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The Computer Audiophile

A Different Streaming Ecosystem

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I’m listening to some fantastic albums on ECM records this morning and thinking about streaming services, content availability, and remuneration etc... I think I’d subscribe to a standalone streaming service offered by ECM because the content is so good and of such high quality. Then I started thinking about the lack of integration with such a service and the fact that ECM is a record label, not a streaming company. 
 

Then it hit me, I wonder why streaming services use all you can eat models, rather than the cable TV model where a provider offers different packages. If Qobuz offered an ECM package for an added fee every month, this would be easy for everyone and perhaps enable the label to make more money from consumers willing to pay. I know this isn’t a perfect model because packaged tv includes tons of programming nobody wants and people are leaving the model left and right. But, given the size of music labels and lack of technical ability to implement a service, let alone get hardware manufacturers to integrate with each service, this model may have some positive aspects. 

 

Thoughts?


Founder of Audiophile Style

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I like and use "different packages" - things like CDs, downloads...

 

Streaming just doesn't do it for me, tho maybe if I was a kid with a phone and no collected music...


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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3 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

I like and use "different packages" - things like CDs, downloads...

 

Streaming just doesn't do it for me, tho maybe if I was a kid with a phone and no collected music...

Interesting perspective and one I know many share. 
 

For me the ability to stream releases I would’ve never discovered or taken a chance on is amazing. It’s like a dream from when I thought we’d all be in flying cars by the year 2000. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

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Perhaps the record labels should be more proactive with the streaming services providing better metadata, artist bios, alternative artwork, playlists, specials, etc. I really couldn't see paying more for what's there already and people would cry bloody murder if you suddenly took it all away. 


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Right now I wish more record labels would stop being their own worst enemies and embrace the present instead of being stuck in the past with their walled gardens.

 

I guess you can't get your 15th solid gold Lamborghini that way though...


No electron left behind...

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I have tried Tidal, Qobuz and Idagio and I always cancelled my subscriptions after a few months. The subscription that lasted the longest was a Qobuz Sublime that I cancelled after a little more than one year.

 

I do not plan to go back to internet streaming services as long as these services do not offer a means of organizing favorites in folders and sub-folders or of tagging favorites. This is, in my view, the main deficiency of internet streaming services nowadays: you get access to a huge pool of contents but there is no way to group and list the content that you plan to listen to in a meaningful way. 

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I would like to see a service offering cloud storage for purchases from various sources, to avoid having to manage my own "infrastructure" at home, and benefit from my purchases when i am not at home. This would provide the convenience of streaming for those who prefer purchasing. 

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I choose to own most of the music I like to listen to, partly because I have doubts about the viability of streaming services. I don't see how splintering services even more would improve things in that respect. 

 

But I struggle to understand why purchasing is not more widely available. 

 

Are labels hesitant for piracy issues? 

Or is it economic? 

I would be interested in understanding how the profit margins and marginal costs compare between various channels: sales of physical CDs or vinyls, downloads of albums (files), and royalties from streaming services.

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