I currently stream everything now using Roon via Qobuz.
I notice many of you use the likes of Qobuz primarily as a source just to discover and then follow up by purchasing the album elsewhere.
What are the reasons for doing this, is the quality better from downloading and owning the album?
Sometimes albums (or tracks) can disappear from the service for various reasons. If I like an album I’ve found via Qobuz and find I’m listening to it a lot then I usually download it or buy a physical copy so I’m not reliant on the service. It also means I can play the album in my car and on my portable setup.
If you have a good quality local music server I think the SQ is better.
I can also have my own meta-data system - and then use it.
And I get mobility to places where the internet connection is bad (a Roon-server requires access to its servers or it will stop working after a while). But this more of a Roon-issue when I think about it!!
In these days I can keep my music even if a small record company goes under and takes their library with them (i.e. disappear from your streaming service). Mostly a thing only if you like some special music.
I usually buy CD:s and rip which also makes for super easy backup (recycle the jewel case and store the CD:s in paper sleeves in some box).
Some of my music I don’t ever want to be without or unable to play when I want to. My own collection is available all the time, in perpetuity, and is immune to dropouts, internet interruptions, subscription failure, changes in catalogues, online provider going out of business etc.
As for sound quality, my own store can have the best available copy and can’t be adversely affected through its convoluted passage in real time across the internet.
Add to that a personal aversion to subscriptions and preference to own not rent.
I haven’t bought a CD in years and I gave up ripping my collection when half way through. I do have enough ripped to get by with for quite a while if say the local internet/ISP went down or I had a network failure. If the outage went on longer than that then I would have bigger things to worry about.
In my system with my ears, my ripped files sound exactly the same as the same music streamed from Tidal - Tidal Masters sounds a little better, so I rarely play from my ripped collection. I do use Roon but if I am away from home I just stream directly from Tidal - even works on the beach most places.
I always choose to own my music as downloads.
I have slowish and occasionally unreliable internet, also in the long term I want to be sure I have access to my files whatever happens to various streaming providers and their databases, pricing, licensing etc.
I would use the analogy of films. In the past you could go into a high street store or an online store and browse basically every film release to rent or buy on disc. Then we had postal services like Lovefilm from whom you could pick movies to watch but as time went by they lost their licensing for various releases (and presumably their business model too). Now if you want to have access to the entire new and old movie database you need several different streaming subscriptions and are dependent entirely on the speed and stability of your internet provider and the ongoing viability of the streaming company, plus you are at the mercy of their pricing in future.
I will always own my music as long as that option exists!
If I find something I like I either buy a his-res file directly from the artist, or a CD and rip to my Core. Two reasons, it’s the best sound quality, and the artist gets the best renumeration for their work.
I have a two play rule: If I stream something more than twice then I obviously like it, so I buy it to better support the artist.
Preferably from Bandcamp or the artist’s own site if possible.
When Qobuz was down last weekend on the Naim, app, i reverted to my Core. Would have been lost without it and Spotify sounds awful on my system.
Exactly the same thoughts but I also listen to a lot of Radio 3 for material I don’t know
I also am happier that the artist is getting paid slightly more for his/her/ their work
I am sure with me it’s about collecting and ownership, which I think is something small boys never grow out of. My two sons in their early 20’s think I am nuts with the CDs arriving in the post. Like others I have convinced myself that a CD ripped in my Core sounds better than files streamed from a remote server. Plus I feel good that I “own” digital files sitting on a hard drive in my house. Nuts really.
The majority of music I listen to recently has been from Qobuz with their HiRes files and I have found it to be sounding fabulous.
I was on a roll for the longest time purchasing CD’s but have slowed down recently for a couple of reasons.
One is the pricing on Amazon where I was doing a lot of purchases was moving steadily up. I attributed this to wanting people to move to their music streaming service vs buying hard copies. Not sure if that is valid but the timing of the change seemed more than coincidental to me.
Two was the pandemic and unsure of long term financial impact as I prepare for retirement. The financial market taking a nose dive, my wife retiring at the end of this month and myself in the not to distant future has me watching my spending.
With that said I do have about 2000 CD’s on my NAS and hard copies in boxes and sitting on shelves to entertain myself if internet streaming gets interrupted.
The last point is I still feel a commitment to support the artist and buying a new hard copy provides them with a royalty. There really is no free music, someone works to create it and they should receive their piece of the pie.
I stream music pretty much daily but also buy vinyl regularly and do download purchased material either where it’s not available streamed or in a preferable format/resolution.
I buy CD’s less, especially new ones but always like siffting through charity shop boxes for some gems usually costing very little.
I’d consider myself a collector but not an obsessive/completist and enjoy vinyl as a format and supporting artists as such.
It is a common misconception that if you buy the physical media you somehow “own” the content. You actually just have a license to play the music in private. That’s where copyright comes in.
I expect that’s certainly the case for the majority, the main benefit is you aren’t dependant on a 3rd party like a streaming provider, web hosting company or your Internet provider.
If any of those things change or are in anyway unavailable, you can still access your own physical copy of material and choose the means of playback.
The fact you’ve physically purchased a copy should hopefully also ensure the recording artist sees a percentage of the sale revenue, reselling and used copies is an exception but a lot of what I purchase, certainly where vinyl is concerned is new and either direct from the artist or their distributor.
Maybe the better word is that I ‘control’ my collection if it is downloaded and stored on my equipment, rather than stream only.
I’d hope the business model for streaming services will evolve in the future. The current prepay “all you can eat” model rarely translates to sustained consumer value.
The same is playing out in the Video On Demand market where Broadcaster VOD and Advertising funded VOD are increasingly complimenting the flat rate premium offerings.
You’ll likely get to a point where business models like Patreon or Bandcamp become increasingly relevant as you improve the interpretation of behavioural data and increase the granularity of experience between consumer and artist/publisher.
Indeed, however what is significant is that you own a physical (or “electronic” copy of the recording with the lifetime right to play it whenever you want. (But not as a public broadcast etc.)
Interesting use of the word “lifetime” there. As we all know the copyright runs out at some point. For sheet music I think it is the authors life plus 70 years, but considerably shorter for sound recordings released to the public.