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 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 9:59 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

We all talked about the pending death of physical media. (Other than maybe specialty labels that release some scores on CD and LP.) But with this new push for streaming media including entire catalogs of music, it seems the right to even download a digital copy of a song or album will one day no longer be an option. With online services offering custom playlists of streaming material from a webpage platform, I can see digital players like iTunes and VLC going the way of the optical drives.

News from Amazon:

Dear Customers,

A little more than 3 years ago we launched Prime Instant Video, adding unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows to the existing Prime benefit of Free Two-Day Shipping. It has turned out to be one of the most important things we've done for Amazon Prime members. Today, we are doing it again for music — introducing Prime Music, the newest benefit of Prime membership.
Prime Music

With Prime Music, you can listen ad-free to over a million songs and hundreds of expert-programmed Prime Playlists. Prime Music includes tens of thousands of albums from top artists like Daft Punk, P!nk, Bruno Mars, Blake Shelton, The Lumineers, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna. And we'll be adding more music all the time. Here's a list of popular artists in Prime Music.

In designing Prime Music, we wanted to remove the barriers between you and the music you love. We removed cost. You can listen to the entire Prime Music catalog for free — it's included in your Prime membership. We removed interruptions. Don't worry about having your music constantly disrupted by ads... you won't hear any. We removed listening restrictions. Choose exactly what song to listen to, repeat your favorite song over and over again, or download music to your phone or tablet to listen offline.

Finally, we removed one more barrier — deciding what to listen to. Just play any of the hundreds of Prime Playlists our music experts have created for you. Check out the Prime Playlists here.

Prime members in the US can start listening to Prime Music today at www.primemusic.com. Kindle Fire HD/HDX devices will get Prime Music in an automatic, over-the-air update. You can also download the latest Amazon Music app in the Android and iOS appstores. If you're not yet a Prime member, start a 30-day free trial today. We think you'll find the convenience of free two-day shipping

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   mstrox   (Member)

I don't like streaming for a couple of reasons - I'd rather have music available even when I don't have access to the Internet (preferably in high quality), and the artist gets royally screwed on streaming, much moreso than album sales/downloads/radio play.

I don't think this will kill digital downloads, at least not any more than the other similar services.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 10:47 AM   
 By:   That Neil Guy   (Member)

Interesting.

Browsing now.

Getting my first ever chance to listen to Quigley Down Under: http://amzn.to/1nyRYcO

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 11:10 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

It won't work for me because not only do I create my own specific playlists, (which they seem to be offering a way to do that.) I often edit tracks to my liking. Sometimes cutting them down in size and even merging different tracks together. I need the physical/digital media on hand.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 11:25 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

The corporate machine is inching us ever closer to the day when we no longer actually own anything.
Obviously the individual cannot be trusted to.

And when was "deciding what to listen to" ever a barrier? To whom would it be?

This all makes me feel so damn discouraged.
Gonna go play some old Rush now.
Loud.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Ooo, can't wait to listen to a playlist that their music experts have created for me smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 12:38 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

WOO-HOO! This is the future - and how convenient! Who cares about control over digital files or personal playlists... it's the MUSIC that counts!

(See what I did there?)

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 12:40 PM   
 By:   Ed Lachmann   (Member)

Music fans, especially those who love golden and silver age soundtracks as I do, fare SO much better than classic film lovers who are facing a streaming only future for most of our favorite films, especially in the blu-ray format. The colorful widescreen 50's and 60's ones are almost totally disregarded and ignored. For most of these I have wonderful original score CDs that the good folks at FSM, Intrada, Kritzerland and many others found worthy to press for us. I've seen the sort of "high def" downloads one gets from Netflix and Amazon. They look hardly better than a standard DVD. So, if I could help "kill" the streaming movies download mania, I would jump at the chance.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 12:46 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

I saw a headline the other day that the music industry doesn't like streaming either and maybe some of it is considering doing away with that.

I remember the good old days of physical media where they most they bitched about was downloads and people making personal copies. Now they're bitching a whole lot more about the two options they've got so far.

I'll stick with the CD for a good long while, thanks.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 12:53 PM   
 By:   jamesluckard   (Member)

The corporate machine is inching us ever closer to the day when we no longer actually own anything.

This is the truth behind all of it. It's not about progress or "improving" anything for the customer, much as they may say so. It's about them having absolute control over content, with us able to experience it only when they deign to allow it.

I own countless OOP CDs that are commercially unavailable, but that I can listen to any time I want. With this system if an album or movie is deleted, it's GONE. Just check the ever-changing merry-go-round that is Amazon's streaming service. The movies and shows on offer change so much it's basically a cable channel, certainly not a static library.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 1:02 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

The corporate machine is inching us ever closer to the day when we no longer actually own anything.


 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 1:22 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

It occurs to me that I, and probably the majority of most of the folks around here, are old enough to remember when the leap in tech led from modest transistor radios to more elaborate, superior-sounding portable players (and some of the larger, more unwieldy units were portable in name only!).

It seems to me that back then the big mindset was to shift away from having to own your musical content, because radio was more than happy to take that burden off of the music lover's back (in return for patronage of their sponsors, of course).

All things are cyclical, and perhaps this tide is coming around for another turn. Clouds and streaming are just fancier versions of old-fashioned radio.

But I think that just as the 70's-and-on eras eventually returned to individual "ownership", this UN-owning shift that we are now starting to experience will also eventually shuffle out the door and newer companies will pop up to cater to the owner-inclined consumer. Of course, they will all hail buying actual music product as an amazing new concept!
We can only speculate at what the future physical formats will be like, but I for one look forward to it.
I never much cared for being treated like I don't know what I want, as though I was a brainless child.

So around and around it goes.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 1:24 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

I'm doing some quick searching and I'm seeing news articles indicating CD and downloads sales are down again (for at least 2012, 2013, and even some news about this year), while streaming demand is going up.

This isn't an industry machine against the consumer (which I could expand upon more, but I don't feel like it), this the consumer opting to stream (in many cases for free, though not always) rather than purchase.

Now, I can't say why they aren't buying, I got theories but nothing more.
My two top theories:

1: The economy is in the fucking toilet. We keep getting manipulated jobs numbers and economic stat's, but the cold hard reality is it's not gotten better. People are being more picky with their money and what do you -- Bieber and the latest fad artist aren't as valuable to them as their iThings and personal items.


2: Musical ear garbage. Like films and TV, the industry is making a lot of crap and people are more wary of buying something, so they stream, only to find out it's crap and they don't want to purchase it. Maybe it's no coincidence that when streaming became mroe prevailing, it seems the number of used CD's on eBay went down; I'd avert buying crap if I could.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 1:25 PM   
 By:   Other Tallguy   (Member)

The corporate machine is inching us ever closer to the day when we no longer actually own anything.

This is the truth behind all of it. It's not about progress or "improving" anything for the customer, much as they may say so. It's about them having absolute control over content, with us able to experience it only when they deign to allow it.

I own countless OOP CDs that are commercially unavailable, but that I can listen to any time I want. With this system if an album or movie is deleted, it's GONE. Just check the ever-changing merry-go-round that is Amazon's streaming service. The movies and shows on offer change so much it's basically a cable channel, certainly not a static library.


While I agree with much of this and have railed against it since the 90's (when it was more science fiction) I have to point out that even with Amazon's library you can buy a movie "permanently". No one has answered the question of what happens when Amazon or whoever goes away or stops service and the library you spent hundreds of dollars on just goes away.

I still don't like cloud music. I want to know it's mine and I can move it, change it, back it up, whatever.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

While I agree with much of this and have railed against it since the 90's (when it was more science fiction) I have to point out that even with Amazon's library you can buy a movie "permanently". No one has answered the question of what happens when Amazon or whoever goes away or stops service and the library you spent hundreds of dollars on just goes away.


It's not a stretch to say that I know very little about Amazon's download particulars. What form does the actual download take to give it that "permanence"?
Is it a format that can be stored on a memory stick or perhaps burned to a disc? Or does it require some sort of conversion on the user's end in order to store it on whatever the preferred physical media might be?

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 1:45 PM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

You can't just blame the corporations. It's also a generational thing.

People brought up on LPs wanted LPs not CDs, but the next generation went for CDs.

People brought up on CDs wanted CDs not downloads, but the next generation went for downloads.

People brought up on downloads might be more amenable for the next development which is, indeed, streaming.

It's always the new generation that the corporations cater for and steer.

The fact is, lots of people prefer streaming to downloading. That way, they don't have to organize anything or back anything up.

I'm still of the LP/CD generation. I like owning a disc. But if you embrace digital, streaming does have certain advantages over downloading.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 1:47 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)



2: Musical ear garbage. Like films and TV, the industry is making a lot of crap and people are more wary of buying something, so they stream, only to find out it's crap and they don't want to purchase it. Maybe it's no coincidence that when streaming became mroe prevailing, it seems the number of used CD's on eBay went down; I'd avert buying crap if I could.


This is a very interesting comment and one that's troubling in the fact the studios will continue to produce the same product over and over again. In the old days the success of a band or vocalist was based on the success of their individual styles in the form of album sales.

With this spoon fed, lump everything together mentality, there's little need to develop anything unique or push creativity. (It's been this way for what two decades?) Yeah sure there will be counters indicating what songs are played the most, but it's not the same thing. This new approach will continue the status quo for decades to come.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 1:58 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Right, it does say here that you will be able to download albums but then what is to stop someone from subscribing to prime and then downloading a bunch of stuff in a few months and removing the service? How that actually works would be significant.

For example, what if someone were to download a bunch of albums and upload them to Google Music (which lets you back up 20,000 songs) so that they have access to most of it in case Amazon goes away? This would be certainly one option.

I think something like this is a great idea as a supplement for the serious music consumers and a replacement for the casual. They are banking that the casual listener is going to just want something without ads that they can put on whenever to play something nice in the background. People will still find some way to buy something if it is really good so that they can have a copy for longer. I for one love the ability to stream stuff before buying it so that you can truly get a chance to experience the music at good quality before putting your money down to buy it.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 2:47 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

You can't just blame the corporations. It's also a generational thing.

People brought up on LPs wanted LPs not CDs, but the next generation went for CDs.

People brought up on CDs wanted CDs not downloads, but the next generation went for downloads.

People brought up on downloads might be more amenable for the next development which is, indeed, streaming.

It's always the new generation that the corporations cater for and steer.

The fact is, lots of people prefer streaming to downloading. That way, they don't have to organize anything or back anything up.

I'm still of the LP/CD generation. I like owning a disc. But if you embrace digital, streaming does have certain advantages over downloading.

I was brought up on LP's. Hell, I even played a couple 8-tracks (which sucked even back then).

Maybe for some people it is generational, but I reasoning for it all and the switch.

LP's were never perfect; they were the pinnicle of what was commercially feasible and technologically possible for the buying consumer. They were big, bulky, worthless after some plays and getting scartched up, and then there was care and upkeep the the turntable, too (which was also combersome).

Sure, there have been inprovements with LP's (including no-scratch needles), but they just don't offer what a CD does.

Not only are CD's smaller, which can make a huge difference for some the folks here who have hundreds and thousands of CD's that would take up tons of room if htey were LP's instead, but they offer superior sound quality, longevity, and portability (were have portable CD's players, but just trying a portable LP player, should such a contraption exist). And they have re-slkae value (which unfortunately is dwindling as downloads become more wanted).

Downloads have many drawbacks, including but not limited to:
  • Varying quality, from low MP3's, to some lossless/APE, what ever. Depends on the provider.
  • No resale value.
  • In some cases, unless this has changed, there is nothing you actually "own", it's all online or the "cloud" or what the fuck ever.
  • Signing. Ever gotten you digital downloads signed by a composer? Ever tried selling that signed hard drive?
  • Country specific downloads.
  • Media destruction. If a CD is destroyed, I lose the CD; if a hard drive gets damanged or destroyed, you lose everything on it.
  • Limitations on what is offered as a downloads. Probably soon to change.
  • Credit cards/personal information. I work, as do many people, on a strictly cash-only operational basis. Sites that do credit card (or services like PayPal) only services, preclude me. And I can't know how secure really they're services are and who gets my personal informatio nand what happens to it. We all recall the recent breaches online security, like Target. Or how about that bank about ten years ago that was fined for dumping people's personal information in dumpters, and then was caught a few years later doing the same thing again? Or how about the I.R.S., which has consistant high numbers of employees stealing personal data, using it, and even defrauding the I.R.S. themselves? You can never really be fully secure, but I do the best I can and cross my fingers/click my shoes together three times and hope a whole lot.

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     Posted:   Jun 12, 2014 - 2:49 PM   
     By:   Octoberman   (Member)

    You can't just blame the corporations. It's also a generational thing.


    Ha! Yes we can.
    Corporations make it their stock in trade to seek out the newer generation because the younger human brain has a built-in predisposition to perceive "newer" as "superior".
    Only time+experience=wisdom corrects that illusion.

    (Of course, there are always exceptions. Once in a while something newer IS actually better. big grin)

     
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