you to download with a subscription, meaning that you don't need an internet connection all the time. I find it faintly hilarious that they advertise this as some kind of startling innovation, as if I haven't been listening to music without internet for decades, but it effectively means I can pre-load albums onto my iPhone from Deezer in exactly the same way that I do it with my iTunes purchases and rips.
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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2020, 05:09:37 AM »
Interesting to read all of the comments here!

I hadn't heard of a Universal 'watermark' before?  Is this something that they put in every so often so as to prevent people from permanently downloading the music to their computer?  Or burning it directly to CD?  And what does it sound like?

PD

Offline Madiel

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2020, 05:15:18 AM »
« Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 05:19:07 AM by Madiel »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2020, 05:16:56 AM »
I've already posted about how much I enjoy streaming, but must admit some surprise that I am in the high grass on GMG.  I dunno - streaming is the apogee of how I always dreamed of listening to music. 

Aside from conventional listening to a single work or CD, what I like to do is to create large playlist folders of my favorite composers and then listen to the music randomly, somewhat like my own radio station.  That is impossible to do with CDs, even with my old 110 disc player.  It was clunky and made noise when switching discs not to mention the regular jamming and mechanical problems.  I can now randomly listen to not 110 CDs but thousands - and have at my disposal far more music than I could ever (or want) to purchase.

Paying a subscription at a fraction of what I used to spend on buying CDs, is a huge net plus financially - and - I now view my shelves of CDs as a giant albatross - all that stuff.  Except for the CDs that are OOP or otherwise unavailable to stream I will eventually unload them, even if it is at a dump. (If one of you hoarders want to pay the shipping, they can all be yours.)   ;D

Between Spotify and Naxos Music Library (which I get access to as part of a magazine subscription) there is little I don't have at my fingertips to listen to immediately.

You guys can keep your physical media and rave about audio quality all you want (which has never been a priority for me, I can't really tell much difference between digital formats or CDs).  I will happily stream to my heart's content.

 8)

Offline Madiel

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Re: The impact of music streaming services
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2020, 05:21:48 AM »
Well of course streaming is great if you want to randomise everything.

But if you're doing playlists, you're doing something that was already perfectly possible in iTunes or some other media player on your computer.

EDIT: As to the bit about being able to listen to virtually anything immediately... the fact is, though, you won't. You're paying for millions of tracks that you'll never actually hear, including millions that you'd hate if you did hear them. The percentage of things in my library that I spent money on but dislike is quite a bit smaller.  ;) And I make it a point to ensure that I've actually listened to everything in my library, because I don't let myself acquire more until the list of unlistened material has shrunk.

Plus, of course, there are things I've been listening to for up to 28 years (that's how long I've had a CD player) without paying for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 79th listens. My up-front costs might be higher, but they don't recur.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 05:27:23 AM by Madiel »
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