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A Lark Ascending

Is streaming technology saving the music industry?

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Six out of the seven external hard drives that I have owned have failed. Manufacturer, or brand of enclosure, doesn't seem to be a factor.

Does anyone have any advice on hot swappable bays?

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Interesting, I've only had 1 external drive fail and that one died during the first week due to a manufacturing defect and was replaced. I have multiple backups just in case; 1 stored at home, 1 stored at work and 1 stored in a safety deposit box.

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It's killing me Shawn. Killing me.

You could always go solid state, no moving parts. They're still expensive but they're faster and last longer.

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Wow! I've had my current Western Digital My Book for a decade now with no problems. And it runs a backup every 15 minutes.

Though, I do plan on getting a Time Capsule in the near future.

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I also have a LaCie, which is about 12 years old, that worked the last time I took it out of the drawer. I have no idea who the manufacturer is though. I have a stack of Hitachi, Maxtor, Samsung, Western Digital storage.

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If it's something I want to revisit a lot I'll download it. Though I suspect even that is part of the old model of 'ownership'. If I was 14 and starting anew I doubt if I'd bother with the downloading and burning.

I guess you're right about the generational difference but, to me, the question of 'ownership' is an important one. If you're happy not to physically own music and just stream it from the Cloud or wherever this implies that you don't value it as much. This could well colour your whole attitude to music which becomes more casual.

I use Spotify a lot and find it a great way to check out new music and artists but, for me, it doesn't replace the process of listening to a CD or LP while reading the liner notes.

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If you're happy not to physically own music and just stream it from the Cloud or wherever this implies that you don't value it as much. This could well colour your whole attitude to music which becomes more casual.

Sorry, but I can't agree with that. I'm listening to more music now than ever before since streaming kicked in, I don't value it any less, in fact having a much wider library available than I would ever personally own has increased my appreciation of several genres that used to only get casual attention. Spotify is the huge music library I always wanted but didn't want to have to buy shelves for.

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If it's something I want to revisit a lot I'll download it. Though I suspect even that is part of the old model of 'ownership'. If I was 14 and starting anew I doubt if I'd bother with the downloading and burning.

This could well colour your whole attitude to music which becomes more casual. Are people who borrow books from the library more casual about reading than those who buy them?

I like owning things - books, records, acres of moorland for grouse shooting. But I'd say that is a separate thing from the degree of enjoyment you get from the objects.

I don't think the desire to own has changed much - our instinctive desire to own is put under too much pressure from highly sophisticated business techniques. What has changed from the 1970s is the range of things you can own. There's much more competition for our pennies. Those of us who have spent a lifetime building up a huge record collection are unlikely to change much.

I'm retiring in a year. With a reduced income Spotify has come just in time to feed my 'must hear unfamiliar music' habit.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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I'm retiring in a year.

Welcome to the leisured classes!

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Ted Gioia on 25 Things I Want from an Online Music Service (and Almost Never Get)

my own list would look different I guess, and I can't say I agree with all but the first point

"Allow me the option of making a cash payment directly to the recording artist. Many fans feel that streaming services give a raw deal to musicians, and want to make amends for using them. Make it easy for us to do so."

ie some "direct transfer to the artist" button in spotify I find a really interesting idea

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OK, so here's my thing. I understand what the record companies could hold over the musicians heads (top shelf recording facilities, marketing, distribution...), but what do streaming companies have for leverage? Why don't the artists just tell them to go fuck themselves if they refuse to pay what the artist wants? It's not like the artist can digitally distribute their own material. Hell, they could even stream once per IP addy from their site.

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OK, so here's my thing. I understand what the record companies could hold over the musicians heads (top shelf recording facilities, marketing, distribution...), but what do streaming companies have for leverage? Why don't the artists just tell them to go fuck themselves if they refuse to pay what the artist wants? It's not like the artist can digitally distribute their own material. Hell, they could even stream once per IP addy from their site.

The streaming companies are making deals with the record labels that distribute the material, not directly with the artists themselves, except for a few high profile artists that have control of their entire catalog. AC/DC is a good example, they aren't available on streaming sites because they don't want to be, but they also have the clout of 200 million albums sold worldwide to back that up and they control their own masters.

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Mr Gioia is the man, shame his jazz forum didn't work out, but of course back then, you couldn't have guessed the extent of trolls and the fact that moderators are needed to preserve the peace.

Actually, I like to think my strategic and tactical purchases have helped reinvigorate the reissue market on several fronts.

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OK, so here's my thing. I understand what the record companies could hold over the musicians heads (top shelf recording facilities, marketing, distribution...), but what do streaming companies have for leverage? Why don't the artists just tell them to go fuck themselves if they refuse to pay what the artist wants? It's not like the artist can digitally distribute their own material. Hell, they could even stream once per IP addy from their site.

The streaming companies are making deals with the record labels that distribute the material, not directly with the artists themselves, except for a few high profile artists that have control of their entire catalog. AC/DC is a good example, they aren't available on streaming sites because they don't want to be, but they also have the clout of 200 million albums sold worldwide to back that up and they control their own masters. Ah, ok. Makes sense now. Hopefully we're seeing the beginning of the end of record label strangleholds. Maybe this will finally brings things to a head.

Great observation about AC/DC as well. Hell, they just recently allowed their albums to be sold on iTunes. Not a great idea to hold out so long, IMO. But, I'll never complain about a band exercising their rights over their catalog.

Edited by Scott Dolan

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I had hoped AC/DC would hold out for all eternity, and I would never have to contemplate For Those About To Rock....We Salute You - ever again!

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Thanks for posting that, psu.

I was also interested that I went into my local hi-fi shop to discuss new kit, and they were a bit surprised to hear that I might want to replace my already-not-bad SACD player. They said replace speakers and amp maybe, but keep the player and add add a Sonos Connect to stream Qoboz, which they consider of hi-fi quality.

An indication that the hardware market is also going in this direction.

Overall though I do think it is a question of the contracts not the technology. I also think that too much music is recorded and the drag of records and CDs was always how many you bought that were just not that good. I also think that recorded music should not be implicitly seen as the 'product' of musical activity. For the music I care for, classical and - less now in terms of what is out there - 'jazz', it is access to live performance which i care most about. That is easy for me to say, I realise, as I live close to a global centre for music and I can easily hear the best performers alive all year round.

The argument used to be that contemporary jazz and classical recordings could not do that well as they compete against back-catalog. If you follow people's interests on this board you will see a division in both classical and jazz interests between those who mainly follow the past and those who follow the recent and contemporary, That argument as to disadvantage has disappeared in the light of the streaming argument. We also used to hear how online sales of CDs were destroying stores, again to the disadvantage of niche music which required knowledgeable staff to select stock and supposedly help consumers identify product. Niche music appeared to survive that too and that argument has faded.

Classical music and opera, which are very expensive to sustain, may In Europe struggle to maintain their revenue streams but still basically have large audiences, so I don't see this streaming question as so very much of an issue for those areas. In jazz and improv, which are very much cheaper to sustain, I am not really convinced that there are important things out there which are being suppressed by streaming. There may be many musicians who feel they should realise more revenue from their recordings, but hasn't that always been the case? If you dig far down into any of the current jazz/improv labels, beyond the headline Braxtons and Brötzmanns, you quickly get to things which are, shall we say, OK, but are really not worth more than a listen. So the question to my mind is, is there really a problem? Are there activities we regard as essential that are being suppressed? Or is this just a discussion at the margins about people who, yes, would like to raise more money from recorded music, but for whom this would in any case be marginal, and who, if we want to suppor them at all, will do far better financially out of us going to hear them live than anything else?

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A lot of confusion in this article, with some silly arguments ( "what are the chances that sidemen, or their heirs, get paid when things are streamed?" - as if they were ever paid in LP or CD era).

One thing that people are probably forgetting when they complain about "streaming ruining the musicians' livelihood" is that the user base of streaming services is still very small. Spotify, the world's largest streaming service, has just ten million paying users. Ten million people can't provide the whole musician community with decent income! The revenue stream for musicians should improve significantly as the user base grows, since it will now grow at faster pace than the amount of music available for streaming (because most of the back catalog has already been uploaded).

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I think one of the issues that should be addressed, as far as the proper folks getting their due for the music performed and produced, is to give the publishing rights to the artist. For example, check any Okka Disk release and after the copyright symbol and the date follow these words: Retained by the artists.

I'm not convinced that the music "Industry" needs to be saved per se, but that's coming from someone who participates very little in that portion of the mega-lo-majors, except for the benefit of distribution. ECM for example. While the music industry has slid downward there's more music available today than ever before, which I'm sure most folks here, looking at their growing "new/need to listen to" pile can attest to.

That being said I DO stream music, via paid Pandora One, on some occasions. First, when outside walking, working in the yard etc. Second, when doing things around the house that are so engaging that cueing and choosing LP's or CD's is impractical.

However, in it's own way this practice is helping the music industry because, aside from the fact that I'm a paid subscriber and contributing to royalties, the service has helped me to discover MANY new artists and albums that I would otherwise not have found or would have taken longer to discover. And, being a fan of physical-media and a music/jazz obsessive, I actually go seek out and buy these releases.

I know for the general populace (not here) that is not the case. Over the weekend we had a few "normal" friends over and due to the distractions involved I simply played a Pandora station. After a while they commented that there were no ads. When I shared that I was a subscriber and there were no ads they were truly surprised that someone would actually PAY when you could get it for free. The higher quality bit rate and lack of ads be damned. Note these were folks in their late 20's early 30's. Therein lies the problem.

Anyhow, a quick look at my current Pandora stations reveals these as an example of the 100 that are allowed:

Alex Cline Ensemble

Andrew Hill

Barre Phillips

Dino Saluzzi

Evan Parker

Flat Earth Society

Gert Wilden Orchestra

Grachan Moncur III

Jacques Gallot

Lucian Ban Elevation Quartet

Leon Thomas

Nik Bartsch

Yusef Lateef

Etc, etc

Not bad offerings, and the catalog goes pretty deep, often playing titles long out of print and difficult to find. All in all a great way to discover new artists and/or new (to me) releases.

The sound I'm getting is not to be scoffed at either, with a very good signal path. Ultimately I'm happy to have it and it actually facilitates and increases my music expenditures.

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I know for the general populace (not here) that is not the case. Over the weekend we had a few "normal" friends over and due to the distractions involved I simply played a Pandora station. After a while they commented that there were no ads. When I shared that I was a subscriber and there were no ads they were truly surprised that someone would actually PAY when you could get it for free. The higher quality bit rate and lack of ads be damned. Note these were folks in their late 20's early 30's. Therein lies the problem.

We are at the point now where it's totally a non-issue for the general populace. You just don't pay for music. It's as natural as breathing. You are not any less of a man if you don't pay for music.

I don't even know anymore (as in, with regards to this topic, not in a throwing my hands up at humanity thing). All i'll say is that i like CDs and i'll keep buying them as long as they keep making them. I like having a hard copy and the convenience to rip it as i please. I also like using Spotify to check stuff out, and i can see myself using it more down the line for the convenience of it, but there's just something hardwired in me that i need to own the CD. If/when it gets to the point where the artists that i follow offer download/streaming only then i'll adjust, as there will be no other option. As long as there is a CD then i need the CD. If/when it does get to the point where everything is in the cloud and it's all a big stream, i think i will only stream new stuff, it seems pointless to pay for downloads. My listening/collecting life will be divided into a CD and post-CD era. I guess that's kind of redundant to say, but it kind of helps me to be at peace with it.

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FWIW, I liked the piece because it complained about the terrible state of the metadata in the online stores, especially on Jazz and Classical recordings and most especially in the back catalog.

I don't really like CDs ... but I like having my own copy of all the digital files. So downloads+ streaming for spot checks is my ideal. Especially if the session info and notes are in a nice PDF file.

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I know for the general populace (not here) that is not the case. Over the weekend we had a few "normal" friends over and due to the distractions involved I simply played a Pandora station. After a while they commented that there were no ads. When I shared that I was a subscriber and there were no ads they were truly surprised that someone would actually PAY when you could get it for free. The higher quality bit rate and lack of ads be damned. Note these were folks in their late 20's early 30's. Therein lies the problem.

We are at the point now where it's totally a non-issue for the general populace. You just don't pay for music. It's as natural as breathing. You are not any less of a man if you don't pay for music.

I don't even know anymore (as in, with regards to this topic, not in a throwing my hands up at humanity thing). All i'll say is that i like CDs and i'll keep buying them as long as they keep making them. I like having a hard copy and the convenience to rip it as i please. I also like using Spotify to check stuff out, and i can see myself using it more down the line for the convenience of it, but there's just something hardwired in me that i need to own the CD. If/when it gets to the point where the artists that i follow offer download/streaming only then i'll adjust, as there will be no other option. As long as there is a CD then i need the CD. If/when it does get to the point where everything is in the cloud and it's all a big stream, i think i will only stream new stuff, it seems pointless to pay for downloads. My listening/collecting life will be divided into a CD and post-CD era. I guess that's kind of redundant to say, but it kind of helps me to be at peace with it.

Agreed, it does seem to be a non-issue for the general populace sadly, which is why they were so amazed that I would actually pay the insane sum of $36 a year :rolleyes: for this service. Give me the physical media with the art work and liners and the permanence any day. Although I must admit that if I ripped everything to hard drive and got rid of everything the usable square footage in our home would greatly increase.

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