Anyone only streaming music now?

JoeThePop

Known member
Probably 90% cloud server streaming at this point. I love it as a means of music discovery for building my own playlist.

But for me there is still something satisfying about the ritual of playing physical media. I spend all day on a laptop for work, so playing CDs is a nice disconnect from that. And when I pick out a CD, I reminisce about why I bought that particular CD, and what was going on with my musical tastes at the time.

Last night I was listening to the original motion picture soundtrack of Singles, which came out in 1992. Back in 92, seeing Soundgarden and Alice in Chains perform in a bar in the movie sent me searching for the soundtrack. Now, almost every time I listen to it, I replay the scene in the diner in my head—Matt Dillon, with Eddie Vedder and other members of Pearl Jam, reading the scathing review of Citizen Dick’s latest album. Or the scene where Matt Dillon, with Chris Cornell standing next to him, demonstrates for Bridget Fonda the stereo he has put in her car as a gift, and promptly blows her windows out.

I guess I am much more intentional with my listening when playing CDs, and that leads to the memories. I will never give up my CDs while there are still players to be had. And boy, used CDs are bargain right now.

To each his own.

And like John, I dumped cable TV, probably about 3 years ago now. I have an antenna in my attic for local channels. I get 69 channels, and though probably at least half of those are crap, I'm not paying somebody for the privilege of not watching them. Currently have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. Probably going to cancel Netflix soon, as we find ourselves hardly watching anything on it anymore.
 
I mostly stream. Largest variety for me.

Question for those that only use physical media. How do you find new music?
 

adaug

Awaiting Updated Member Status.
Question for those that only use physical media. How do you find new music?
thats part of the fun/process. looking at release lists. reading reviews. going to record stores and judging by covers or recommendations. discussions with friends. it feels way more interactive, and less isolating, to me than just listening to streams and playlists.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
thats part of the fun/process. looking at release lists. reading reviews. going to record stores and judging by covers or recommendations. discussions with friends. it feels way more interactive, and less isolating, to me than just listening to streams and playlists.
I used to do it like that. Now I do it similarly but with streaming. I still read reviews and ask friends …. and get a kick out of how wrong the reviews and covers are, most of the time, in predicting my opinion. Just my way of doing it, nothing wrong with an all analog approach. I do sometimes miss the gamble. Or forcing myself to give something more of a chance because I paid good money for it. I just lost too much money on that route - which I was reminded of when ripping my CD collection. I could have left out 75% of it and been fine.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I do sometimes miss the gamble.
I do too, but even before COVID-19, all of the stores selling music in my area had long closed, and even most of the ones in NYC had also closed or vastly reduced their footprint for the display and stocking of music.

I no longer really even have the opportunity to hunt locally for physical media, and the used CD shops that remained in lower Manhattan were severely picked through, I often found nothing I wanted at all, just a bunch of old crap BMG/Columbia Music Club CDs that someone once bought for next to nothing, I really have no interest in anything like, I've got boxes of those at home that I never even bothered to rip.

I'm therefore forced to buy discs online, used or new, and I don't do that willy-nilly, I try before I buy on Qobuz. If I like the music then I try to hunt down whatever appears to be the best mastering job or deluxe edition with live bonus tracks, and if there appears to only be mediocre or crappy CD versions available, then I'll also check HDtracks for the potential availability of a hi-res download.

I'm also tempted at some point to upgrade my Qobuz subscription to Studio Sublime, which allows not only cloud streaming, but very discounted downloads, both Redbook and hi-res. Studio Sublime is an extra $5 per month ($249 billed annually), but you get that back and then some if you buy a bunch of downloads using the discounted pricing (which varies but can be substantial).
 
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.
I'm taking the same 'try before you buy' approach to youtube and DVD/Bluray concert videos.

For music, same thing. Most, if not all HD albums are downloads with no physical media. But, yeah, better and nicer to pay for and own it.

It all resides on a NAS drive with multiple backups since losing our library would be rough.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I do too, but even before COVID-19, all of the stores selling music in my area had long closed, and even most of the ones in NYC had also closed or vastly reduced their footprint for the display and stocking of music.

I no longer really even have the opportunity to hunt locally for physical media, and the used CD shops that remained in lower Manhattan were severely picked through, I often found nothing I wanted at all, just a bunch of old crap BMG/Columbia Music Club CDs that someone once bought for next to nothing, I really have no interest in anything like, I've got boxes of those at home that I never even bothered to rip.

I'm therefore forced to buy discs online, used or new, and I don't do that willy-nilly, I try before I buy on Qobuz. If I like the music then I try to hunt down whatever appears to be the best mastering job or deluxe edition with live bonus tracks, and if there appears to only be mediocre or crappy CD versions available, then I'll also check HDtracks for the potential availability of a hi-res download.

I'm also tempted at some point to upgrade my Qobuz subscription to Studio Sublime, which allows not only cloud streaming, but very discounted downloads, both Redbook and hi-res. Studio Sublime is an extra $5 per month ($249 billed annually), but you get that back and then some if you buy a bunch of downloads using the discounted pricing (which varies but can be substantial).
I didn't even think about availability. But, yeah... my local stores are all getting out of the CD business, or vastly scaling it back. The Reckless Records stores in Chicago have, over the 15 years I've been going there, switched from mostly CD with a decent selection of used records to mostly records with a decent selection of used CDs (and a few new ones). Even the tape section is growing, as the CD section shrinks. I've bought a few CDs from them this year, though as I briefly got on a gold-CD kick for some better mastering jobs.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
The 2nd and Charles store by me still has a very nice collection of used CDs. I've picked up some great bargains there.
And my local library has quite a few also. They get donations all the time now.
 

ArtK

Junior Member
I have a Bluesound Node that I use to stream internet radio and Qobuz. I enjoy listening to all the various radio stations around the country and world. It’s fun discovering new music and revisiting old favs. My primary is still CD’s with my transport and DAC as well as a smattering of LP’s here and there.
 

pvillemasher

Active Member
I played records and CDs until about a year ago when I got a streamer and a Qobuz account. Streaming has completely changed the way I listen to music, for better and for worse.
Better because I find sooo much great new music, all at my fingertips. Anytime I see someone post about a piece of music they like I can simply play it and hear it on my system. If I like I click the favorite icon and I have it saved.
Worse because when I stream I almost always play songs and not albums...lots of great music that weren't the hits on albums so I lose that. And it seems to devalue music when I have millions of albums/songs.
When I want to really sink in and do a deep dive on an album I play records.
 

Pboser

Junior Member
I played records and CDs until about a year ago when I got a streamer and a Qobuz account. Streaming has completely changed the way I listen to music, for better and for worse.
Better because I find sooo much great new music, all at my fingertips. Anytime I see someone post about a piece of music they like I can simply play it and hear it on my system. If I like I click the favorite icon and I have it saved.
Worse because when I stream I almost always play songs and not albums...lots of great music that weren't the hits on albums so I lose that. And it seems to devalue music when I have millions of albums/songs.
When I want to really sink in and do a deep dive on an album I play records.
I often do the same thing – bouncing around when listening and streaming rather than an entire album. I have found that the “discover weekly“ list on Spotify has brought to my attention deep tracks and related artists connected to my (usually in the car) Spotify listening. It’s a shame that Spotify doesn’t have a high resolution option, because I don’t see a comparable feature in the higher resolution streaming services.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I played records and CDs until about a year ago when I got a streamer and a Qobuz account. Streaming has completely changed the way I listen to music, for better and for worse.
Better because I find sooo much great new music, all at my fingertips. Anytime I see someone post about a piece of music they like I can simply play it and hear it on my system. If I like I click the favorite icon and I have it saved.
Worse because when I stream I almost always play songs and not albums...lots of great music that weren't the hits on albums so I lose that. And it seems to devalue music when I have millions of albums/songs.
When I want to really sink in and do a deep dive on an album I play records.
I do that too. It’s the one downside I’ve found. The albums that grow on me over time don’t have as much of a chance to get their hooks (or lack of hooks?) in me.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I played records and CDs until about a year ago when I got a streamer and a Qobuz account. Streaming has completely changed the way I listen to music, for better and for worse.
Better because I find sooo much great new music, all at my fingertips. Anytime I see someone post about a piece of music they like I can simply play it and hear it on my system. If I like I click the favorite icon and I have it saved.
Worse because when I stream I almost always play songs and not albums...lots of great music that weren't the hits on albums so I lose that. And it seems to devalue music when I have millions of albums/songs.
When I want to really sink in and do a deep dive on an album I play records.
I have been a stubborn old codger about that, steadfastly trying to listen to the whole or bulk of any album that I discover by means of a single track. I only don't do that if I find that I'm really not liking the album on the whole. I don't like hopping around, never did, it's a distraction I don't need and makes listening feel more like work.

I have friends who not only do the 1 track thing, or ONLY listen to playlists (something I rarely do), but some of them even do this total attention deficit disorder thing and listen to portions of tracks, quickly tiring of something and changing it before that song even ends. I'm not kidding, and I make fun of them, I call that listening to sound bytes.

If I want a random hop around mix, then I don't want to be in charge of it at all. I use internet radio for that type of thing and if the station has metadata and I identify something new or interesting, I usually just jot it down or try to commit it to memory for a closer examination later on/some other day.
 

adaug

Awaiting Updated Member Status.
I have friends who not only do the 1 track thing, or ONLY listen to playlists (something I rarely do), but some of them even do this total attention deficit disorder thing and listen to portions of tracks, quickly tiring of something and changing it before that song even ends. I'm not kidding, and I make fun of them, I call that listening to sound bytes.
yeah - streaming gives me the feeling of "the kid in the candy store." so much music and so little time to play it. the format definitely seems to encourage short listens and lots of jumping around.
 
... I love it as a means of music discovery for building my own playlist. ...
Me too. I listen exclusively through Roon/Tidal. Roon's artist write-ups with links to related artists and works is a great discovery tool. I've spent days doing deep dives into, for example, the history and variety of "Delta Blues", that took me all the way back to to the late 20's/early 30's recordings of Charley Patton - remastered from staticky original 78's.

I also really like the Roon/Tidal feature that lets me look up different performances of the same track - which can be 100+. I can spend an afternoon or longer sampling different versions of, say, Bach's concerto for violin in A minor, and identify those which I find most interesting. It has been fascinating to discover that I can find the same piece either sublime or emotionally overwrought dross depending on the artist's interpretation.

cheers, Derek
 

JoeThePop

Known member
I usually just jot it down or try to commit it to memory for a closer examination later on/some other day.
Ha! I like to lie to myself sometimes and believe I will remember the song title and artist that I try to commit to memory. My short term memory sucks. So I almost always jot it down. There's really no reason not to as I'm listening to the internet radio streams while I am working at my desk. And I do enjoy building a playlist of songs that I like from different genres; songs and artists I've never heard before, songs that I don't know from artists I'm familiar with, and songs from artists that I know but haven't heard in a long time. I especially like my playlists for casual listening with a friend over drinks. I generally do the full album thing when I sit down for a focused listening session.

Latest list complete with coffee stains.

1627928035638.png
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Ha! I like to lie to myself sometimes and believe I will remember the song title and artist that I try to commit to memory. My short term memory sucks. So I almost always jot it down. There's really no reason not to as I'm listening to the internet radio streams while I am working at my desk. And I do enjoy building a playlist of songs that I like from different genres; songs and artists I've never heard before, songs that I don't know from artists I'm familiar with, and songs from artists that I know but haven't heard in a long time. I especially like my playlists for casual listening with a friend over drinks. I generally do the full album thing when I sit down for a focused listening session.

Latest list complete with coffee stains.

View attachment 38543
Very extensive, I'm impressed. My own jot down pales in comparison, usually just a few items on a very small notepad.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
Very extensive, I'm impressed. My own jot down pales in comparison, usually just a few items on a very small notepad.
Well thank you. It really is because I can listen to music during my work day whenever I'm not in a video meeting.

Started the third page. No coffee stains... yet.

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