I’ve had a pretty standard fare local music library for years now. I was one of those Napster and IRC types, back-in-the-day. When iTunes finally made accessing new music cheap and easy (along with the amazing iPod), I jumped on board. I still had local music, so nothing had changed. That is until the advent of music streaming.
Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify and the granddaddy: Pandora. They all splashed down and completely disrupted the market. Not only could you listen to music whenever, but you had access to libraries far beyond compare. Want to listen to that brand new pop album? Done. Maybe a guilty pleasure when you’re on the way home? Sure!
Long gone are the days of having to store gigabytes of music on storage. Having to meticulously organize, tag and find album art is a thing of the past. I know I’m dating myself with this one, but no more having to make mix discs and shuffle them in and out of your CD player. For someone who was consistently years behind the curve in music, this was amazing!
It’s not all been great, though. Exclusives are still stupid. Libraries are often missing rare B-sides or licensing issues complicate adding music to a particular service. Even quite recently, there has been a lot of reasonable debate about how much the whole industry treats and pays artists for their work that is being featured on these platforms. Plus, there are privacy, access and quality arguments to be made. No good thing is purely good.
Lately, though, I’ve not been enjoying the local music I have. I mean, I like the music, but I don’t seek it out. I often find myself on Amazon Prime Music (though, I wish it were Apple Music) pawing through 80’s, 90’s and the occasional contemporary music. I find all sorts of new stuff and rediscover old stuff from my childhood. I love having immediate access to nearly unlimited collections of music. Even if I’m skipping my way around playlists and albums.
I spent so much time and energy curating a local collection of music that I was somewhat blind to the fact that I was, by and large, spending needless hours doing so.
I, for one, welcome our new music service overlords.