Anyone only streaming music now?

MikeO

Active Member
Just curious if anyone has completely sold off all of their physical media and moved only to streaming. I am up to about 99.9 percent streaming these days and am very tempted to sell off the last of my physical media, which is less than ten records (got rid of the turntable last winter) and a couple of hundred CDs. Almost any cd I own is easily found on the streaming services, and I really can't say they sound much different from streaming on my system. It's not even about much more than clearing clutter in the sense that for me, streaming has been giving me all the music I could want for several years now. I have already gone that route in terms of movies with no regrets, but nostalgia is often an underlying force in my life. I figure not many on an audio forum would want to give up collections that took years to acquire but wondering if there are a few like me who no longer want to keep collecting these items.
 
I’ve been streaming only since the original Squeeze Box. Everything from hard drive or streaming service…mostly streaming service. I miss my BH-DAC which is off being repaired.
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
I do not have a TT or CDP in my system and listen mainly to streams.

I do have a big hard drive with music ripped from my CDs and SACDs.

Probably about 800 CDs in the basement collecting dust.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I still listen to albums but my digital listening is almost entirely streaming. I’m putting my stereo back together and not entirely sure I’m bringing my CD/SACD player out. The SACD aspect is the only thing going for it. Qobuz on my setup sounds better than CD on the CD player, and it’s a pretty fancy CD player.
 
Have never, ever been remotely interested in streaming. Collect only old/vintage stuff, mostly reissues not available there from what I've been able to ascertain. Plus I have a huge collection of the real stuff; countless items still sealed and unplayed. Can't see myself even living long enough to play it all, let alone to start streaming mainstream dross.
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
Have never, ever been remotely interested in streaming. Collect only old/vintage stuff, mostly reissues not available there from what I've been able to ascertain. Plus I have a huge collection of the real stuff; countless items still sealed and unplayed. Can't see myself even living long enough to play it all, let alone to start streaming mainstream dross.

Some people collect countless sealed and unplayed items that they can't see themselves living long enough to play, other people listen to streaming music. As Sly said, 'Different Strokes for Different Folks.'
 

MikeO

Active Member
Have never, ever been remotely interested in streaming. Collect only old/vintage stuff, mostly reissues not available there from what I've been able to ascertain. Plus I have a huge collection of the real stuff; countless items still sealed and unplayed. Can't see myself even living long enough to play it all, let alone to start streaming mainstream dross.
I suspect many here are the same and love their physical media. I guess for me part of the issue is that I really don't have much physical media that isn't available via streaming. If I had a bunch of MFSL CDs it would likely be worth keeping them and a cd player, but I don't have any. Literally every cd or album I used to own is a click away in Deezer for me. I assume all the other services have similar catalogs.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Some people collect countless sealed and unplayed items that they can't see themselves living long enough to play, other people listen to streaming music. As Sly said, 'Different Strokes for Different Folks.'
It's also worth mentioning that this need not be a mutually exclusive "decision" one has to make, where you are all-in on only one or the other. There are plenty of people, myself included, who do both.

I actually use streaming Qobuz as a means of music discovery and a "try before I buy", but when I find something I really like, the collector in me always then seeks a physical copy to own because I don't see the current subscription-based cloud server streaming model as particularly sustainable (as is).

There could come a day where subscription streaming in it's current form is either unavailable, or too expensive etc... so I take advantage of it now at the $14.99/mo. that Qobuz currently charges, and when I come across something I really like, I buy a physical copy of it to own so that I'm all set for the day I might have to revert back to no subscription cloud server streaming.

I'd also like to point out that "streaming" means different things to different people. Many folks think streaming only means use of a cloud server-based subscription service such as Qobuz, however that is not correct at all, there is also the streaming of one's own ripped discs (as mentioned upthread by others) from a local server/storage library to various endpoints on a home network.

Many times the most vocal critics of "streaming" are not even aware of that local server streaming aspect, and are just negatively reacting to the notion they'd pay any subscription streaming service to effectively rent access to music. That doesn't jibe in their mind when they already own a large collection, so why would they pay to rent? This completely overlooks the local server/storage library streaming aspect, and also the idea that a subscription service can offer a valuable try before you buy opportunity so that money isn't wasted on chance taking with new or unfamiliar artists or albums.

So streaming, either from a cloud server on a subscription basis, or from a local server/storage library of ripped discs, and physical media itself can and does coexist easily and they are complimentary, not mutually exclusive.

The only way I'd envision ever getting rid of my physical media is if I were forced to downsize my living arrangement to the extent that I just no longer had the physical space/room for it.
 

MikeO

Active Member
It's also worth mentioning that this need not be a mutually exclusive "decision" one has to make, where you are all-in on only one or the other. There are plenty of people, myself included, who do both.

I actually use streaming Qobuz as a means of music discovery and a "try before I buy", but when I find something I really like, the collector in me always then seeks a physical copy to own because I don't see the current cloud server streaming model as particularly sustainable as is. There could come a day where subscription streaming in it's current form is either unavailable, or too expensive etc... so I take advantage of it now at the $14.99/mo. that Qobuz currently charges, and when I come across something I really like, I buy a physical copy of it to own and then I'm all set for the day I might have to revert back to no cloud streaming.

I'd also like to point out that "streaming" means different things to different people. Many folks think streaming only means use of a cloud server-based subscription service such as Qobuz, however that is not correct at all, there is also of course streaming of one's own ripped discs (as mentioned upthread by others) from a local server/storage library to various endpoints on a home network.

Many times the most vocal critics of "streaming" are not even aware of that local server streaming aspect, and are just negatively reacting to the notion they'd pay a subscription streaming service to effectively rent access to music. That doesn't jibe in their mind when they already own a large collection, so why would they pay to rent? This completely overlooks the local server/storage library streaming aspect, and also the idea that a subscription service can offer a valuable try before you buy opportunity so that money isn't wasted on chance taking with new or unfamiliar artists or albums.

So streaming, either from a cloud server on a subscription basis, or from a local server/storage library of ripped discs, and physical media itself can and does coexist easily and they are complimentary, not mutually exclusive.

The only way I'd envision ever getting rid of my physical media is if I were forced to downsize my living arrangement to the extent that I just no longer had the physical space/room for it.
Interesting that you say you don't think the cloud based services are viable in their current form. I have wondered about that as well. But I would think most non audio hobbyists have abandoned buying CDs and vinyl long ago. I wonder what a future without streaming by subscription would even look like for most people. I guess the same issue applies to movie streaming as well.
 
That all makes perfect sense, even to me. But as a collector of records and then CDs ever since high school, I still have that niggle about having to rely on someone else's abilities/resources/technical savvy as opposed to having actually bought the item in question and knowing exactly where it is when I want to play it. Same about movies on disc as well, rather than the mostly the palid and increasingly politicised offerings from such as Netflix, etc.
 

adaug

Awaiting Updated Member Status.
I don't see the current cloud server streaming model as particularly sustainable as is. So there could come a day where subscription streaming in it's current form is either unavailable, or too expensive etc... so I take advantage of it now at the $14.99/mo. Qobuz currently charges,
totally agree! for the price of one cd a month we get access to perhaps 75% of all cds. this is the golden age of streaming - its almost free. and the total revenue stream for the industry has to be WAAAY lower than when fans were buying records/tapes/cds. definitely seems unsustainable. enjoy it now, but be prepared for change.
 
Been using my "local streaming service" for many years now. I'd sell most of my cd's if I wasn't too damn lazy to do it. Not the SACD nor special issues though. Still have my vinyl and probably will for a few years more. Could get rid of 80% though and ought to so the wife doesn't have to mess with them. However, yes, there are vinyls that sound better than the cd's. I use Spotify and Tidal, but, not nearly enough and don't really know how to effectively use them. Not afraid to buy used/cheap cd's and burn them to the NAS.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I rode the train today with tens of thousands of albums in high res, and whatever I thought of, I played. And it sounded great. If people like their physical media that’s great. I still buy albums and the occasional SACD. But I don’t even deal with my server much anymore. Qobuz sounds better.

I don’t care if people don’t want to stream, but I do wish that everybody who writes it off completely would check it out at the level most of us are referring to before universally judging us. Because I’m sick of getting twenty posts in on threads like this and realizing dude is talking about having heard a low bitrate codec streaming Spotify from a friends phone once, and assuming that’s what we’re taking about :)

I’m on both sides so don’t hate me. I stream then buy what I discovered on it on vinyl if I find I keep going back to it.
 
Hi JohnVF, I can see where you're coming from but I, for one, would never judge anyone — was just mentioning my complete lack of interest for reasons outlined — an essentially neutral stance based on indifference to something irrelevant to me.
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
90% of my listening is through Apple Music, but somehow I have a small fortune in turntables, records and cds. 🤷‍♂️
I do enjoy the convenience of having hundreds of thousands of songs at the tips of my fingers (read not getting up to change the media…..However, I also enjoy the ritual of pulling out a record from its sleeve, cleaning it, and setting down the needle on it….
 
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MikeO

Active Member
The only real fear I have got the future of streaming would be of companies started getting exclusive rights to certain bands. I don't think the subscription price could go up much above the $10 to $20 per month range as most non music lovers wouldn't pay more than that. But what if, like what has happened with movies and television, you end up having to use multiple subscriptions. What if the Led Zeppelin catalog was only available on Deezer, the Miles Davis catalogue only on Amazon, etc. If I was forced to buy multiple subscriptions I might go back to just purchasing individual albums again. I know I often get frustrated having to have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney and Apple Plus. Then finding out that a couple of tv series I want to watch are only available on Crave TV in Canada. Need to cancel one before I add another. But at least for now, music streaming has been a true joy compared to that. No matter what service I choose the content is pretty much the same and pretty much complete.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I still love Tidal (yes, I will admit to that!) and it's the primary Listening source around these parts. I'm often blown away by how great it sounds. Just shockingly good. And yes, my system is pretty damn revealing. If I had to only choose one, I'd likely choose a streaming option.

i do wish, however, that they would eliminate the multiple poor copies of especially older tracks from their servers. I was searching for a copy of You're The One by the Vogues yesterday. I think the 5th one I heard (including a dreadful 80s re-recording) sounded decent. I don't think I need to reproduce the 60s AM radio sound to enjoy the song.
 
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I am streaming 99% of the time now, and loving it I must admit. But I vividly remember the early days of Netflix when their content catalog was HUGE. Now, not so much.

Will all of the great music on the streaming platforms still be there in 5 years, or 10 (or 20) ? That uncertainty is what keeps me from selling all of my physical media.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I don’t see on-demand streaming (of everything) going away. It might change but the world is never going back to physical media, except for the continued existence of books and vinyl LPs, as they are the natural analog yin to digital’s yang. I see the end of Blu-ray production soon and CDs soon after. You are not going to convince a market that had access to everything, to go back to having to buy each thing.

I agree that the Netflix catalogue has dwindled- that’s because there’s more streaming now and different intellectual property holders grabbed their content back from them for their own services or higher bidders. So now I have a collection of streaming services (and no cable- screw then for never moving to ala carte). It’s rare that I’ve thought of something that I wanted to watch, and couldn’t find it. Though sometimes I’ve had to digitally rent it.

I love my balance of streaming and buying the most streamed finds on vinyl. It’s saved me thousands of dollars over what I used to spend on CDs, and have little sympathy for the recording industry for greeding itself into its current predicament. I’m doing to them what they’ve done to artists.
 
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