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 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 5:10 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)


But from my experience here I've found I'm in the minority. My taste overlaps with just about everybody I've encountered here, but often see different groups when talking about different kinds of music.

There is nothing wrong with this. People should love what they love, and if other kinds of music don't feed you, then don't waste time with it. But we have to be careful thinking that current trends like streaming will narrow taste. Taste is usually narrow for most people however they encounter content.


Yes, quite true, Sean, I don't disagree with any of your main points either.

And I fully agree that there is nothing "wrong" with this, people should love what they love, and so on. Absolutely.

I just think -- and that's perhaps the issue -- that some things need to be "learned", or perhaps better are beneficial when learned. That's why things that are an "acquired taste" tend to be more complex, but are often more rewarding than candy, which is sweet right away and goes for instant gratification. Yes, some people may be happy with the narrow part of music they listen to, but at least in some cases, their horizons wait to be widened and they are even happier when they are exposed and learn about new things. I think most people who hear some pieces of Ligeti or Webern might go WTF the first time they hear it... but that music can be very rewarding, if you just stick with it a little.

But you are right, taste is usually narrow for most people however they encounter content, and if it was "better" in earlier times that you had to spent time with the records you bought, it certainly is an advantage of modern times that you can explore any direction of music any time you want.

So actually, the availability of streaming is a big advantage over any previous generation. Theoretically, there are hundreds of recordings of Beethoven, Bruckner, Bartok, Schönberg, Berg in every (streaming) household nowadays, just waiting to be stumbled upon by musical explorers.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 5:31 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

So actually, the availability of streaming is a big advantage over any previous generation. Theoretically, there are hundreds of recordings of Beethoven, Bruckner, Bartok, Schönberg, Berg in every (streaming) household nowadays, just waiting to be stumbled upon by musical explorers.


Bingo, we have a bingo!

This to me is the key point about what I genuinely believe is the golden age of music listening. Because it is so easy to accidentally come upon just about anything. Most people won´t, but I bet more people will this way than any other in history.

Doesn´t solve all the problems for small labels, bringing out ever more obscure soundtracks, having a big enough customer base, etc. But I am just astonished at how much has been made available, and like you most of my grails have been released.

But where´s Goldenberg's Columbo?!

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 5:53 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)


This to me is the key point about what I genuinely believe is the golden age of music listening. Because it is so easy to accidentally come upon just about anything. Most people won´t, but I bet more people will this way than any other in history.

Doesn´t solve all the problems for small labels, bringing out ever more obscure soundtracks, having a big enough customer base, etc. But I am just astonished at how much has been made available, and like you most of my grails have been released.


Yes, and that's why I think, sooner or later, there will be some kind of reconsidering on how streaming revenue is shared and artists are paid.

There are some interesting statistics there. Most (all?) streaming services pay by play, that means the more something is played, the bigger the share of the revenue, which sounds fair at first, until it becomes clear that all the revenue is pooled. Classical music listeners tend to pay more (they usually subscribe to the higher quality offerings) and tend to listen less. Their playing habits tend to be to listen to some selected recordings and that's it, whereas many users of streaming platforms listen to music all day and play their songs over and over, while driving, jogging, partying, whatever. Nothing wrong with that from a user perspective, but its problematic when customer A pays $20.- and listens to a Bruckner Symphony in the evening (four longer tracks), and customer B pays $10.- and listens to music all day long, and $29 of that money go to the artists of customer B. That's why streaming often doesn't pay for classical music labels (and enterprising labels like Hyperion have withdrawn their catalog from streaming services... would have to check if that's still currently so).
While streaming is here to stay and offers many advantages, I think in the long run it will be to everyone's benefit if the money you pay actually goes in a reasonable proportion to the artists you hear.


But where´s Goldenberg's Columbo?!

Would be nice if there could be a way to make it lucrative enough for it to be released.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 7:00 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Yes, Hyperion releases are still only for purchase, not streaming. I just bought a couple of downloads of theirs in the last month, including William Bolcom's complete rags. Actually about the only downloads I buy anymore except the occasional Bandcamp artist I want to support.

I just don't have much hope that the revenue sharing is ever going to improve in streaming as long as everything is determined by the biggest artists and companies. I do wonder if this model is even going to be sustainable.

The Indy artists I'm aware of from my radio work say that they get their money mostly now from touring, and that's what I've seen in media reports as well. Which doesn't help small record labels and niche albums and artists.

And yet I only purchase either CDs or as I said digital albums when I can't access things through streaming. If they were on streaming I would mostly just listen that way. I haven't even bought the John Williams Vienna and Berlin albums though I still consider it. Because they sound just fine for my ears on Apple music and Spotify.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 7:58 AM   
 By:   Tom Guernsey   (Member)


The thing is that classical recordings are often subsidized by cultural arts departments, patrons, societies, etc.; also, most new classical recordings tend to be done parallel with concerts, many even are live recordings. So the classical recording itself is not necessarily making any money. Also, many new classical recordings tend to be more expensive, but classical labels such as Naxos, Deutsche Grammophon, Warner etc. tend to have a huge back catalog of recordings they can put out for whatever they wish.

As far as prices go, I think sometimes CDs, sometimes downloads are better. For example, I recently picked up Intrada's EXTREME PREJUDICE as a digital download (lossless/high-res) on Qobuz for €7.49; that's a lot less than just even shipping and handling normally costs.

I mostly listen to music from my own collection, but currently find it fantastic to explore a lot of music via streaming. I mean, I got enough sets of Beethoven Symphonies... but thanks to streaming I can listen to all the others. I recently ploughed threw various recordings of a Bach Harpsichord concerto, one of them I eventually purchased (as a digital download). I dislike the inconsistent way classical music tends to be tagged on streaming services (and I usually immediately re-tag them when buying downloads), it makes no sense and makes sometimes finding something quite tricky. My own collection is consequently tagged, so it's easy to navigate. Nevertheless, it's just amazing the wealth of music you have access to in top notch sound quality for less than 20 bucks a month.

Still, I would never want to part with my grown and curated music collection, and I still buy music, both on CD or as download, depending on what makes more sense. Also, as those are mine, I can easily transfer them to my car or to my wife's car. So I'm definitely in the "I still buy music" category myself... but I'm afraid I'm over 29.


Sure, there are plenty of live recordings (especially orchestra own labels) and I don't doubt the existence of other financial support, but I am largely talking about new releases which are still pretty modestly priced. Presto Classical currently has a sale on Naxos hi-res downloads, I'm less bothered about the hi-res but it's cheaper than regular lossless (under £4) so I've pretty much bought everything on Naxos on my wish list. Even at regular lossless price, it wouldn't be much more and lots oft these are brand new releases. Yet 7Digital, the average lossless soundtrack is well into the teens pounds.

Totally agree about tagging though, which is one of the main reasons I wouldn't enjoy streaming classical music (not to mention that I have an absolutely ridiculous amount to enjoy in my iTunes library as it is!). I always quite enjoy the re-tagging process, feeds my anally retentive side lol.

I do need to look at NAS options though... but my hard drive is backed up twice so I feel like I'm relative safe from disaster!

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 8:25 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)



Totally agree about tagging though, which is one of the main reasons I wouldn't enjoy streaming classical music (not to mention that I have an absolutely ridiculous amount to enjoy in my iTunes library as it is!). I always quite enjoy the re-tagging process, feeds my anally retentive side lol.


Yeah, I currently have Qobuz (subscribed for a whole year, that way I get huge discounts on high-res sales), before that Tidal. I mostly still listen to my own recordings (which is way sufficient and gets still new recordings... just this month I added 30 albums to it), but I currently enjoy it to discover more music and to listen to many alternative recordings of stuff I already have and have actually no intention to buy again, like Yannick Nézet-Séguin Beethoven Symphonies with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (good and interesting recording, but I have no need to buy yet another set of Beethoven symphonies when I have already quite a few classics).



I do need to look at NAS options though... but my hard drive is backed up twice so I feel like I'm relative safe from disaster!


A NAS has many advantages over a regular hard drive, not just security (you should always of course have backups). But a NAS comes with (or you can add) software like a Media Server, which then offers your music to any UPnP/DNLA capable device, such as your streamer, your smartphone, or whatever you want to listen with. Not only that, you can search your albums for composers, performers, titles, etc. (provided it's tagged correctly). :-)
Also, you can usually access your drive from anywhere; I can access my entire collection of music from anywhere with my smartphone, even though my music stays safe and secure at home.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

My bank account and disappearing shelf space clearly shows that buying music is still a thing.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 4:20 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

I just completed backing up my CDs-in-jewel-cases via EAC, which ended up being 350 or so. It took a lot of time and in so doing, highlighted how so many of these soundtracks I may only listen to a few times. I'm moving on to my older booklet cases of CDs from the 90s, but there aren't too many of those. For me, I like to listen to full albums, but thinking of getting through 350 of them is a lot. Listen to a whole album every day? Maybe.

But my preferences are based on how I engaged the music medium. Experience with vinyl and cassettes and CDs solidified the idea that listening to music in an experience. Yes I'll also listen while I drive, but I still generally listen to an album all the way through.

In contrast, if you were born during the streaming age, you have no context for engaging the music medium in a physical sense - everything is digital. Consequently your mindset around music is that it's consumable, skippable, and endless. As a result, I would guess eventually buying physical formats of music will be a dead market. Vinyl has a resurgence but that's because people who grew up with them are still alive. Once those generations are gone, nostalgia is not going to have a purveyor. You don't see anyone nostalgic for the good old days of wax cylinders and morse code...

It's the same with movies, especially during COVID - not only because movie "events" are now limited to Marvel movies, the ability to stream from your home is likely going to change the mindset of younger generations that haven't had much theater-going experience.

I do think it's sad because it turns culture into nothing more than a commodity (insert Ned Beatty's speech from NETWORK). You see it with music and movies that come out, and if you talk to people who have been in the industry for decades, they'll tell you a movie release just isn't the same as it used to be. Imagine if STAR WARS was released for the first time now... on Netflix. Would it be the cultural phenomenon it was? Probably not. It would just be another "OMG! Skywalker stan! Vader sus!" social media barrage and on to the next thing.

I don't think buying the music or not buying it changes much, it's really about how music is presented, which I think is as a disposable commodity.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 5:34 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

and enterprising labels like Hyperion have withdrawn their catalog from streaming services

I would note that Hyperion has never had digital ANYTHING outside of their own website. Though they've always been a very odd label in grand scheme of it.

 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2022 - 5:29 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

I buy most of my Hyperion albums on iTunes.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2022 - 9:53 AM   
 By:   The Shadow   (Member)

deleted

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2022 - 10:08 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

As far as there is some curiosity, whatever the era is, there have always been possibilities to make some great and totally unexpected discoveries...

I mean: digital online music can slow down a CD buying decision...but it can also fasten it.


You make good points, but I think fundamentally the way people listen to music now just doesn't promote full-album listening or even true "listening" in general. Even for me, I didn't really "listen" to music until I read Mike Mattessino's notes for the STAR WARS soundtracks, which went almost second-by-second, describing what instruments were playing and why.

A lot of people listen to music, especially film scores, mainly as background music. They're not hanging on tiny little micro-moments where an instrument changes, a chord shifts, etc.

And with the way a lot of scores are made now to be atmospheric, they don't exactly reward close listening either.

It was mentioned previously too that the suggestion algorithms don't always work or they keep you in the same bubbles.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2022 - 10:11 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

Another thing to add - after EACing pretty much my entire CD collection, not only is it a pain to do, but a surprisingly amount of new CDs had disc rot or read issues that my older discs didn't. Coupled with some releases that had very skimpy-to-no album notes at all, it started to put things into perspective for me a bit and I could see myself transitioning to digital purchases, as long as there are digital booklets.

The disc rot issue was particularly disappointing, especially when they are on CDs that are barely 4 years old, have stayed mostly unplayed in their cases, while older CDs that are 30+ years old and have been loose in CD booklets have held up just fine.

 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2022 - 11:17 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

I love CD's.
I love buying CD's.
I just think they're neat.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2022 - 2:18 AM   
 By:   AndrewH   (Member)

Yes, I buy CD's. I think with soundtracks though, that the liner notes are important in putting the music into context. e.g. the Fanderson releases.

Though it is rarer nowadays for me to buy CDs. I'm not a completist and I'm virtually at soundtrack nirvana anyway.

But, for me, there is no substitute for having the physical media of a CD. It can't be taken away and going by my oldest CDs (+30 years old), they still play beautifully.

And not everything is on streaming services.

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2022 - 7:19 AM   
 By:   johnonymous86   (Member)

Yes, I buy CD's. I think with soundtracks though, that the liner notes are important in putting the music into context. e.g. the Fanderson releases.




This is a big part of buying soundtracks for me too. I like the information about the scores, I like knowing what went into the process of recording.

I recently bought two downloads from Varese and they did not include scans of the booklets. This was disappointing. I don't anticipate doing that again except in very rare circumstances. If I'm paying for the product, the notes should be included.

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2022 - 1:38 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

There's an interesting (and related) article here by Joe Pinkster:

---
What Will Happen to My Music Library When Spotify Dies?
https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2021/07/spotify-streaming-music-library/619453/
If your entire collection is on a streaming service, good luck accessing it in 10 or 20 years.
---


Now that's something that cannot happen to my library, and I never spent much time curating collections and playlists on a streaming service, knowing that it isn't permanent. I bought two movies with DRM tied to Amazon, simply because we wanted to watch them, and I viewed the price more as a "ticket price" for home theater. And to test it and see what happens, but I would not rely on it to be there forever (or at least as long as I live).

I never bought any music tied with DRM to any app or system, simply because apps or systems change, and I want my music library to be my music library, to do with and play as I see fit.

And I deeply enjoy that I have build a personal collection of music over the years, from the first CD I ever bought in 1987 (Jerry Goldsmith: Islands in the Stream, Intrada and Miklós Rozsa conducted by Elmer Bernstein) to the latest digital download I bought (just a couple of days ago, Secret Love Letters - Lisa Batiashvili, DGG)... it's all music that is there "for a reason".

Yet if I started out listening to music, would it really make much sense buying things, instead of just adding them to your collection on your favorite streaming service.

I am very much "in favor" of buying music, browsing record stores has been a big part of my past recreational activities (though I have not done it in years). But I can see why it's fading and fewer and fewer people do this. I wonder how many people have actually started to build a collection of music within the last ten years or so?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2022 - 2:09 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Yup, that's the old argument (which I totally agree with), you have your CDs & that's it, music for life. Streaming companies can go bust, all sorts of things can happen in the digital world...& you still have your music, & the only way you're going to lose it is in a fire, as no one is pinching CDs anymore. I'm probably living a bit in the past, but I'm quite happy there.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2022 - 2:14 AM   
 By:   Hurdy Gurdy   (Member)

"Imagine no possessions...
I wonder if you can.."

(John Lennon) 1971

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2022 - 2:24 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

"Imagine no possessions...
I wonder if you can.."


I can, but it's not a pretty thought.

 
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