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A retrospective on a year without streaming music // Cory Dransfeldt

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the author's experience of not using streaming music services for a year and the insights they gained during that time. It covers the negative impact of streaming on artists, the author's approach to music discovery and curation, and their evaluation of various self-hosted music solutions.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The author's perspective on streaming music

1. What are the author's views on the impact of streaming music on artists?

  • The author believes that streaming music is bad for artists, as it has "mortally wounded a whole tier of artists" and made being an artist unsustainable, except for the biggest stars like Drake.
  • The author argues that the terrible payouts from streaming services have made it nearly impossible for many artists to make a living, and that recorded music has become a loss-leader for tours, which are also grueling.

2. How does the author compare the current state of music to the era of physical media and downloads?

  • The author suggests that artists were better off when people were buying individual MP3s or using physical media like iPods, as this allowed them to make a living more easily compared to the current streaming landscape.

[02] The author's music curation and discovery approach

1. How does the author curate and discover new music?

  • The author tracks new album releases using tools like MusicHarbor, RateYourMusic, and RSS feeds, and adds albums they care about to a personal calendar.
  • The author gets music recommendations from friends,, and RateYourMusic, and purchases music from Bandcamp, 7digital, and other retailers.
  • The author also collects vinyl and has a large collection of band t-shirts.

2. What self-hosted music solutions has the author explored?

  • The author has tried various self-hosted music solutions, including Astiga, Doppler, Emby, iBroadcast, Jellyfin, Plex/Plexamp, Roon, VLC, and Vox Music Cloud.
  • The author has settled on using Plex/Plexamp as their preferred solution, as it provides a good balance of features and flexibility.

3. What benefits has the author found in their approach to music curation and discovery?

  • The author no longer misses playlists, has kept up with artists they care about, and has discovered new music along the way.
  • The author is able to remember what's in their collection and choose music that suits their mood.
  • The author is able to pay artists directly where possible, though they wish they could do more.
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