back to article CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

Oh bloody hell, grandma, what have you done this time? “I thought that was obvious. It’s your birthday. I bought you a CD.” A CD? That’s so uncool. So unhip. Are you, like, square? “I remembered you used to like music when you were a student. Have you gone off it?” You no’ down wit’ da word, daddio. Grannio. CD is old. Is …

  1. petur

    Oh so true...

    My solution is two-fold:

    1) I have my own streaming server on my NAS, so if the environment is right, I can stream any of my music. Works fine at home, on holiday (if there's free wifi),...

    2) I can take a subset of that music onto a portable device, and play locally. Works fine on the go or on holiday (no free wifi)

    The portable device syncs with the NAS so if I add a new album of an artist I tend to listen to a lot, it will find its way on the portable device by magic :)

    Of course, I am the type of user who tends to listen to a set of artists a lot, and if I want to listen to anything else I turn on the radio.

    If there's something new, interesting, I can shortly listen online or even download the torrent, and when I think I'll listen to it more, I go out and buy it.

    I don't like monthly subscriptions for the same reason I don't like renting a house: at the end of the road (pun not intended), you pay the same (or even more) and end up with nothing. A CD, I can pass on to my kids, or sell.

    Of course, if you listen to different music every day, or move location every few years, things are different.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh so true...

      Great until you find out your NAS gets exploited unless you also go via a VPN and let's face it port forwarding is usually more than many normal folks can manage.

      The convenience of iTunes Match is pretty amazing - yes you can cobble together something similar but playlists update across devices, new music appears on all devices etc. - and probably for less cost than leaving your NAS running 24x7 (assuming you were leaving it on mostly for that).

      Buying a CD is on average more expensive - firstly you end up buying all the tracks when you may only want some of them. Previously I've bought lots of albums for just 1-2 tracks and despite listening to the other tracks to see if they 'grow' on me I would not have paid for them. As for resale - a lot of CDs are literally worth pennies second hand and of course you are assuming your kids would want your choice of music (do you like your parents?) or they do not end up with them anyway via a subscription service anyway.

      1. petur

        Re: Oh so true...

        I'm sure you're not being exploited when using iTunes (it's on another level and it's in the T.O.S. so it's good). Yes portforwarding requires a tiny bit of IT knowledge which I hope you have, visiting this site ;)

        I also run my server https-only with blanket .htaccess, and all portal services (like the streaming) that might be vulnerable to the bash bug and future mishaps are on unique paths that a brute-force scanner won't see. As Bruce Schneier recently said, being 100% safe from hacking is an illusion, so this is my best effort. And I have offline backups.

        Contrary, however, good luck if your iTunes account gets hacked and wiped, as some journalist discovered a while ago - it wipes across devices so bye bye local copies.

        I also don't care about playlists because either I listen to albums, or it's just a track of some one-hit-wonder, which gets dropped in my 'various' folder and gets random treatment. Or selected on genre.

        Oh, and since I listen to albums, I like to have all tracks so CD makes sense for me. I can still buy individual tracks from google play and download the mp3 (those one-hit-wonders aren't worth the FLAC)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh so true...

          My point about port forwarding was that it is beyond many normal users - yes would expect many reading this to understand and be able to set it up - but there is other life out there...

          Try asking your average Joe about blanket .htaccess - good luck there. Regardless NOT having your device Internet accessible is even more secure?

          As for iTunes accounts getting hacked / wiped - are you certain if someone wiped your iTunes Match via one device it would DELETE a local copy of the file on your hard drive. I'm not sure but I doubt it and of course as you keep backups - so do I. So recovery would be just the same - i.e. you let iTunes re-match them?

          I like personally like playlists but I have that option of using them or just playing the album as you do - so I have more options.

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Oh so true...

          "Yes portforwarding requires a tiny bit of IT knowledge which I hope you have, visiting this site"

          But so many commentards forget that we're a small subset of the user group. So any item which is about generally applicable tech is not something that we can view from just our own standpoint. If you can do it and I can do it it's still not going to work unless thay can do it.

          1. JEDIDIAH
            Mushroom

            Re: Oh so true...

            Still. Port forwarding is little more than "just another GUI option" on most home routers.

            Implementing it is pretty trivial.

            It just goes to show that shiny happy user interfaces didn't weren't the salvation of the tech-impaired as we often get told they are supposed to be.

      2. Triggerfish

        Re: Oh so true...

        Yes but with a CD or DRM free downloads I own my music.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Holmes

          Re: Oh so true...

          @Triggerfish - "Yes but with a CD or DRM free downloads I own my music."

          Why the hell would you want to own your own music when you can rent it from Cupertino and beg the Apple security department for access to it on 5 devices of Apple's choosing??

          Get with the program kid. "Owning" stuff is soooo 1800's.

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Oh so true...

            You're right and lets not forget if I install itunes on windows I'll never complain about any other program being shit and buggy in comparison.

        2. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Oh so true...

          >Yes but with a CD or DRM free downloads I own my music.

          Oh no you don't. Trying playing it in a public place and see what happens!

          --

          But, yes, CD's provide better control and prevent pay-per-listen so that's good.

          1. TheOtherHobbes

            Re: Oh so true...

            Do you know why record labels are pushing vinyl so hard?

            Because vinyl is a precious object that can't be copied.

            No, really. To hardcore punters, vinyl rips just don't have that Special Vinyl Magic[tm]. So the majors are desperately trying to sign bands from vinyl-friendly genres like doom metal so they can sell music on bits of plastic and pretend it's 1965 again.

            Streaming? Spotify has burned through >$1bn, and still no IPO. And Demonoid is back.

            See that writing on the wall? That's the future, that is.

        3. The Vociferous Time Waster

          Re: Oh so true...

          Newsflash: no you don't. You own the media and have a license to listen to the music

          1. JEDIDIAH
            Mushroom

            Re: Oh so true...

            > Newsflash: no you don't. You own the media and have a license to listen to the music

            Trying to repeat the big lie doesn't make it any more true.

        4. dave 93

          I hate CD cases

          Totally agree that it is better to have something physical to own, even though we are definitely heading to an always on, access to everything everywhere, world, but what were they thinking of with the stupid 'jewel case'. Just sayin'

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh so true...

        "The convenience of iTunes Match is pretty amazing - yes you can cobble together something similar but playlists update across devices, new music appears on all devices etc. "

        If that were true I'd consider it good advice, but it doesn't work on all devices - only Apple ones. Whereas if I go for either ripping my own or a streaming service such as Spotify then it really does work across all of my devices, including my Mac.

    2. Kev99 Bronze badge

      Re: Oh so true...

      What Petur said. And my NAS has been up & running for a couple years and has never been bothered, something the streaming services can't claim.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I still can't stop laughing

      Every time I come across someone who invests a lot of money in a music system and then plays mg3's on it. Like hauling garbage in a Rolls Royce.

    4. breakfast

      Re: Oh so true...

      This solution is quite genre specific- the average NAS believes hip hop is dead and refuses to store it.

    5. tomp83

      Re: Oh so true...

      I've wanted to set up my own streaming server for a while now. Could you share what streaming solution you're using?

      Cheers

    6. N13L5

      streaming music sounds like crap

      Unless you have really crappy ears, you can hear all the compression artifacts, not to mention the hick-ups from imperfect connections. And where's your music if you can't get a connection, or you failed to pay some bill?

      A FLAC file recorded from Vinyl or CD is really the only way to go in an age of cheap storage and easy availability of reasonably priced high quality pro-audio gear. And if you really love your music, you need an EMP proof cabinet for your music storage and playback gear.

  2. Fihart

    Bah, humbug.

    You can keep yer streaming nonsense. I realised long ago (circa the first Walkman in 1980 ?) that I didn't really need music on the go. It was fun for a few minutes but soon I didn't even notice it. And with ambient noise on the street in London or on public transport, impossible without damaging my hearing.

    So, though I have all the necessary gear to rip even vinyl to MP3, I generally listen via CD at home with minimum distractions. As used CDs have recently sold for between 50p and £2, my collection has swelled greatly.

    Supplies are inevitably drying up so I suspect that once the penny drops that CD offers convenience and quality, they may become more sought-after than vinyl.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah, humbug.

      I've no issue with buying cheap CDs - but I rip them into iTunes where using Match they appear on all my devices and can be streamed or downloaded to any. Sometimes I listen to an album (as distributed) but more often I compile playlists - something you just cannot do the same with CDs.

      Newly released music I buy the tracks I want (after previewing them online) which works out cheaper than buying a whole CD of 50% tracks I didn't want and can get them immediately.

      As for quality - probably CD has the edge over compressed formats but Apple's iTunes Plus encoding does well to my ears in a head to head comparison and with Apple Match they even give you a high quality encoded version which may be better than a lower quality MP3 etc. So yes you may trade a slightly (but probably unnoticeable to most people) lower quality for huge convenience.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What if royalties from broadcast radio-play was divvied up like this?"

    A business with a radio audible to customers needs a public licence - apparently even if it is only the sole car mechanic's radio in the workshop. If they want to play their own choices from recorded music then the licence for that is more expensive.

    The royalties from that music licence will be split in a way that is totally unconnected to the tracks which are heard. Presumably the proceeds get distributed to artists on the assumption that the most popular ones are getting the most plays.

    Or do they count each licence according to employees/customers social groups and their likely listening preferences?

    1. Diogenes

      have an upvote

      being a fan of "real" music (ie with very very few exceptions nothing after 1900 - no not a typo 1900) it makes my skin crawl to think that even a cent of my money would help support Bieber (justin) not the guys & girls who play/sing Bieber (the one who wrote masses 400 years ago)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: have an upvote

        Hear. Hear.

        Has there been any real music - I don't mean noise - produced since then?

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: have an upvote

          Er, yes.

        2. P. Lee Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: have an upvote

          >Has there been any real music - I don't mean noise - produced since then?

          Williams is ok, Rutter's arrangements are rather good, though I find the occasional drum irritating.

        3. cordwainer 1

          Now Now....

          Let's not confuse the medium with the message...or in this case, the plural of medium - media - which is what the rest of us are discussing.

      2. keithpeter
        Windows

        Re: have an upvote

        "...being a fan of "real" music (ie with very very few exceptions nothing after 1900 - no not a typo 1900)"

        Fashions in home listening change, as do fashions in performing. I found

        http://www.charm.rhul.ac.uk/studies/chapters/intro.html

        absolutely fascinating (especially the piano chapter). The database of transcriptions of 78s will keep you going for a month or so.

        PS: should you decide to venture into the 20th Century, try some Peter Warlock songs and pieces. 'Modern' in structure but 'old' in sound world.

      3. Martin
        FAIL

        Re: have an upvote

        "...being a fan of "real" music (ie with very very few exceptions nothing after 1900 - no not a typo 1900)..."

        Sibelius

        Rachmaninov

        Stravinsky

        Shostakovich

        Prokofiev

        Strauss R

        Neilsen

        Janacek

        Debussy

        Mahler

        Bartok

        Copeland

        Ravel

        Holst

        What a lot of wonderful music you are missing out on - and that's only a selection from the first half of the twentieth century, and completely ignores jazz, rock and pop music.

        1. PJI

          Re: have an upvote

          and Tavener, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Orff, Bruch, Faure, Smyth, Glass, Shostakovich, ….

          1. Fihart

            Re: have an upvote

            Add the unfairly neglected Spanish composers -- Falla, Albeniz, Rodrigo, Turina, Granados.

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: have an upvote - there is NO missing out.

          He may be missing out on those you mentioned but to hear those you have to miss out on other stuff: two ears one life and more music than you could listen to on double speed in a cryogenic life preserver.

          You dont even need audio - you can get some insights into a lot of stuff using things like musescore where you even get to mix your own arrangements! Might not be the same as having an orchestra or live album but judging from the noises coming from people ear buds and stupid little balls on tables most dont seem to give a shit about sound verity anyway.

      4. Stoneshop Silver badge

        @Diogenes: Re: have an upvote

        On the whole I agree with you, but using the word "real" for pre-1900 music spoiled your upvote. There's a lot of "unreal"music I can appreciate that 's not X-FactorMTVTop40 junk.

      5. tony2heads

        Re: have an upvote

        I would make exceptions for Prokofiev, Shostakovich Rachmaninoff and some Stravinsky

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      >> royalties from broadcast radio-play

      I'm not talking about the silly charge that Performing Rights hit offices and garages with. I mean what radio stations pay to play each track. All artists receive the same rate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: >> royalties from broadcast radio-play

        " All artists receive the same rate."

        Does a full symphony gets the same rate as a station's signature tune - or does each movement count separately - or is it length related? The Channel 4 TV old signature blast of a few notes was apparently a nice earner for many years.

  4. Tezfair

    CDs for me

    Every single streamed album I ever purchased are inaccessible due to DRM as I have replaced my computer and the email address is from a long-gone-bust ISP. Sure I have windows media backups but they still needed to authenticate to open. I suppose I could crack them, but over the years I have obtained the same music from CD rips or by other means.

    1. Craigness

      Re: CDs for me

      Those are downloads, not streaming. Sign up to a streaming service and those albums will be available to you again. Move between services and they will still be available.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CDs for me

        "Sign up to a streaming service and those albums will be available to you again. "

        But I don't fucking want a streaming service. It's music rental on a "take or pay" basis, and I don't like either the rental, the monthly cost, the patchy catalogue, or the fact that under too many specific circumstances it simply doesn't work.

        I must say I do have free Spotify ad-funded account, but only as a "try before you buy" facility. And then I buy the CD elsewhere.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: CDs for me

          AudioGalaxy anyone?

      2. John Tserkezis

        Re: CDs for me

        "Sign up to a streaming service and those albums will be available to you again"

        No they won't. I call it the "Top 40 Syndrome", that is, as long as you only ever look for anything in the Top 40, you'll find it anywhere. Anywhere at all.

        However, if you have a more discerning taste, then you're at the whim of your streaming provider, where you get to listen to a wide range of very specifically licensed product, that might not be what you want.

        Good luck with that.

      3. pogul

        Re: CDs for me

        > Those are downloads, not streaming. Sign up to a streaming service and those albums will be available to you again. Move between services and they will still be available.

        I'd be very surprised if they have Doo The Moog, Avanti, RDF, Tofu Love Frogs, Lost T-shirts of Atlantis and many other unsigned or little known bands. Are we only allowed to listen to approved music these days?

        Also, sharing music is still something that is painful in the streaming (or even MP3/FLAC/file storage) world. Playing your music at someone else's house for example, is something that was infinitely easier in the "good old days".

      4. jonfr

        Re: CDs for me

        @ Craigness

        Until that streaming service goes the bankrupt path. Should happen soon, when the I.T 2.0 bubble goes burst. I am sure that is going to happen soon. Since that bubble has expanded high and wide over the past few years.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CDs for me

      Pretty sure iTunes music is not DRM?

      1. petur

        Re: CDs for me

        "Pretty sure iTunes music is not DRM?"

        Depends.. it used to be DRM, and then there came non-DRM at a higher price. Are you saying the 'old' DRM tracks are now also non-DRM without cost. That doesn't sound like Apple to me.

        And because I don't want to sound like an Apple basher, I loath the way Google hides the download links for the tracks you buy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: CDs for me

          If you use iTunes Match you can re-download as DRM free AFAIK.

          I know people who have had lower quality MP3s - let iTunes 'match' them - then download the higher quality iTunes Plus version.

          Think a lot of people judge (compressed) digital music based on old / downloaded MP3 played on portable players via the headphone jack or through cheap headphones and compare to CDs played on a more expensive hifi setup. Compare iTunes Plus (compressed) or their specifically 'Mastered for iTunes' stuff which is actually re-mastered from higher quality digital originals or from the analogue originals but mastered for digital device playback.

  5. Cipher

    You think you're old...

    ...we discovered FM radio and "progressive rock" in the early 70's, and, with some not so cheap kit, began recording these rather long offerings to tape.

    Pink Floyd, ELP, Moody Blues, Procul Harem...

    We were rather hard on our brothers and sisters still clinging to AM radio or playing 8 tracks, "Commercial" music was the derisive term we tagged that stuff with. Later we denigrated it as "Pop."

    The Times They Be a Changing...

    That said, streaming has no value to me. I listen to my CDs in the house, in the truck or on a portable player if necessary.

    I often hear "Hey Gramps, aren't those CDs heavy to drag around for a man your age."

    Whippersnappers...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: You think you're old...

      You need a player with a USB stick (insertable such that it doesn't stick out) accepting every (free, non-DRM) music format, not using FAT and no bigger than the palm of the hand.

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: You think you're old...

        I am not dragging around a big, heavy USB stick !!!!

        (I keep one of those microSD card credit card thingies in my wallet with selections of music for my car and mp3 player on each of the 8 cards).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A question

    What is it about the gerund form of the c-word that makes it more effective when swearing?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: A question

      Not only more effective but curiously less offensive.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A question

      It's trochaic. Trochaic measure breaks up the usual English pattern of iambs and so draws attention to itself.

  7. thomas k.

    Like your mom said ...

    If eveyone was jumping off a tall building, would you do it too?

    I'm with Diogenes on this, though my play dates extend a bit further into the twentieth century (just *downloaded* the symphonies or Arnold Bax this very evening, in fact).

    I suppose I could stream at work instead of listening to my downloads/CD rips but wifi really eats through the battery so why bother.

    1. Craigness

      Re: Like your mom said ...

      Use a streaming service which lets you cache music. Pick the album you want to listen to, download it at home and play it at work with wifi turned off. Or take a charging cable to work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: Like your mom said ...

        Use a streaming service which lets you cache music. Pick the album you want to listen to, download it

        Er, isn't that a download?

        1. Craigness

          Re: Like your mom said ...

          @matama "a download" is usually a transferrable mp3 file. Cached music from a streaming service is in their own format, non-transferrable. The conversation should be about renting versus owning, because you can download rented music and stream owned music.

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Re: Like your mom said ...

            "The conversation should be about renting versus owning"

            You are right. You don't own anything with DRM (unless you strip it) and that's not for me.

            And in addition - streaming means asking someone's permission every time you want to hear what you want. That's not for me either.

            1. Craigness

              Re: Like your mom said ...

              @vlad you don't own the music even if you strip the DRM. You can listen to stuff you buy without asking permission, but you have permission to hear a very small amount of music whereas I have permission to listen to millions of songs whenever I want. For example, I found there was a new album by an artist I used to like many years ago, so I listened to it for free immediately. I didn't have to wait, and I did't have to worry that it might not be very good. And I didn't need to ask permission because I already had it.

              Owning is limiting - it's like owning a brewery versus buying any type of beer you want from a pub. I do own a lot of CDs etc but I've not touched them since I joined the modern world of streaming, and I was bored by the limited selection before that. When something is free you use more of it, and with music (as with beer) that's an amazing thing. You can get so much more pleasure for £10/month streaming than you can buying CDs.

              1. Zack Mollusc

                Re: Like your mom said ...

                Pah, owning a brewery guarantees a supply of beer. Paying for the right to have any of the beers in a particular pub is ok until the pub shuts down tomorrow or the new landlord decides he wants more money from you.

                1. P. Lee Silver badge

                  Re: Like your mom said ...

                  IT introduces fragility. There is a lot of complex and shared infrastructure involved in streaming. CD's are simple and you can still rip them for self-streaming which is far less complicated. When the cloud companies fall, or indeed when it rains and your adsl connection fails (as mine does), CD's will not only give better quality, but far higher reliability.

              2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                Re: Like your mom said ... @Craigness

                "@vlad you don't own the music even if you strip the DRM."

                Yes, I do. Not the rights to the music - I still cannot exploit it commercially - but I can do whatever I want with my physical (or virtual) copy because it is in my possession and under my sole control.

                "And I didn't need to ask permission because I already had it."

                The fact that you had the permission does not mean that it will always be there. They can revoke your right at any time if they decided to shut down shop or sell themselves to somebody or simply if they feel like it.

                Every time you press "play" on a streaming service, you in fact press "may I kindly ask you to let me hear this or that song, please please" button, and the answer can just as easily be "No, you may not".

                "I was bored by the limited selection. When something is free you use more of it, and with music (as with beer) that's an amazing thing."

                Different people have different needs in music.

                For me, quantity does not mean a thing. Too much stuff too quickly means I won't remember who is playing which piece of music and from which album/period does it come. When I get some new music I need to listen to it several times to classify it as something I like or not and the last thing I want during that process is to hear some other unrelated and unfamiliar stuff.

                Oh, and there is no such thing as free beer! :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Like your mom said ...

        @Craigness, are you saying that the is a streaming service that has such things as the Beethoven Symphonies played by, for example, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra?

        1. Craigness

          Re: Like your mom said ...

          @Ivan Google Play Music has that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like your mom said ...

      A colleague once said to me "If someone told you to jump off the roof of a high building or throw yourself off a cliff - would you do it?"

      Made me laugh. I'm a BASE jumper!

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Like your mom said ...

        "Made me laugh. I'm a BASE jumper!"

        Touche. But would you do it without a parachute?

    3. MrXavia

      Re: Like your mom said ...

      "If everyone was jumping off a tall building, would you do it too?"

      It is probable, because my friends are quite sensible folks, so if they are jumping there must be a very very good reason, like the building is on fire and they are jumping into the pool of the adjacent but lower tall building...

  8. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Lossless

    MP3s? OK for some stuff but try good rock music.

    Complex with wide dynamic range, guitar prices are much better from CD (or ripped from a CD).

  9. Craigness

    Streaming wins

    The money I spent on CDs, tapes, vinyl and even minidiscs in the '90s is less than my current subscription service will cost me for my entire life. So what does it matter that I can't pass anything on to my children, when they can access the same stuff for less money than it would cost them to buy physical formats? Of my parent's collections I listen to precisely nothing. Sleeve notes and lyrics can be found online, so no problem there. The age restrictions and lack of family options are definitely a problem though.

    When you will be away from internet connections, you have to download, obviously, but streaming is also a form of downloading and streaming services offer caching specifically for that. You're getting arsey about terms there in an attempt to make streaming look ridiculous. CDs, books, DVDs and board games make up the majority of the clutter in my house by volume. I envy the digital generations who have none of that.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Streaming wins

      "I envy the digital generations who have none of that."

      Well, and I don't. A generation that owns nothing = values nothing and cares about nothing. Disposable human fodder.

      I don't think that will ever happen, though. The instinctive need to own things is too deep in us to be eliminated. The universal failure of communist ideologies is a testament to that.

      1. Craigness

        Re: Streaming wins

        Rental is not communist and renting music means I have no desire to own plastic data storage products (you never own the music itself). Possessions weigh you down man!

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: Streaming wins

          I think you have your head in the cloud :-)

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Streaming wins

      >>Of my parent's collections I listen to precisely nothing

      How tragic. It was through my parents' record collection that I discovered Led Zeppelin, The Nice, trade jazz and reggae. Still, there's plenty of Will.I.Am for your kids to discover on their own, eh?

      1. Craigness

        Re: Streaming wins

        @alistair my parents are a bit older than that. There was an Otis Redding LP and the early Beatles ones, but it all got lost or stolen so even if I did want to listen, I couldn't (and I don't have a turntable). But I don't miss it, so I believe there is no shortcoming of streaming from that point of view. In fact, if I did want to listen to any of it then it would be easier to stream it than to play each record!

        My kids will inherit a taste for great music via my shared playlists. Or not.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Streaming wins

          I still occasionally listen to recordings of a Big Band sound - or a colliery brass band - or even a music hall song. Like the popular music of my own years - they connect me with my past life and my late parents and grandparents.

          The disconnection with contemporary popular music seems to have happened somewhere in my fifties. The only exposure I get to that now is when having my haircut - where they have TV screens all over the shop tuned to something like MTV.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Streaming wins

      Streaming is a win until the someone decides that they don't want to make the music available anymore (or put that particular music in a more expensive streaming model). If I own the CD, then I can still listen to the music even if the rights owner gets a bug up their arse and feels I shouldn't or wants more money for that music.

      Streaming is renting and you have no rights to listen to a particular song unless the rights owner allows you. Owning a CD bypasses that garbage. It's worth owning a bunch of plastic discs that I can rip to any format of my choosing.

    4. CRConrad

      Nope: Streaming loses.

      Oh, what a marvellous time your kids will have sorting through your old CDs after you're gone, getting to know you all over again after you're gone, from your taste in music. All the things about you they'll discover, that you never got around to telling them in your tiffs with them as snotty teenagers. Now that's a legacy!

      Oh, er, waitasec...

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Streaming wins

      >"I envy the digital generations who have none of that."

      Obviously totally out of touch ....

      In the mid-1990's a friend of our's went through the process of minimising their possessions, due in part to the itinerant nature of their work - basically apart from the mountain bike, everything had to fit in a backpack. A very interesting challenge as this was before highly capable laptops, e-books etc.

      It made us laugh when in recent years the press have latched on to a new generation of 'minimalists' who think that because they had a laptop and/or kindle, they have only one possession even though it's (1TB plus) HDD is cluttered (by volume) with vast library's of ebooks and downloaded music and video...

    6. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: Streaming wins

      "Of my parent's collections I listen to precisely nothing."

      "I envy the digital generations who have none of that."

      and I pity those whose parent's music collections will expire with them. I first discovered artists such as Led Zepellin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas (along with a lot of Motown) from listening to the collections of my parents, friend's parents and other relatives. You can keep your poor quality intermittent connectivity based can only listen as long as you keep paying us popularity driven availability cloud nonsense and I'll stay old school with physical media and FLAC rips thanks.

  10. Gene Cash Silver badge

    That U2 thing...

    No, the U2 issue was mostly "DO NOT FUCK WITH MY MUSIC COLLECTION. IT IS VERY PERSONAL" - even people I know that love U2 were ticked that Apple "messed with my things" - it has nothing to do with streaming.

    It's like you give a girl a gift by sneaking the new lingerie into her panties drawer. It's a nice thought, but you'll be sleeping on the couch anyway.

    "emerging artists on streaming services get paid bugger all while the big stars enjoy much more favourable deals"

    Of course. They're emerging artists and they don't make the streaming service a lot of money with music that's popular. The stars pull more traffic, so they get a bigger chunk of cash. That is why they are stars now. No different from the blokes at work getting paid less (I imagine) than the guy that does 6x times the high quality code.

    “You can’t stream your music while moving about!”

    So it's like an old pre-Walkman CD player? Don't move or it'll skip... the more things change...

    1. petur
      Pint

      Re: That U2 thing...

      "It's like you give a girl a gift by sneaking the new lingerie into her panties drawer. It's a nice thought, but you'll be sleeping on the couch anyway."

      LOL! have an upvote (and a pint)...

    2. LosD

      Re: That U2 thing...

      "Of course. They're emerging artists and they don't make the streaming service a lot of money with music that's popular. The stars pull more traffic, so they get a bigger chunk of cash."

      Of course they do, as they should. However, not only do they get more money simply from being played more, they also get much more money _per play_.

      That means that a small artist making a huge hit will get almost nothing, even if that hit is played millions of times.

  11. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    Nostalgia...

    Remember when "streaming" was listening to your wireless...

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Nostalgia...

      If you like World Music, where you're so pleased to hear something new and fantastic that you don't worry about all that audiophile nonsense, then here's a great source.

      Mark Coles Music, The Shed (streaming) 'podcast'. Available via Mixcloud.

      If you like music for music's sake, you should enjoy it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You feel old?

    None of my music was downloaded or streamed.

    One song was live-recorded off FM radio (yes, very naughty of me… but whenever I've been in a record shop I have a quick squiz to see if there's an album that has it), the rest have been ripped from a mixture of CDs and LPs which I personally own.

    I'm not about to start downloading or streaming now, my current arrangement works fine thank-you.

  13. Novex

    Streaming (or caching via streaming) - pah. Do I really want yet another cloud service which gathers data on everything I do and everywhere I go? Add to that that I have no control over the quality of the digital music stream.

    Give me a CD of the music that I want to listen to (that may not be available on a streaming service, or even for download) and I can choose to rip it to a file format of my choice (MP3 at highest quality with a decent VBR), put the resulting files on my microSD card and pop that in my phone and listen without breaks, adverts, or any other annoying shit. I retain control of what I want to listen to, not some spotty herbert who thinks they have the right to tell me what I should and should not like.

    Oh, and if for some reason I want to, I can listen to the uncompressed* CD directly in better quality on my home system, and I have a decent source should I ever need to re-rip for any reason to a different file format.

    Me? Grumpy? Never! ;-)

    *uncompressed in the sense that it's probably the best quality most people can get. 44.1/16 is (most times) by definition a form of compression compared to an original recording, which, if I get really technical, is a compression of an actual real analogue sound itself.

    1. Craigness

      I hated streaming until I used it

      I'm one of the lucky ones. As a human I can't tell the difference between an mp3 and a cd so I can use the more convenient format with no loss of quality. Also, my streaming service lets me control the bitrate, has no adverts and suggests new artists based on the data they gather.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A lot of people who go on about quality differences have not actually done a fair, blind test to actually compare.

      A lot of early CDs were actually just digital copies of analogue recordings mastered for vinyl and CDs are 16bit versions taken from (often) higher quality original digital recordings.

      iTunes have (re)mastered a lot of tracks and a lot of their iTunes Plus have been taken from the original recordings to optimise for digital playback. So compare against that instead of a MP3 you ripped at 128kbps years ago.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More CDs than ever

    I have been buying more CDs than ever recently. since upgrading my home system I now know that there IS a quality difference between a CD and the compressed streaming services.

    You can pick up very cheap used CDs these days too. I actually enjoy waiting for the dics to turn up in the post.

    Discogs.com has a great used CD market. I also buy from download sites that offer Wav or Aiff files such as Beatport.

    I still use streaming for discovery and buy the odd bits on itunes. But anything precious I want it from a disc or store offering uncompressed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More CDs than ever

      "I actually enjoy waiting for the dics to turn up in the post."

      I mean honestly you set the bar pretty low if that is a hi-light of your life? I could just as well say well I enjoy the convenience of having access to all my music, being able to create my own playlists, preview music I may buy and buy / download it in seconds.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More CDs than ever

        [I edited this and removed the comment cos I cant be bothered with it - have a nice day folks!]

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More CDs than ever

      "I now know that there IS a quality difference between a CD and the compressed streaming services"

      I won't deny some people may be able to hear the difference on some systems - but for sheer convenience CD is poor and digital and / or streamed is excellent. Personally I've done tests of iTunes vs CD with various people - and it's inconclusive - some people prefer some tracks via CD - others can't hear the difference and some have chosen the digital copy.

      Also remember a lot of the digital files on iTunes and via Match are professionally encoded / mastered and the iTunes Plus format is better than MP3 etc. So sure if you compare a CD on an expensive CD player connected digitally / optically to the amp versus a 128bit MP3 on a iPod out through the headphone jack you will probably tell a difference - but it's not really a fair comparison.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More CDs than ever

        Maybe I should have made my post a bit more clear, I rip the CD to digital format so there is no inconvenience (Except the small task of ripping in the first place).

        This mastered for itunes stuff. Why should we even need a mastered for itunes. They are basically saying we know our format isnt as good so we remaster the music to make up for it lol. this isnt FM radio or vinyl, they should be offering the music in a format that doesn't need remastering. It wouldn't be that hard for them to do that. Apple have their own lossless format, ALAC, why dont they have that as an option? If companies such as Beatport can offer uncompressed files then Apple really should be able to.

        I agree there is sometimes very little difference between the CD and the itunes version but other times, depending on the music there is a clear difference. So to me why take that chance when you can get the CD and know that its the un-fiddled version? Especially as used CDs are going so cheap, quite often cheaper than buying from itunes. If I really like the album then waiting one or two days for it to be delivered is no problem.

        Im looking forward to seeing what Pono Music come out with. They are aiming to sell original studio masters in the original sample rate and bit depth. I have tried some of this so called "hires" music from HDTracks etc. To me the difference between that and a CD is even more negligible but its all interesting stuff.

  15. Dr_N Silver badge

    "Off Line"

    Ah nothing like your streaming service's "off line" mode

    deciding it needs to dial home to validate your subscription whilst at 35000ft and then refusing to play anything.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Off Line"

      iTunes Match lets you stream your music OR download it locally to your device for those offline moments.

  16. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    He! He!

    Now you owe me a new keyboard and a new monitor to replace my phlegm- and tea- speckled Samsung.

    Keep the faith.

    Grandad.

  17. Mage Silver badge

    Streaming

    Another subscription trap like Pay Tv.

    Even a 1920s portable battery valve suitcase radio STILL works more places than Streaming services.

    I'll buy CDs, thanks. Occasional downloads if no other way to get them. Same applies to DVD and Books. Books should all come with a free download option too, for the purchaser.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Streaming

      That argument is a bit like a horse is better than a tractor or a candle better than a lightbulb. Sure you may get something from that valve radio but it's sure not your entire music collection.

      CDs and DVDs get fingerprints and get broken, damaged or lost - for the size and weight of just a few CDs I can carry all my music on a device that can also play them! You are living in the past.

      Next it will be how letters are so much better than email or how steam trains are just 'better' - chronic nostalgia. I'm pretty sure anyone who only had access to CDs or a valve radio would swap in an instant for modern technology.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: Streaming

        @AC bull*it . Nobody is asking you to keep putting CDs in, you can rip them to FLAC if you want to, and only keep physical record in a locked archive. The point being, there is nothing "modern" about streaming and I assume you are either very young or very old and thus memory not serving you well. Anyway, go and lookup "Real Player".

        I can keep on microSD a lot of music in a lossless format I ripped form my own CDs myself, and I can play from portable device with proper DAC, amplifier and sound quality a class or two above ipod or a phone (see IHIFI 960, AK100, iBasso DX90 etc.). But of course, I also have proper headphones not some branded crap with "b" on side. Does that mean I do not use streaming? I actually do, to find something new and interesting. And that does not happen very often at all, because "you may like too" algorithms are awfully limited and programmers who wrote them do not understand that someone may enjoy baroque, modern classical, different flavours of rock and few other kinds of music, depending on mood and other factors.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Streaming

          My entire music collection runs to about 70Gb+ (iTunes Plus format) - in an uncompressed format it would be many, many times larger - I could do that at home but it's just not realistic on a mobile device.

          I'm not denying your uncompressed, digital version at home on high end gear could sound better than a MP3 - but iTunes remaster a lot of their stuff for digital device playback and from originals that would usually be even higher quality than standard CDs. So perhaps the actual difference is not all that great - especially on lower / mid range kit.

          Music is different for everyone - I value quality of course but also convenience and like having access to my entire library wherever I am (streamed) and can store (download) the music I listen to often. Storing it all uncompressed is just not realistic as I'd actually need to rip / convert / store it twice.

          What would be a decent test would be a blind test of some tracks specifically remastered for iTunes versus CDs.

          Anyway if quality is your key why CDs and not SACD or Bluray Audio?

          1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

            Re: Streaming

            it's diminishing returns, simple. I can spend few hundred on a player, another few on a pair of headphones or speakers, but adding zeros to the bill for gain I cannot hear without moving my home to middle of the desert first is unjustifiable. I'm just happy not to have to hear clipping, sibilance or random artefacts.

            1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

              Re: Streaming

              "adding zeros to the bill for gain I cannot hear without moving my home to middle of the desert first is unjustifiable."

              If you do move to the middle of the desert you will be glad that you made the investment.

              It's kinda hard to get a decent internet connection out there.

          2. intrigid

            Re: Streaming

            "Anyway if quality is your key why CDs and not SACD or Bluray Audio?"

            I had to downvote you for this part alone. CD audio specs already surpass the limits of human hearing. MP3-type compression falls short of the limits of human hearing. It's pretty simple.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Streaming

              My only reason for sampling stuff at 48kHz instead of 44.1kHz is that most of my sound devices today are natively 48kHz and don't do other rates, so rely on software up-sampling for 44.1kHz.

              So I leave it at 48kHz when recording it (usually from vinyl) and leave it at that.

              Gone are the days when sound-cards would re-sync their clocks to just about any sample rate you wanted. (Had great fun trying to write an ALSA-SOC driver to make a TI TLV320AIC3204 do that though a couple of years back.)

      2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Streaming

        "You are living in the past."

        Well, life's a long song... ;-)

      3. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Streaming

        living in the past.

        An album by Jethro Tull

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Streaming

      "Books should all come with a free download option too, for the purchaser."

      I believe Tesco wanted to get something like this up and running with books and music, but they came across a lot of resistance.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My own solution

    is to have my Sherpa on hand who diligently carries around on his back my entire collection of cassette tapes and a suitable amount of batteries to last on any journey.

    No adverts, no skipping and more importantly, I have to listen to a track that I might otherwise skip and I get to hear some great gems in there.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: My own solution

      ...but then you have the inconvenience of feeding the sherpa.

      I mean, you could just not feed the sherpa, but you'll find that it gets increasingly irritable, then stops your music collection being portable when it dies.

      Could be a problem.

  19. Julian Bond
    Unhappy

    iPod

    And then they went and cancelled the iPod Classic. Bastards.

  20. Efros

    Plex or Playon or the server of your choice

    is your friend.

    Set it up on your home server and stream your choice from your own collection to any device anywhere. I really dislike the subscription model, after a year and $120 (estimate) you have precisely nothing. Perhaps a function of being an old fart and having accumulated some 600 CDs over the years I don't need new stuff, and if I did there's that quaint thing called radio.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: Plex or Playon or the server of your choice

      "I really dislike the subscription model, after a year and $120 (estimate) you have precisely nothing."

      More to the point you get close to retirement age, your job disappears at the whim of someone looking to increase their bonuses and you find that you don't even have any music to while the hours away.

  21. The Wobbly Trolley

    True

    So very, very true..

  22. John Lilburne Silver badge

    I still buy CDs

    and for all the reasons outlined in this article. I still play entire albums too, none of this hoping from one song/artist to another. I see people on sites like last.fm with 1000s of artists that they've listened too, I don't believe you can do that in any meaningful way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I still buy CDs

      Just because digital gives you that option does not mean you have to - you can treat digital just the same as you do a CD (without having to get up / change it / keep it clean / remember to take it with you etc.).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I still buy CDs

        Actually, sometimes having to get off my arse to flip the record over is a good thing. It ensures I move around every 20 minutes.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Thumb Down

        Re: I still buy CDs

        Digital is only inferior. At worst, it will come with annoying DRM that will prevent you from fully taking advantage of the product. At best, it will eliminate an easy and obvious way to demonstrate that you actually own rights to use the product.

  23. jake Silver badge

    My 500 CD Memorex CD robot works on the local network.

    Most of the CDs were ripped from the original vinyl on the first or second play.

    When I'm out & about, "lossless"[1] copies of said tunage work just fine.

    Yes, it's legal. I only listen to one copy at a time. SCOTUS agrees with me.

    [1] Most are actually vinyl>analog half inch tape>CD ... The tape is housed in another Memorex library. When you are dealing with children, the mantra is "backup, backup, backup, backup". And no, "the cloud" does not qualify as backup ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My 500 CD Memorex CD robot works on the local network.

      Lossless copies of CDs (lossy compared to original digital versions) versus proper digital versions re-mastered from the higher quality digital originals. Sound engineers master for the media - so a CD taken from vinyl will not sound quite the same etc.

      A lot of this 'quality' is subjective - I've tested various CD players side by side playing the same music through the same amp / speakers and players that are technically better do not always sound better - but then someone else would disagree.

      I remember blind testing 4 CD players ranging from £200 to £2000 - we went to listen and turned out the player we liked the most was about £400 - even though on paper the 2 more expensive players were better. But even then (and trying to specifically listen / detect minute differences) there was little between them.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: My 500 CD Memorex CD robot works on the local network.

        >I remember blind testing 4 CD players ranging from £200 to £2000

        Yes I remember doing similar, I finally selected the configuration of CD player, Amp and speakers that I could afford, where the triangle in one of Mahlers symphony's actually sounded like a triangle!

  24. Bladeforce

    One group, two words...Pink Floyd

    Never to be lost in the stuttering abyss of streaming music..goes to put his meddle CD on

  25. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    You've done it now

    Gone and admitted to your Gary Glitter affiliation... Yep, that's my coat. Have a nice weekend!

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: You've done it now

      An irish policeman walks into a bar at BBC Media Centre and offers to buy everyone a drink. While taking the orders, he turns to a few 1970s DJs sitting at a nearby table and asks: "And you t'ree?"

      1. M. Poolman
        Coffee/keyboard

        Icon

        Says it all. I'd add a beer and thimbs up as well if could.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Renting Works For Me

    The way I look at it, I pay less than the cost of one new CD per month and listen to almost anything I want to, including almost all my old CDs and LPs plus the stuff I hovered off the university network and from AllofMP3.com.

    Better yet I still have all 'my' stuff stored on a shelf in my living room or on my master hard drive.

    That I can take my tunes with me almost wherever I want is a bonus.

    The thing that niggles me is this: given that anyone who pays for a streaming service is paying, like me, less than the cost of a single new CD every month then the revenue out to artists must fall through the floor. But that's their choice and their job to deal with the marketplace in a manner that suits all stakeholders. They don't have to be musicians and they don't have to use a streaming service as a distribution tool.

    When the product has ceased to be physical what is the difference between rented or owned?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Renting Works For Me

      >When the product has ceased to be physical what is the difference between rented or owned?

      Well having been a youth in the 70's, I suggest a noticeable difference is whether you can listen to Gary Glitter... or not ...

  27. ClammyLammy
    Pint

    Isn't this all about personal preference?

    It strikes me that most people here are really just stating their personal preference. It's not so much that one listening model is better than the other, they both have their features and limitations.

    For my part I stream lots and when I find that special artist I *really* like I generally buy the physical goods.

    The important thing here is that we have all these options now and we can personalise our listening to what suits us as individuals best.

    Everybody have a pint - for my part it will be real, but feel free to enjoy the icon :)

  28. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    I am the Luddite.

    I buy my music on CDs, and rip for occasional use in the car.

    No other use case for me.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Provides a Cheap Solution

    I don't need to stream or download anything, thanks to Apple's policy of only providing the shittiest, cheapest earphones the world has ever seen, I can clearly hear the music iPhone users are listening to from 6 seats away on the tube, even while the train is moving.

    Sorted.

  30. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Happy

    Not either or, but both

    I find the high quality Spotify offering pretty good, paid for not by regular subscription but with pre-paid gift cards (same cost) that I can activate as I fancy.

    Backed up by CD purchases from eBay, local charity shops, or occasionally a new one bought over t'Internet.

    Works for me.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Not either or, but both

      Exactly. There's no rule about choosing only ONE option.

      God Almighty, if the fanboys start fighting over the varioius vitamins, they'll all pick sides, and boycott the other. Within six months about 90% of the middle age men in the world will be dead of various malnutrition aliments. Maybe that's what Linus Pauling was actually trying to accomplish with his vitamine C campaign; trigger off a vitamine fanboy war to address overpopulation.

  31. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Only once

    Have I used a music streaming service, a free one, and only for trouble shooting for a user depending on that source for their presentation. Please no questions about why they elected to use it is non of my business.

    I have many plastic lexons full of cd's. I just recently thought of re-ripping them in a better format and selling/binning the lot as it's taking up a lot of space. NOW, I find iTunes has magically deleted one specific artist's album, I'm almost sure this happened on a different computer as well. I guess I'm glad I haven't moved forward with the plan yet.

  32. Mark McNeill
    Pint

    Just an idle thought

    Given the plethora of plugins for digital photography to make photos look like antiques, has anyone ever done one to add vinyl-type surface noise to digital sound recordings?

    Pint icon for John "life has surface noise" Peel there.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Just an idle thought

      Of course, I have a few CDs with tracks that have this kind of hipsterism going.

      I am sure there is some mind-bending recursive truth of Gödel-Escher-Bach level in there, but I just can't find it now.

  33. Hilmi Al-kindy

    You also can't subscribe to many services legally if you live in the middle east. So they stop selling us CDs and refuse to sell us their online music and movies.

    I have come to one conclusion, you can take your music and shove it where the sun don't shine. I have now acquired a taste for live music at the royal opera house in Muscat. Far better than most of the junk being thrown around as music these days. Very little good music came out after giants like Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd anyway.

  34. durandal

    I like streaming/subscription services

    Think of an album, and you're listening to it. It's not for everyone, but I like being able to download practically anything - if I had to go away and buy individual CDs (or muck about with the pirate bays), I'd not listen to half the stuff I would do.

  35. Vince Lewis 1

    " Apple is trying to promote its new Family Sharing feature in iTunes but I’ve got a family and it’s terrible. The Family Sharing feature, that is, not my family.

    When I exchange a CD with my wife, for example, we don’t ask each other to read and accept a terms and conditions document lengthier than War and Peace before insisting that a binding legal transaction has just taken effect. Nor do either of us have to configure settings and permissions and user groups and IDs and such arse."

    At least when you've done that you and your wife can listen to your music at the same time.

    On Steam family sharing you go through similar hoops, but if I'm playing 1 of my 100 games, the other 99 games are locked out and unplayable.

  36. stu 4

    Blinkbox Music

    I still have my favourite music on my phone, but I also like listening to Blinkbox Music sometimes:

    1. it's free. no CC required.

    2. you can mark your favourite 'stations' to be downloaded in the background

    3. you only get an ad every 3 or 4 songs so not too bad.

    I like that I find artists 'like what i like' that I've never heard of. I then might go and buy there stuff from somewhere.

    As your stations are kept updated and downloaded, it works on the train from norfolk (i.e. pre-mobile network), and the underground fine.

  37. heyrick Silver badge

    Streaming?

    A few years ago I had a Deezer account linked to my phone subscription. It was great for reliving my childhood by downloading lots of tracks from the '80s to my phone (live streaming was, back then, very dodgy as 3G hadn't made it out to the country yet).

    But there was a problem. Numerous songs were "remastered" versions. And I don't mean remastered like somebody ripped them from the analogue tape at an insanely high bitrate and converted them into something that sounded great, I mean remastered as in altering the tempo and mixing it to sound great on cheap crap earlugs (and horrible on anything else) and in one case overlaying an incessant drum beat.

    I don't want to hear a 2008 mix of a song I liked I want to hear the one that was released in 1982.

    I am also in to listening to Japanese songs. From animé themes to more traditional music. The choice is rather limited.

    And then, I changed contracts and the streaming service finished. All the music, the entire playlist, gone. In the end, only memories. Just like I had before...

  38. Vociferous

    Unlike with downloadable music...

    ...it is at least possible to buy CD's across country borders.

    The record companies, to avoid competition, have banned the sale of MP3's across country borders, a ban upheld by the EU court. You can not, for instance, buy MP3's from a company in Germany.

  39. GrumpyOldMan

    Alistair - glad it's not just me!

    Most of my vinyl record collection from the 80's has gone to pay for stuff. CDs are good though. Even my 16 year ld daughter likes CDs - it's something tangible that you can hold and is yours. Sort of. Then we rip the songs to MP3s and add them to the music collection on the NAS. At least we know what's on there is stuff we like! Except Bastile, of course. Droning monotonous noise! However said group are releasing a vinyl album! so my enlightened daughter asked if we have a 'vinyl player'. My wife and I looked at each other and asked what one of those is? Then began a week-long windup. "Nope, but I do have a record player, otherwise known as a turntable. Will that do? And are they releasing the ep in 12" and will it be 45 and 33 1/3 on different sides like in the old days? Coloured vinyl or picture disk?" Oh so much fun to be had while it lasted. "Or you could just download it." That prompted a sarky comment, being thrown out of the room and a slammed door. And a chuckle from me and the missus.

    1. LowRez

      Re: Alistair - glad it's not just me!

      A work mate came around to our house a few months back accompanied by his 8 year old daughter. I was putting a record on at the time and his daughter asked "what is that strange black round thing" I explained to her that it was vinyl record." What does a record do?". So I explained to her that it contained recorded music. The 8 year olds mouth nearly hit the ground. "Wow, thats amazing it must contain so much music". She then shyly pulled out her ipod and said that her music collection was only this big. The poor girl left our place very confused after being told that a record only contained about 60min of music.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Alistair - glad it's not just me!

        You should also have mentioned to that confused youngster that you were basically using 100 year old technology and that your record player could play equally old recordings.

  40. AceRimmer
    Flame

    Keep them coming

    I love these articles, and the comments, especially the comments.

    All that belligerent moaning makes me feel so young!

  41. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Happy

    Amazon anyone?

    I haven't read through the 6-score comments that came before me, but I too only bother with streaming when I'm at home or on cheap (free) wi-fi. Why would I waste my airtime/bandwidth when I can put whatever I want on local storage and access it instantly? And while "the cloud" is apparently still the current fad, I'm still pretty happy having a local copy.

    But I will say that I'm pleased with the way Amazon does streaming and purchases. For about a buck I can get a decent quality download of most anything, unencumbered with moronic and aggravating DRM, and download or stream it as much as I want. And with a Prime membership, I can listen to most anything I want if I want to stream, without relying on ad-driven services like Pandora, etc. that do play songs I like, but mixed in with things I want to skip--and can only skip a few times without getting more ads.

    No, I don't work for Amazon, and they have occasionally irritated me, but other music services could take a page from their book.

  42. Gavagai

    Amazon to the rescue.

    Source media is useful to avoid vendor lock-in.

    Time was I was a big Apple fan, but I've never been a fan of iTunes. These days I mostly hate Apple and their products. I've had many music playing devices over the digital years, and including a number of hifi systems with real amplifiers and speakers!

    Amazon did something really cool a while back: when you buy a CD from them, you get immediate and on-going access to that CD in mp3 format. You can download immediately and a couple of days later the CD turns up in the post.

    Best of both worlds.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strange

    I think it's odd how, as time goes by, the options for listening to music are gradually deteriorating. There's really nothing in the streaming/downloading arena that is as good value as simply buying a CD and ripping it to a portable device, and it seems to be getting worse. It's all a bit weird but as a result I find myself listening to less and less music every year; certainly almost nothing new goes on the player anymore, even when I like it as it's getting hard to find CDs and even then some are copy protected (without saying so) so it's a gamble. It's like the record companies don't actually want to sell music any more. Maybe it's a huge drive to make people buy concert tickets or something.

  44. Karandar

    Pono music - a hope for us old farts?

    I still enjoy the sound of vinyl records played on quality turn tables. Especially anything with a little soul. If you shop around that doesn't mean you have to spend 2k anymore either...

    I rip my own CD's because I can do that to a lossless format, not the 320 garbage from most music MP3 sellers

    - An entire generation has lost the content music really contains. Crap quality MP3's are like listening to a good quality stereo through a pillow. The effect for most people today is the equivalence of being tone deaf.

    If one can't afford decent stereo equipment, I recommend at least a decent set of over your ear headphones - think 200.00+. Everyone owes it to themselves to at least try a demo pair in a store. They are worth every cent. You'll be shocked how much 'bonus' sound there is in your music compared to your 5 or 10.00 ears buds

    I know it is 'work' to rip your own cd's - if you can even find them anymore, but hearing ALL of the sounds that were recorded by your favorite artist is completely mind blowing after years of listening to the compressed and muffled versions that are so easily available.

    The hope for me is a little project that started up on Kickstarter that I invested in myself and preordered a player - called Pono.

    Do yourself a favor and search it. Mine is arriving in a couple short weeks. The mainstream launch happens early in the new year.

    They sport what will be the highest quality music player in the business with a massive memory capacity, and will play ALL music formats, but there focus for them is on lossless music.

    Their music store will also be selling lossless format music! It will come at a slight premium vs. the other compressed music, and you won't fit as many songs in the same space, but this effort is one that has been too long coming, and I look forward to it! \

    This may even force the giants of the industry to step up their standards at least a little ...

    So, Old farts and music connoisseurs rejoice, a choice of quality and simplicity is finally upon us... Support and embrace it. Help it grow.

    Kevin

  45. ecofeco Silver badge

    Bring back radio

    You know, if radio content ("programming" for you kids who don't remember) didn't suck so damn bad, streaming/downloading would have never gotten so big.

    Why in the hell would I want to make my entertainment more complicated? What is more simpler than radio? Turn on radio, select station, adjust volume. Done. 3 button effort. Instant gratification.

    Seriously, you would almost think it was some kinda conspiracy by big business entertainment to lock us into a vertical silo market and their own walled garden.

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: Bring back radio (I agree wholeheartedly)

      You folks in the UK got screwed. We still have full on FM Radio here in the states as they have not forced DAB down our throats. And for those who like it on the go where FM won't go, there is also Internet Radio and Satellite radio out there.

      Have an UPVOTE on me Ecofeco for the only one mentioning radio. (the original "streaming")

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bring back radio

      So we have TOO MUCH choice:

      "Why in the hell would I want to make my entertainment more complicated?"

      But we have NO choice:

      "some kinda conspiracy by big business entertainment to lock us in"

      Which is it? Make your mind up.

  46. cortland

    Oh Mister Dabbs

    I can quite understand; you are still a young feller and enjoy getting angry at greedy businessmen who try to trick you into spending money to get something free.

    I have only 127 CD's in my 330-disk changer, and doubt I'll fill it before I go where the only music is dull stuff played by ethereal harpists (whoin'ell's their publicist?) . Meanwhile, I'll buy old music, folk music, classic, baroque and privately published music -- USED CD's -- and SCR*W the RIAA.

    It takes days to play my little collection just once.

  47. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Pint

    Streaming is good for music that does not deserve hard drive space

    So, I have my entire music collection, 160Gb, over 1000 artists stored on a hard drive, some 1Gb of iTunes stuff, some of which (3 or 4 albums) is still DRM'd. I cannot get the iTunes+ version because I have moved countries - I need to get a cc from a bank in the country where I was to be able to get the iTunes+ version. That hurt, I have since bought the CD's second hand and ripped them ...

    My collection spans quite a few genres ... ;-) ... from 60's to 2000's and a few 2010+. Mainly Rock, Punk, New York hardcore (not electronic hardcore), grind, classical, grunge, britpop ...

    I spent something like 2 or 3 months ripping cd's on three computers simultaneously, and have a lot of my stuff in flac/alac. There simply is no point listening to mp3's of Mozart, you need lossless. I have three hd's hooked up on the network (main, backup, backup of backup),

    One of the most striking experiences was when I listened to the first album of Keane, I got the iTunes+ version ... some years later I heard the CD at a mates and thought, shit, the music sounded better, though my hifi system was better ... I got the CD (again on the cheap) and I hear a great difference.

    I have spotify which I use to discover new music, if I really like it I buy the CD on the cheap and rip to the computer. I also discover new music with Rhythmbox, I ordered two albums (CD's) from a German band (Früchte des Zorns) - good old mailorder style. I have absolutely no problem paying full retail price for small indy bands that do interesting stuff. You can get the mp3 for free ...

    I have quite some stuff that will never end up on the streaming services, like old, real indy 90's stuff from the UK, mail order anybody ? Gould olde tymes! I have the vinyl and a decent record player.

    I do not have 2000 quid hifi shit, I simply have two Yamaha MSP5 studio monitors, I get the sound the guyz heard when they recorded - that is what I like doing, thought I would share. YMMV

    The beer's on me. ;-)

  48. MJA

    I'm not quite ready yet.

    I don't like the idea of streaming. First we lost the hard copy (which did have the positive of freeing up shelf space at least) but we still had a file we could see in front of us and move around - dependent on provider.

    Now the product never actually reaches us. It becomes nothing more than cache. Movies I can deal with, simply because I recently had the dusty nightmare of sorting through hundreds of DVDs that haven't been touched for at least 4 years but music on the move never really needed to happen if we'd all settled with large capacity portable players like the iPod Classic (RIP). There seems to be an urge to use up every last bit of available mobile bandwidth. Unfortunately for me it's just not widely available enough yet. Even travelling through London on an overground train I'd only get 10 minutes out of the 25 minute commute listening to music due to the lack of even mobile signal in places.

    There aren't many other markets that involve us handing over money but not actually receiving a product. Imagine a future of streaming clothing. "Wow, I can get unlimited changable clothing for a small monthly fee". Imagine the horrors of seeing 100s of hipster early tech adopters naked on the tube. Next time they'd remember to buy a hard copy.

  49. ukgnome Silver badge

    I am a bit late to the comments this week - is it now I shout Stupid fucking cunting bollocks?

    Oh, and I use Tesco's Blinkbox for music. It downloads for off line play and I now have an eccentric mix of some of the weirdest stuff ever.

  50. smartypants

    How to help us old farts: Make CD ripping better

    I'm of the 'buy CDs and rip them' tribe, and as I'm an old fart, a lot of my music is obscure recordings of various classical music performances.

    The two things which drive me nuts are:

    a) Entering the track details so they are how I want them. The free databases which do a good job when it's the latest Madge album tend to be hugely hit-and-miss (more miss than hit) as they rely mainly on submissions by other listeners, most of whom either haven't the faintest idea how to use the generally confusing tagging systems, most of whom don't want to spend hours trying to enter sometimes very unusual foreign names and words correctly. So I might end up spending 15 minutes of my life typing it all in from scratch. Occasionally I give up and just end up with Track1...Track34 etc., which no doubt gets sucked back into the internet and gives someone else a bad day.

    b) Finding good quality album art so that it looks nice on my 300+dpi smartphone. The older the recording, the lower the chance of there being any image out there that isn't a 20th generation copy of a crappy CD cover photo snapped by someone who wanted to sell something on ebay. This is a problem not just for classical music, but even popular stuff that was out just a few years ago.

    Neither of these problems existed before the advent of copying your music to listen to on-the-go. And both these problems go away with streaming, largely because you're not allowed to fiddle with things - you just have to make do with the lack of choice and accept the information they provide.

    I wish there was a solution to these problems. Any ideas?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How to help us old farts: Make CD ripping better

      I scan and edit my album art if I can't find it on 'albumartexchange' dot com. There are some other cover art exchange sites, but I don't have the names handy. Resolution ranges up to 1500 dpi. I'd suggest registering to avoid the kaptchas that pop up after half a dozen pages. You can search by artist or album name. Most are well done, but some are bad, so you'll need to look at a few of the resolution and file size to find the one that looks the best.

  51. itzman

    And as my wife discovered..

    You can get Johnny Winter to sign a CD, or in fact two, 3 weeks before he dies.

    Try that with an MP3.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Now THERE is an unusual reference for ElReg (was: Re: And as my wife discovered..)

      ::hugs:: to Edgar over the recent loss of his brother.

      If various ElReg readers have never heard the music of the Winter brothers, check it out! Recommended.

  52. Dexter
    Unhappy

    Why no lyrics?

    Why has nobody added sleeve notes to iTunes?

    You can get the album art, and display it on the screen.

    Is it really beyond the wit of man to display some text? Maybe display the lyrics, too?

    When I buy a record or CD it generally has useful stuff on there (like who is playing what instrument, when the song was recorded, that sort of thing). When I download, nada; no context. It is the musical equivalent of getting somewhere by SatNav; you get there but have no clue how.

  53. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    CD???

    Ripping from CD??? That would require having something that new. Nope, I rip all my music from *VINYL*! Considering that some of my records were out of print by the early 1980's, and never re-released on CD, that's the only way I can listen to them. And, unlike Agent K, I'm not "buying the White Album all over again".

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