The Pros and Cons Of Streaming

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bvb1123, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian Thread Starter

    Location:
    Cincinnati Ohio
    Well, here in small country village Ohio we have 2 radio stations, 1 modern country (ugh) and 1 contemporary Christian rock (double ugh) so I gotta have my streaming.
     
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  2. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York


    YEP
     
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  3. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Heavy Horses Operator

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    I found Tidal Hi-Fi streaming pretty much equal to CD rip streaming from my NAS and often the same as CD. And sometimes better. But is $20 vs $10.
    Spotify - yes, quaility is often lower.
     
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  4. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    I certainly understand the appeal of streaming in that I can play my music with ease anywhere at anytime. Still, I only stream my own music, music that I own that I have uploaded. I enjoy the convenience under certain circumstances. But at the end of the day, I own the product, and I am not at the mercy of streaming services when it comes to sound quality, edits, availability, etc. While I appreciate younger generations growing up with and living with streaming platforms and embracing the distribution model for the convenience, ease and cost -- I think there are far greater benefits from physical product (or at the very least hi-res downloads). That said, if one is only a casual music fan, streaming will suffice. As a serious, deep music fan -- there is no substitute for product.
     
  5. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Sure, Tidal Hifi streams in 44.1/16 FLAC or high res MQA if you can decode MQA. Qobuz has offerings in FLAC up to 192/24 but is still in closed beta testing in the US.
     
  6. boe

    boe Forum Resident

    Location:
    buffalo ny
    I have both of my stereo systems (both floors of my house) connected to my wifi via Apple Airport minis (easy to get used for cheap on eBay). Although probably have 3000 lps (down from 10,000) and an equal number of cds (official and ROIOs) I love having the equivalent of huge Tower Records store (Spotify) on my iPad. I sit down with the latest magazines I subscribe to digitally (Mojo, Uncut, DownBeat, Jazz Times) and dial up albums as I read about them. If I like something, I'll buy it. I'm sure there's some drop-off in sound quality but if you're streaming through a good system and you're hearing an album for the first time, it's hard to notice unless you really really want to. I live in a metropolitan area of a million people and there's not a single record store that would even have a minimal amount of random jazz releases. So Spotify and reading magazines / blogs (Marc Myers, Ted Gioia, Richard Williams) has replaced the record stores of yore for me. And with the vast selection on Spotify, I've been able to dig deep into artists like Gavin Bryars or Stars of the Lid - I'm sure there's not a store within a 2 hour drive of that would have a disc by either.
     
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  7. wallpaperman

    wallpaperman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    You're also missing the fact that you cannot download albums for offline listening with the free version.

    That's a major selling point of Apple Music for me as I spend quite a bit of time travelling to work, and it's great to be able to download a bunch of albums to listen to.

    In the house it's mostly CD's, but I rarely use Apple Music to stream albums I already own on CD, there's too much other stuff to discover.
     
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  8. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    MQA is considered lossy. Read up on it. Tidal offers regular CD quality with it's Hi-Fi tier and some MQA titles and offer both versions when available but you have to search for the non MQA version sometimes. Qobuz has CD quality tiers and higher and thankfully no MQA versions! Deezer offers CD quality but only through Sonos for some stupid reason.
     
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  9. delmonaco

    delmonaco Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    One downside I can think of (and it's nothing to do with the platform, but more with my head..) is the fact that because of this very easy and fast access to such a gigantic library of music often confuses me, and I start listening to something, but in my head I already have some other track/artist in mind, so I jump to it, and so on...I could hardly listen to a song (save for an entire album) from start to finish! :)
     
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  10. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
  11. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Where is the petition to get Slade on streaming services? Thanks.
     
  12. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Heavy Horses Operator

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Merry Xmas Everybody, what Noddy called his retirement plan, is on Spotify))).
    But a shame indeed, but they are not the only one missing. BJH for example missing "the meat" of their catalog...
     
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  13. reddyempower

    reddyempower Forum Resident

    Location:
    columbus, oh, usa
    I can't speak for anyone else, but I'll tell you what I do.

    Accidental- Let's say I'm playing an album during a roadtrip. It's usually an album I already own and know. When that album finishes, either I have another album in mind, or I hit "Create Station" while the last song is playing. A radio station will then begin, usually playing songs I know intimately. Every now and then I 'll get one I haven't heard in years and will be motivated to listen further to that artist andor album. And then on the rare occasions will come a tune or band I haven't heard. If I like it I add it to a playlist I created called "New discoveries."

    Designed- I go to bluegrass radio, jazz radio, blues radio, whatever it happens to be and let it play. When I hear something I want to investigate further I add it to the "New Discoveries" playlist.

    Mind you, the above process is for PAID streaming with Apple Music.

    Most music streaming is free and has a different process. For instance, my favorite band is Little Feat, and on their site I'll often launch their radio for free. Great way to hear cool stuff.
    And of course there's the archive. I actually prefer apps that link to the archive rather than direct. My favorite is etree for that.

    And of course there's Sugarmegs- what a great way to hear concerts!!


    Remember there are very few musicians who actually make decent money for their art. That's always been true. I live in Columbus Ohio and used to be fairly involved the local blues, jazz and metal scenes. Not really into metal but my brother
    is a guitar player and I used to go out to support him. I've heard lots of great music and seen a lot of cool shows and EVERYONE has a day job. The artists we tend to talk about are the big ones who probably ARE making less money (although more than they made on illegal downloads). If you check out local bands in your area, you'll probably see that they stream music for free on their website in order to get it out to the public. If they show up in Pandora or Spotfiy or whatever, the fact they they get little money is offset by the fact that someone has heard them who otherwise mightn't've.

    Also, somewhat off topic but still relevant. I think it was 2005 when I was discussing illegal downloads with a local bluesman. I forget the exact details but his words were to the effect of he wished a million people would illegally download his music. His point was that he would give his music away for free if it made him into a name act and he could quit his job. Maybe, with streaming, local or regional acts actually have a chance.

    There's a world class jazz player right here in Columbus. He tours the world but does warm up shows here. Tony Monaco. I just heard of him a few months ago and I could kick myself. Discovered him from streaming, looked him up and found out
    I can see him for 5 dollars at the rumba café whenever he's in town. Seen him three times and it's always smoking hot. I should have known him without the streaming, so that's on me, luckily streaming was there for me to discover him. I have purchased a CD directly from him but he's got several others that are available on apple music and spotify which I've enjoyed the hell out of! His website also lets you stream some music I believe.

    Pure aside here- when I was a single man, I'd ask the girls I met what music they enjoyed, and they always said "everything." ALWAYS. This disappointed me, because it didn't allow me to get to know them as well as I was hoping to, and their response showed they overestimated their own experience in the world. There's way too much music out there for even the most dedicated listener to hear anything but a small fraction of it. I know that there is a ton of music out there that I would enjoy that I will simply never hear, and there's no way around that.
     
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  14. Eiricd

    Eiricd Forum Resident

    Easy...comes down to

    Sound quality VS convenience
     
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  15. reddyempower

    reddyempower Forum Resident

    Location:
    columbus, oh, usa
    My biggest fear with regards to this. We get used to it, then they jack up the price. I still love my IPOD classic but when it dies I have no plans to replace it with another portable player. Unless I have to.
     
  16. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian Thread Starter

    Location:
    Cincinnati Ohio
    No one, especially me, has said anything about the artists getting their fair share. They don't, and hopefully that will change someday soon. I do buy CDs and merch when I go to shows because I want to help out musicians who are still trying to make a living at it. I would gladly buy an extra $5 -10 dollars a month if it was money going to the artists. In the meantime I'll keep looking out for bands I would've never heard of before before streaming and buying their CDs and going to see them if they come anywhere in a 3 hour radius. I refuse to apologize for the formats I choose to listen to music in.
     
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  17. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Not to negate that, but I've also experienced stuff sounding BETTER on both Apple Music and Spotify-different masters that what I have I guess. I guess I should try The Scorpions' Love At First Sting which was great on vinyl but just a horrible compressed abortion on CD...
     
  18. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    [and a couple other posts about the quality that now I can't find]
    Begs the question, what is your quality setting? Haven't used Spotify since I got CarPlay in my car and switched to Apple Music, but IIRC they had 320kbps, which should sound very musical if not quite like 24/96. Then like 160, and even 128 tier which I would definitely expect to not be very nice. So if Spotify really sounds terrible at the high setting, I'd expect something else in the chain is wrong.

    Apple Music appears to always stream or download at 256kbps AAC, which again sounds quite musical (IF the mastering isn't cr@p, that is, big if!).

    I will add to the "stuff disappears" column. Not often. And sometimes things are not available like the great live version of Whitesnake's "Gambler" which is on a live album in Spotify but not Apple.
     
  19. reddyempower

    reddyempower Forum Resident

    Location:
    columbus, oh, usa
    That’s not what I meant So I apologize if I wasn’t clear. My point was that most artists are NOT being ripped off by streaming and are in fact helped by it due to the exposure. As far as format I am also a huge streamer which was clear in my post.
     
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  20. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Well, with Tidal's 44.1/16 FLAC and MQA streaming, you really don't have to sacrifice quality compared to CD.
     
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  21. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian Thread Starter

    Location:
    Cincinnati Ohio
    Ok. Sorry man. I completely misunderstood you. My fault.
     
  22. reddyempower

    reddyempower Forum Resident

    Location:
    columbus, oh, usa
    All good bro!
     
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  23. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    What do you mean by that? Because if the digital file is clipped, you can lower the level, but the waveform would still be chopped at the top. Unless you mean the relatively rare instances where certain legally sampled signals should reconstruct ABOVE 0 dB full scale but clip since most DACs do not have voltage headroom.
     
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  24. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    You know, in the old, pre-digital era, you never had to worry if something would become unavailable. A record you wanted was somehow always easily available for you to buy. With streaming, you have to hope and pray something you want is there to listen to.
     
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  25. joannenugent

    joannenugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast USA
    That is good to hear!

    It completely blows my mind that all the streaming services haven’t switched to high resolution yet.....here we are in 2019 already... The bandwidth required to stream a stereo 24/96, uncompressed PCM, is comparible to the badwidth Netflix/Amazon Prime/iTunes uses to stream a standard movie in HD, which seems to work fine for everyone. Then if you want to stream that in FLAC or something, the bandwidth drops to half. Of course the answer is there isn’t much of a demand for high quality streaming audio. Not enough poeple care about the quality.

    On an unrelated note, I am reading a lot of comments regarding price. If Netflix/Amazon/Hulu et al can provide monthly video subscriptions for ~$10 a month, I don’t see why it should be any different for a music subscription......if anything it shoukd be less no? Seeing as how the cost to produce/create/store/transmit video is much higher than audio.....
     
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