Yes, streaming never was, and it'll never be good for the music itself. It's just plain stupid, especially if your internet is not free/cheap, or if you're trying to be green and stay away from wasteful energy consumption. Oh yes, it’s good for many greedy people in this corporate music industry, and probably some other sleazy money makers… But, it’ll never be good for the music itself! I'll try to explain this in a very simple way. I'll use great invention in this example, and compare it with streaming, simple as that. What's that invention that was better than streaming?
Well, it's the totally opposite one. Many of you older readers remembers how powerful invention simple Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) was back in the days. It was a big big revolution, almost big like invention of TV itself. Why? The reason was very simple, this invention was invented to save people's precious time, it was a real invention that worked just fine for the rich, and a working class people too, you know, those with jobs and families!
People were watching TV program for years, and before VCR, they were using commercial breaks to get some snacks, quick visit to the bathroom, or to get a cold drink. And, you had to be fast enough to use those commercial breaks for your “justified” interruptions, or your favorite show will continue without you. But, with VCR, all those problems were solved.
Now, you could go and do other things while your favorite show is recording for you. All you needed to do is to buy a lot of blank tapes, that's for sure... But hey, your precious time was saved; now while show is recording at your home, you could finish up with some chores, pick up your kids from the school… You could watch some movies in cinema, visit your parents...And... Later, at night, when you're really free, you could watch your show(s) without interruption, in piece... And, what's best, you could pause it and do number two, if you need to go…
Hey, I may used plain and honest explanations in this one, but, you’re getting my point here… Why is this thing called VCR was really a real revolution at the time? How about skip of all those commercials with fast forwarding button? Wonderful thing! Today, you have all of that with your basic DVR cable box, but back in time, it was a thing to have, and thing to want….
Anyway, what is this story with old VCR’s have in common with nowadays music streaming business, or “music wasting”, how I called it? Well, it shows that VCR was giving us back our “wasted” precious time, and it was providing real comfort in watching and enjoying TV program. This was a big thing back in the days! But, hold on, media says that music listening future is in streaming industry, at least that's what we're all been told! But, is this statement true at all? Is it streaming really the best way to deliver music to our ears, to our personal parties, or streaming is really great just for the videos, movies and TV shows? Many of you would say it's good for both, because you're rotten spoiled, aha. And, why I'm asking this question after all when streaming of all shit possible is already around us and available to all of us?
Think about it, we waste our precious time in our lives waiting for many things to happen, like waiting for red light in our vehicles, waiting for the train or bus to come, waiting in the line…. So, watching advertising and commercials should be the last thing that you should be wasting your time on in 2016. Technology should help us do some tasks in our lives easier, faster, better, so we can use the rest of our FREE time for ourselves, our family, friends, fun, movies, games…And, what's most important for music lovers, also to listen to some nice music too. This is the topic of this article, after all.
Conclusion: VCR was a great invention at the time, and it did provided excellent service for the customers who were watching TV shows oven their TV sets. And, streaming video shows and movies in 2016 is an great invention, I'm using Netflix and similar services all the time too... But, I don't think it's good for the art of music. Why? Here's my opinion.
Twenty (or more) years ago I was looking at my PC computer thinking about music. And, I realized that in the future instead of using my CD player & turntable, I will end up playing all my music from my computer, my hard drive, or any other storage device such as: smartphone, tablet, etc. So, instead of having all those Vinyl records, CD’s, cassette tapes, in my room, clogging ‘always the small’ space of “never-accomplished-but-still-trying” producer/DJ, I digitized my all music in MP3 and WAV files. And now, it's all there on one 1TB hard drive in one folder. Sure, we can argue for years how mp3 is crap etc., but I was clever, I used professional Fraunhofer 320 kbps compression on most of my music tracks. And, all music that I have on my hard drive sounds fine for the archived files and my personal use. Most of it anyway passed the Sound Forge treatment, normalization, etc.
And, if we're talking about sound quality of digital sound files, mp3 and stuff, just stop it right now and shut up forever. Nowadays you can buy and keep your music as uncompressed files, also known as WAV. And, today's hard drives are so huge and cheap, you can store millions of data on it. There's also a lossless FLAC format that splits WAV size almost in half without losing sound quality. So, if you're professional DJ, you can buy and handle large space USB sticks and all that fancy stuff. This means audio quality discussion is out of this article, buy uncompressed if you're vinyl lover, or looking for the best possible audio, period. Buy mp3 files if your storage space is limited, and you're satisfied with how it sounds period.
But, many years ago, music compression was very important invention. Yes, I know, it was a hard hit on music industry with big piracy element, but, what was more important, mp3 paved the way for new music distribution. At the beginning, we were using internet for getting new information, looking on some images, playing stupid games… But, when internet became faster, we started to download two hours long DJ mix or maxi single track, and listen to it years and years later from our hard drives! This was perfect shit for me and many of my friends! I was amazed! This was like digital VCR for music at the time, it was a WinAmp and cheaper Hard Drive revolution… From now on, I could keep all my digital shit in one place! Wow!
Keeping my own music collection on my own hard drive so far worked just fine for me. It's all on my hard drive, and I have a backup copy on another hard drive, just in case main drive fails… After all, I realized one day that most of my old CD’s that I ”burned” many years ago will be unreadable in the future. That fact supported my excellent decision to digitize my all music collection as soon as I could.
Now, I understand that many people who listen to generic hits would find streaming subscription great source of music and fun, but that's not working for us, long time house music lovers. Most of our “old hits” music was digitized directly from vinyls, and only 1% of it is actually available on biggest streaming services such as Pandora etc. Anyway, I don't need all of my favorite music everywhere with me. I'm buying new music on traxsource on a regular basis, so I only keep newer stuff on my phone and listen to my internet radio in between when I'm outside the home. When I'm at home, I can listen to it all whenever I want.
What's interesting is that Apple, and some other biggest multi corporation companies years ago figured out how to easily sell digital music downloads to millions of people. And after they made millions and millions of dollars selling it, they decided to quit with that music distribution system because they're greedy. They're abandoning system that worked just fine, with a new one that supposed to be better for us, customers? Or, better just for them, big corporations? So now, instead of buying digital track or album and listen to it whenever they wants, customers should stream their music hits from the internet every time they want to listen to it? Very very “green energy” solution, you're downloading it all over again hundreds of times and you have 128 GB memory card available, and then you drive your latest Tesla car?
Fuck that. It's better when you download it once, and then play it with or without internet connection millions of times. This system is just perfect, working perfect, even when you're “of the grid”. It can be improved, all they needed to figure out how to protect illegal downloads, scams etc. And, that could be easily addressed, just like YouTube figured out how to recognize copyrighted material in their videos. Look, nothing's perfect, but you can work it out if you want ! But, not them! They're just greedy!
Now, don't forget, if you didn't download all your music on your device; phone, tablet, computer, with streaming services, your whole music collection could become “a prisoner” of Apple or other corporations cloud streaming services as soon as you missed one payment. Let's face it, you cannot listen to it all the time you want it! You can listen to it only when you have internet connection, and you paid your bill! It seems ok when you live in 24/7 internet environment, very convenient.
But, what if internet is NOT available all the time at your area, or if it's expensive for your budget? Could be that, this solution is very bad for you, me too. Remember, before “this new fabulous invention”, I could enjoy my music anytime without internet connection, now I can't! So, knowing all that, why would I ever get into music streaming? Why would this be an advantage for me? Why is this better for any customer, and also me? No, it's a step back for all of us music lovers… Or, music industry just wants from all of us customers to become one “generic customer”, one that buys whatever is on “the plate". Fuck that!
But, even if you forget all about my rant, the question is still on the table: Did old model of music sales really just failed, or they're just become more greedy as I said? You get the point, selling music to the customer ends the “money making cycle” for music business. When you buy and download your music, that's it. It's the end of making money cycle for greedy companies! From now on, there's nothing else they can do to earn more money from you with the same music! Yes, you'll buy that t-shirt, and maybe some other shit, but… They sold this music to you already, you own it, and, that's it. This deal it's done, move on! You as a customer, call it “buyer”, you can listen to it whenever you want. But, that's not enough for greedy people, they want to “milk" you more. And, what now? How?
Well, they need to milk you more, squeeze the last one of your pennies, I get it… Just like many cable companies like TWC in U.S. would milk their subscribers forever with their obsolete services. Yes, maybe you don't need it, but it's just a few bucks per month, it's a great deal! ?… Think about it, just like for TV, they’re forcing you to pay for monthly subscription for the music, same music that you already have in your collection for years, music that you paid for already… I understand, that makes more bucks for them, but, what's inside for me, a regular customer? A regular Deep House Music Lover Joe? And, BTW, I'm not your regular music customer Joe, I like to keep my music in my domain all the time? Why would I buy that streaming subscription? What's inside that deal good for me? Nothing!
That's why I will not get into streaming music distribution ever! I'll pay for Netflix and other reasonable services, but to pay monthly for music subscription, I really just can't, and I don't want! First of all, this system is is not “green” at all for music distribution, it's totally opposite! Now, I understand that you want to watch your latest TV show instantly on your smart TV, or your mobile device, tablet, but why would you do the same with your music? No, that's something very personal to me, my music collection is reflection of my soul man! And, even if you like to hear right now some hit song that you would repeat in the loop, you don't want to download that song all over again hundreds of times per day. That's insane waste of energy, and time!
Solution? Yes! We got it! Like we did it in the past, you can download it once, and listen to it hundreds, or millions of times from your phone, tablet, computer, or, whatever you use these days. Why would you use electricity for repetitive task hundreds of times? It's just a simple waste of energy for nothing. Just because you want to feel extreme commodity and you live in “rich" country, you got used to luxury, I know, humans are pigs. But, that all doesn't mean you have to waste resources for nothing like you would do with music streaming. Bull shit. No excuse for waste of energy when pollution on this planet is higher than ever!
So, let me give you an advice, own your music collection! From now on, buy your music as you want it; Vinyls, cassette tapes, CD's, mp3’s, WAV files, FLAC, whatever, just have it your possession. Download your favorite music after you paid for it! Use your hard drive as a format to play it whenever you want it to be played, it's yours. Your purchased music can be on your memory card, can be played from your smartphone, your PC, Mac, some other device… As long as you paid for it, it doesn't matter.
Share it with your family, friends, let them know what you're listening to, share is good. They will buy the same music if they like it, that's how you support your favorite artists! You may not remember if you're very young, but we used to share our music with our friends and our families! We used to exchange our vinyl records, cassette tapes, make a single copy of it. It's natural to share goods, there's nothing wrong with us humans to share and exchange. But, don't give it everybody for free, unless if it's all yours! That's not what House Music is all about, not at all! You have to pay for your shit, for your music too! You have to support your artist! That's the only way he or she can survive and make more music, more pleasure for your ears!
Conclusion! If you ask me, streaming music is bad. It may feel comfortable for you now, but it's not profitable for those who makes that music! That loop will not end very well! Many of world famous artists already confirmed this claim in their personal rant against Spotify and other greedy streaming music distribution systems.
Buy it, download it, enjoy it!