You Like Music? Why Aren’t You listening to More of It?
The holidays are upon us. That got me thinking about the subject of music. We are living in a golden age where more music, in more variety, forms and genres, is readily available to us. The Internet, the impact of which I have written about before, has made possible streaming music on demand. Whether you’re a background or serious listener, there is something available for everyone from Internet sources.
You can listen to any song, genre, or specific artist whenever you want. Just tap a button.
I have found that many people don’t know that there are 15,000+ streaming radio stations world-wide, featuring all sorts of music, sports, talk radio, you name it. Everything from local stations, to a 24×7 all Beatles station from London to a 24×7 all Pink Floyd station out of St. Petersburg, Russia! And they are all completely free! These fall loosely under what is called “Internet Radio”.
The easiest way to find and access these stations is by using an indexing app like TuneIn. TuneIn finds and catalogs stations world-wide, and makes them easily selectable using their app. The app is available on smart phones and tablets, and most home theater, stereo and home automation systems as a built in feature. (Lately, TuneIn has added a paid service for professional sports, and commercial-free music, but the core service is still free.)
Among the paid streaming services, the most popular seem to be Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, Apple Music, Amazon Music & Google Play. The first two have by far the largest market share. (Pandora has both a free and a paid service.) Then there are niche services like Wolfgang’s Vault, which offers live concert recordings of important artists from the 1970s, 80s, 90s and today. For those serious listeners that want CD-quality from their streaming music, there is Tidal. (This article is not an exhaustive review of all streaming services. Check out Wikipedia or the recent article at pcmag.com.)
Odds are, those of you older than millenials have collected music in the form of CDs, downloaded files on computers, and possibly vinyl records (aka LPs). Now that there is streaming, does that mean you should throw your collection out?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! You should enjoy your collection. There are very good
solutions available for storing the music from CDs or downloaded files in a central location, and then making the music easily selectable and instantly available throughout your house.
Considered a dead format just a few years ago, vinyl records have made an amazing comeback. Record pressing equipment has been pulled out of storage and put back in service. Many record pressing plants are operating 24×7, and can’t keep up with the demand. There is more new (and used) vinyl, and record playing equipment available now than at any time in the past 30+ years. It isn’t just the baby boomers buying vinyl, it’s the gen-xers and millenials, too! There seems to be many reasons, from the unique sound, to the liner notes and photos, and the shear physicality of the record jacket. My advice? Consult an audio/video professional, and enjoy more music! You’ll be glad you did.