• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

The Truth About Music Streaming

JoachimStrobel

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
472
Likes
262
Location
Germany
Back in the old days I bought CDs based on recommendations and reviews. Many were not so great but I listened to the end and found something nice in them, stayed and even bought another CD from the artist. Today I click through 10 new CD on QObus in 2 minutes, dump 9 and stay with one. The next 10 I sort similarly, keeping the one that sounds the same as the first one. I am not sure if that improves my music diversity but it is as it is.
Super post. A streamer that costs more than a 70€ Raspi is a waste. People believing in noise free network routers while writing good stuff about this and that loudspeaker, amp, … pull down the whole HiFi business.
 

Mnyb

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
1,717
Likes
2,276
Location
Sweden, Västerås
I use both my local server with file collections from my CD’s and online purchases and also sprinkled with some streaming .

I do worry a bit about the censorship dimension, ie everything gets “disneyfied” and only aviable in censored version.
Or cooperate with horrible regimes that don’t respect freedom of speech .
I also worry about the lack of self censorship ie the same services for example letting trough horrible conspiracy theory.
podcast that ultimately makes the world worse for everyone.
It’s tricky and I got no armchair solutions to offer :)

One wished that a streaming service had some kind of responsible editor actual human(s) making some judgments calls now and then .

So I make sure to have local files of as much music as possible so I’ve got them if they disappear trough censorship or cancel culture? One never knows nowadays.

But even then the concept of streaming are the winner it makes so much sense and have to many positive sides to ignore :) so I’m happy even if do worry sometimes.

My take is that 320kbs ogg really is god enough.

More important would be master version, but I’ve yet to see a streaming service with truly curated content. That would be hifi tier for me ?
 

DMill

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
576
Likes
744
I still think steaming is an amazing bargain in today’s audio world. I just don’t buy “if the internet goes down“ arguments. Perhaps if you live somewhere internet is unreliable... But for most if the power is out to your house you aren’t gonna geeking out to a Pink Floyd remaster regardless. If you want to curl up with the 50pg book that came with your Eagles CD/LP box set… cool. I get that. But I damn sure can’t hear any difference unless it’s something that i can’t stream. Any advantage hard copy media will have over streaming will be exclusive content IMO.
 

valerianf

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
512
Likes
312
Location
Los Angeles
HD music streaming is fantastic.
It made me listening music again: I got access to the world music and can listen to my playlist from everywhere as long as I have a player (my phone) with me.
At the monthly price of less than 1 CD, Amazon music HD made me discover a multitude of new artists.
Sure there are some downside: internet access needed, bad player interface, no playlist backup.
But at the end, the experience is enjoyable.
 
OP
Punter

Punter

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2022
Messages
55
Likes
421
My experience with streaming is via Spotify and what I've done is to initially seek out all of the music in my collection of vinyl and then branch out from there. I like many different genres and artists and love to put together mixed up playlists that go from Sitar ragas to AC/DC to Mozart to Tangerine Dream and anything else that floats my boat. I persisted with the free account for years and just muted the commercials but in the end I relented and paid a subscription. I'm glad I did actually. I haven't been an active music purchaser for years so the subscription vs CD cost isn't a comparison I have ever made but it's a good one ;-) Quality wise, it does everything I need for listening on earbuds or in the car. I have expanded my music universe since getting the paid account for sure, so much to explore though!
 

pablolie

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
761
Likes
1,218
Location
bay area, ca
"The Truth About Music Streaming" in the end is very easy: it has taken the world over and there is no turning back. Right or wrong it is the way the vast majority of the world wants to consume music. Me... I enjoy it and consume it, but still buy the albums I love and support my fav artists no matter what. I subscribe to Spotify and in the forums I have endorsed:

1. Include album art! That would totally change the game for me.
2. Be more transparent about artist compensation. Maybe even set up a way to pay for album *ownership*, as in you download it as FLACs or MP3s... that would probably put them in direct conflict with music labels, but it is an inevitable outcome.
3. (and that is where I'd rate it priority wise) ... stream FLACs. SQ is plenty good with OggVorbis so not a huge deal honestly.
 

DMill

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
576
Likes
744
Offering content you can’t get streaming is the only short term hope for hard copy media. Or even streaming services that may offer exclusive content. Even then it easily becomes a digital file that is easily shared if you overlook licensing. We have already seen this happen with Napster.
 

olbobcat

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2022
Messages
70
Likes
38
I love streaming, but have an extensive collection as well. I nervous that it going to become a shit show just like video streaming starting to become
 

beagleman

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
802
Likes
1,005
If you are someone that listens to the same 100 classic rock albums since you were 16 years old and you are over 45 now, streaming will not be for you.

If you can spare a measly 10 bucks a month and want instant access to a huge library of all types of stuff, numbering in the tens of thousands, than streaming might just be for you!
 

beagleman

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
802
Likes
1,005
I love streaming, but have an extensive collection as well. I nervous that it going to become a shit show just like video streaming starting to become

I am somewhat similar.
I have MANY hundreds of CDs, and I do stream fairly often also.

I just feel a much more confident feeling of having an actual CD where I know for sure what mastering it is, and I OWN it for sure.
But I do stream a lot to listen to stuff I do not know or stuff that is similar to what I own, but just never got around to buying.

I often listen on streaming and then buy a CD if I really like it, enough for it to be something I want permanently.
Streaming feels (semi) permanent to me in some regards. No liner notes, nothing of substance, and no idea what mastering on a LOT of classic rock.
 

MaxBuck

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
1,243
Likes
1,625
Location
SoCal, Baby!
The great thing about Idagio is that I can listen to multiple performances of great classical works and switch nearly instantaneously among them to listen to how different conductors and performers interpret them. It's fascinating. This certainly isn't something I do most times I cue up my streamer, but the fact that I can whenever I like is wonderful.
 

MattHooper

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
4,472
Likes
7,153
If you are someone that listens to the same 100 classic rock albums since you were 16 years old and you are over 45 now, streaming will not be for you.

If you can spare a measly 10 bucks a month and want instant access to a huge library of all types of stuff, numbering in the tens of thousands, than streaming might just be for you!

That brings up an interesting sort of conundrum.

First of all, I listen to a large record collection, a large CD collection (ripped for streaming), and streaming from Tidal, Apple Music and internet radio stations.

But if one might say "I'd rather not be limited to a few hundred albums I own - I want access to hundreds of thousands of albums via streaming"...at what point is this overkill?

It seems to me the basic pluses for owning some manageable sized collection of music is that, while not as varied as streaming, it's possible to
have a more intimate familiarity with the artists you enjoy.

The basic plus for streaming access to countless albums is of course the diversity available. But then, you are either discovering artists that you love enough to re-listen to and become familiar with, or you are constantly exploring looking for something new, which will never end, and which has the consequence of barely being able to keep up with who you heard, or developing a deeper relationship (e.g. often playing) with the music you love.

If you tend to stream music but say "Oh no, I've discovered plenty of artists whose work I've come to know very well and play often" then, unless you have way more time in your life to listen to music than most of us, perhaps you are listening to a similar number of albums as the person with the large physical collection anyway. (And the person with the physical collection has all sorts of ways of discovering new music to buy, just like anyone else).

As I've mentioned before, it was unlimited access to music once I added streaming that made me accutely aware of this issue, where I found myself constantly surfing for new music, but rarely revisiting an artist's work or becoming deeply familiar with much of it, as I have for music for much of my life.

Just musing...
 

Bamyasi

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
472
Likes
332
The birth of streaming

Even with this expanded bandwidth, music streaming was still not a real force majeure until well into the 2000’s. One of the pioneers, Spotify, had started up in 2006 but didn’t make much of a splash until it opened up registrations for UK subscribers in 2010. The demand was so overwhelming that the open registration model was switched to invitation only to cope with the traffic. Spotify launched in the United States in July 2011. Apples answer to Spotify was Apple Music which launched in 2015. Since then there have been numerous streaming services launched like Pandora and Deezer with some like Tidal promising audio quality to “Master” level.
Not true, Pandora was born long before Spotify.
 

pablolie

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
761
Likes
1,218
Location
bay area, ca
There were so many others, I obscurely recall... Napster anyone? Although it's not clear if it was really a "service" or a predatory app. :)

I was a very early Pandora subscriber, the model was great at the time, but ultimately it was more like a radio station than a bone-fide online music service. I also did iTunes at some point in time. in the end, my go-to place is Spotify these days. the power of creating and fine-tuning playlists with so much content available is awesome.
 

Bamyasi

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
472
Likes
332
There were so many others, I obscurely recall... Napster anyone? Although it's not clear if it was really a "service" or a predatory app. :)
Napster was not started as a streaming service, what they provided was just a simple file sharing (like modern Dropbox). They've tried jumping on the streaming bandwagon but that was much much later and their attempt failed.
 

Bamyasi

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
472
Likes
332
Pandora didn't officially launch until 2005.

Rhapsody launched in 2001...
It's interesting but Rhapsody is indeed largely being ignored pretty much from its early days and up until recently. Nobody mentioning it in any context, historical or with comparisons to modern services. Is this because they were originally mostly Apple exclusive? I've never had any experience with Rhapsody personally, just curious.
 

escape2

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
821
Likes
853
Location
USA
It's interesting but Rhapsody is indeed largely being ignored pretty much from its early days and up until recently. Nobody mentioning it in any context, historical or with comparisons to modern services. Is this because they were originally mostly Apple exclusive? I've never had any experience with Rhapsody personally, just curious.
Rhapsody became Napster, and we dont really hear much about either.
 

Hipster Doofus

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
129
Likes
161
Form a lost sheep…


Thank you for that report…some of which is still over my head ….one question comes up…why do companies like ESs build Mqa capabilities right into their chips….or am I incorrect….

i,use tidal but am open to see the errors of my ways…also it would take a long time to rebuild my playlist.

Please…Please…Please…. how would you rate the streaming services….is Amazon as good as tidal where does Apple Music fit in …etc…

thank uou in advance
 

Jim Shaw

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
560
Likes
1,012
Location
Northeastern Ohio, USA, in the woods
I've read right here on ASR that the internet is dirty. I imagine all the bits need a good scrub ;)
Surely PSAudio makes a piece of hardware that scrubs bits. If not, Maybe a "BitWasher." Paul is missing an opening; a must-have for erudite audiophiles.
Be sure to get the accessory "BitWringer."

Connect it to your UltimteOutlet.
iu
 
Top Bottom