Maintaining a Digital Music Collection

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There's been some talk about digital music collections in the past on threads like The Data Migration Thread , but I wanted to start a new thread! dedicated solely to those of us who are actively building up (legally acquired) digital music collections. I'm not talking about buying a CD or LP and then digitizing it, but buying music natively in mp3, FLAC, or some other format. The majority of posters on ILM seem to prefer their music on LPs and CDs, and I definitely see the appeal in doing that--up until very recently, I had to have everything in CD-- but I think there might be a few others who, like me, are starting to purchase most of their music digitally.

Recently, I've decided to go (mostly) digital. The first step in this process has been culling my CD collection. I sold off a chunk of the collection in two batches, and I'm getting ready to sell off a third. My goal is to eventually have as few physical CDs as possible, and I want all of my digital music to sit on two hard drives. Most of the new music I buy is from Amazon mp3, although I'm currently searching for some good online stores that sell everything in FLAC.

I'm doing this for several reasons:

(1) I'm 22, so I'm of the generation that sees CDs as nothing more than a storage medium. I buy a CD, rip it into iTunes, and place it on my CD shelves, where it sits forever.
(2) I have a lot of books, and I'm not a fan of eBook readers, so I plan on acquiring many more books than I already own, and I don't want to maintain two physical media collections.
(3) I need less shit in my life in general.
(4) There's a lot of stuff that's difficult for me to easily acquire where I live, and I've been able to find some stuff that I've had a lot of difficulty tracking down in brick-and-mortar stores on Amazon mp3 and iTunes.
(5) A lot of artists are starting to do the whole LP + mp3/FLAC thing, and I have no desire to start collecting LPs. I think that soon enough more and more artists will start going this route as CDs sales continue to tank.

Is anyone else actively maintaining a digital record collection or planning on doing so? Where are you buying from? How are you storing and organizing everything?

As I said, I'm sure that the audience for this thread on this board is relatively small, but I'm hoping there might be at least a few others out there who are going this route, and perhaps we can get a discussion going.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Saturday, 22 August 2009 23:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

i can't even fathom doing what you're doing. seems no stretch of my imagination no matter how great will alow me to even consider the possibility paying for an mp3. sorry!

samosa gibreel, Saturday, 22 August 2009 23:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

Keep all your favorite/best CDs, or yer gonna feel like a chump when that hard drive explodes

Whiney G. Weingarten, Saturday, 22 August 2009 23:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

Much more convenient for housebreakers too, like being able to carry away a whole collection in a binder.

I am using your worlds, Saturday, 22 August 2009 23:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm more interested in how people are organizing large digital collections. Do you just chuck it all in one folder or do you take the time to set things up in an artist/album way? Do you keep multiple CDs as multiple folders or just combine it all? Do you get rid of duplicates or is that too much work? Etc.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 23 August 2009 00:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

I trust that when you say "two hard drives" you mean one to back up the other. Wouldn't be the dumbest thing to, from time to time, dump everything to a third that you send offsite--back to your parents' house, for example. I'd also make sure you were getting everything at the highest quality possible. What seems good now, won't. And storage will someday be irrelevant.

I just use iTunes, so that takes care of the folders and files. Two external drives (one good quality for constant use, the other, cheaper, to backup the first once a week). I do try to eliminate duplicates, but that can be a lot of work. And also to maintain consistency of names and genres. There are certainly times I feel more like a database manager than a music listener.

But I still can't see getting rid of the originals. Risky. Maybe putting them in deeper storage?

Michael Train, Sunday, 23 August 2009 00:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm more interested in how people are organizing large digital collections.

I don't have an enormous digital collection, only about 4000 songs. I organize it in a pretty standard way, I think. A folder for each artist, and then within that, folders for each album, using the format of:

year - album name

Adding the year onto the front can be a hassle if you didn't do it from the start, but once everything uses that format it's convenient because it arranges everything chronologically under each artist.

I also make sure that I have album art for each album, which has come in handy recently with my new iPhone acquisition, since you can flip through your collection by scrolling through album covers.

ZS69 (Z S), Sunday, 23 August 2009 00:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

My concern with acquiring material digitally is bad rips - I'm paranoid about downloading something from Amazon and hearing digital noise. I've heard reports of this a number of times; I'd rather make my own rips and have the quality under my own control.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 23 August 2009 01:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

Z S, do you still buy many physical releases?

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Sunday, 23 August 2009 01:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm more interested in how people are organizing large digital collections. Do you just chuck it all in one folder or do you take the time to set things up in an artist/album way? Do you keep multiple CDs as multiple folders or just combine it all? Do you get rid of duplicates or is that too much work? Etc.

― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, August 22, 2009 7:03 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark

For right now my shit's all over the place, but I'm starting to work out in my head how I'm going to manage this . . .

I'm considering starting off by organizing by the SOURCE of the mp3. So, if I download something from Amazon, it will go into an Amazon/[artist name] folder. Then I'll copy everything into iTunes and have it copy everything into its own directory structure and sort everything for me.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Sunday, 23 August 2009 01:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

Keep all your favorite/best CDs, or yer gonna feel like a chump when that hard drive explodes

― Whiney G. Weingarten, Saturday, August 22, 2009 6:39 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark

^ This is the plan, Whiney.

Honestly, though, I usually listen to records I love 30-40 times and then I can barely, if ever, listen to them again. Wilco's a ghost is born is my favorite record of the decade, and I've barely listened to it since 2005. By then, my brain's had enough of the record for a lifetime.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Sunday, 23 August 2009 01:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

I buy records with pretty much all of my spare money, which isn't much, admittedly. I download everything else.

ZS69 (Z S), Sunday, 23 August 2009 01:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have about 45 DVDs on a spindle, each of which holds about 4.5 GB of MP3s (AACs, actually). I have a desktop iMac with a 250GB hard drive which has about 50GB or so of music on it, and I'm planning to burn all that to DVD pretty soon. I've also got a laptop (on which I'm typing this post) with a similar-sized hard drive, and that one's got about 25GB of music on it at present (because that's the one I import all my promo CDs to, and download digital promos to). I'm gonna burn that stuff to DVD soon as well. How many individual albums does all this add up to? Several thousand, easy.

unperson, Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

my brain's had enough of the record for a lifetime.

Yeah, I feel the same about that Wilco album. Mind you, I've never heard it.

Dom J. Palladino (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

stop ripping. bind your cds its totally hot

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

unperson: Do you still buy/collect any physical albums or are you mostly digital?

kshighway, Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

Album art is always nice to have, in any form. To me, just collecting mp3s seems really sterile and doesn't have any connection to the process of collecting music. A lot of my best memories of music are of buying it at my favorite local store, or studying the lyrics. My thought process when I think about an album immediately begins with the album cover.

I guess there's nothing wrong with collecting music the way you are, and god knows, just about everyone your age was raised under the same circumstances. I personally never want to stop "collecting" music outside of the mp3 format, although I do realize there will come a day (in the not too distant future) that cars won't even come with CD players.

slagterm, Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

and all your meals will come in tablet form.

Someone left the cape out in the rain (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

Do you still buy/collect any physical albums or are you mostly digital?

I don't keep many individual album CDs around anymore - one tower's worth, which is about 400 or so, plus another couple of hundred slimcase promos and things in weirdly shaped digipaks which I keep in a cabinet. Mostly what I keep is boxed sets, especially archival ones like the Anthony Braxton Mosaic box from last year, or the Miles Davis Complete Plugged Nickel Sessions set.

unperson, Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

stop ripping. bind your cds its totally hot

Yes, great idea. This works best if you put similar genres adjacent to each other (e.g., all your M0unt41n G04ts CDs next to your Bright Eyes, Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday). That way once J0hn D. gets you feeling all emo and sad, it's only a single binder page-flip to your Chris Carrabba stuff! Woo!

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

god the saddoes eager to show they've heard of me are out in force tonite eh

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

lool

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

:'(

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

eager to show they've heard of me

Seriously though -- considering I've been on ILM three years, that was hardly the point.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

dude it's all love I was just rezingin please unsad that face

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

How good a sound quality/how great a breadth would an on-demand music service have to be in order to consider doing away with having a digital collection at all?

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 23 August 2009 04:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

I can't really hear the difference between a well encoded mp3 and a FLAC, even though I've had the opportunity to use some pretty heavy audiophile equipment in the past...tin ears, I guess. so as long as it's 200+ kbps I'm fine, which both Amazon and iTunes do now.

what are you gonna do when iTunes moves to this rumored 'Cocktail' format?

my biggest problem with a digital collection is all the metadata. do you add the lyrics? when do you feel the need to add a composer? what if you can't find a decent scan of the album art bigger than 150x150 pixels? etc.

tony dayo (dyao), Sunday, 23 August 2009 06:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

We've got about 80gb of music on this iMac, which runs three iPods - an 80gb classic that sits on the Zeppelin, my 1gb shuffle, and Em's iPhone. It's not backed up anywhere at the moment, because we've only just migrated to this machine in the last week. We've got an external HD that'll take it all. The vast majority of it is backed up next door on a couple of thousand CDs though, and most of our listening is probably still off CDs. I've bought a few dozen songs from iTunes, mainly b-sides, odd old singles, and things that I'd not want a whole album or compilation of. I guess those are the only ones that really NEED backing up. Everything's just organised via iTunes; I'm pretty anal about covers & tags & things. I don't think we'd ever go totally digital; just yesterday I bought The XX album on CD. I love CDs too much. But then I'm 30.

Sickamous (Scik Mouthy), Sunday, 23 August 2009 07:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

for all you guys backing up to CD/DVD, be careful: Up To 10% of CD-Rs Fail Within a Few Years

tony dayo (dyao), Sunday, 23 August 2009 07:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

I've got pretty much my entire music collection in digital form on a 500gb hard drive (with another one as backup) for iPod purposes - however I only really buy singles digitally rather than whole albums. This is partly because I like the physical object and partly 'cos the CDs I do still buy are mostly very cheap secondhand/bargain bin ones so it's cheaper just to rip from the disc. That said, I've got rid of/have boxed up to get rid of 350+ CDs this year, basically things I've gone off. I moved earlier this year and I've got slightly less room in the new house which certainly spurred me on and I'll be honest, it feels really good paring things down (I still have loads left though!).
The main reason for me buying CDs over vinyl was portability - I've always done a large portion of my listening on the move and I had a CD walkman up until a few years back. However I've started replacing some CDs with vinyl for home listening and I intend to buy more nof my new music in vinyl form (really grateful to those labels who include a download coupon with the record). I could never see myself only having a digital collection and nothing else - I'm sure I'll hang on to lots of my remaining CDs for as long as they can be played.

Gavin in Leeds, Sunday, 23 August 2009 09:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

(really grateful to those labels who include a download coupon with the record)

Seconding this.

I think I'm at 8 or 9TB of digital files now split evenly between audio and video and I'm probably going to go to some sort of desktop RAID 5 set up once the next generation of 2+TB drives become common. I'm more concerned with having a decent file system that can handle all that and a metafile indexer/cataloger that won't collapse when I hit it with that size of data.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 23 August 2009 22:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

Even if i was goin digital, I think I would throw all my CDs in storage or somethin

Whiney G. Weingarten, Sunday, 23 August 2009 22:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

I mean, amassing a bunch of files isn't really "collecting" anything anymore is it? It;s like saying you collect pokemon

Whiney G. Weingarten, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

For those who are on PC, Mediamonkey is the only place to go.

J4mi3 H4rl3y (Snowballing), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

"I mean, amassing a bunch of files isn't really "collecting" anything anymore is it? It;s like saying you collect pokemon"

If you have a file that isn't readily replaceable/accessible (like say something dubbed off a rare public access TV performance that only you have a VHS copy of), then it takes on more of the properties of something tangible/loseable like pokemon cards, but my thinking is that music services will increasingly make obsolete any need to keep a file or file backup at all.

For example, netflix users wouldn't bother to "collect" movies they've seen on netflix, at least not with any great frequency. (though there's supposedly some pirate group that prides itself on having backed up the entire netflix catalog)

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

i don't really consider my digital music a "collection" per se, it's just me tunes

i could (and will) quite happily be all-digital in the future. i'll probably hang on to most of my cds, boxed up and stored away, more than anything else because it's not worth the time or effort trying to sell them.

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

my digital vs hard copy purchase ratio is about 9 to 1 at the moment. i think i've bought less than 50 cds this year.

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

well but this is what begs the really interesting generational divide question. what is your collection? a series of hard-evidence signifiers about experiences you've had & can have again at will, tangible evidence of those experiences - or is your real collection the experiences themselves, and the physical collection something of an old-fashioned proof that will no longer be necessary in the future/present? nb I am from the previous gen so for me I gotta have some physical token to feel like I "own" something. but I don't think that's the only way to conceive of "ownership," and I suspect that different conceptions - no less valid - will replace/have replaced "our" conception. it's like: I don't save ticket stubs or collect/trade shows, but I do have a collection of live music experiences - that collection is the experiences themselves. digital collections are considerably more tangible than those, right?

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

xpost w/philip btw

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Honestly, though, I usually listen to records I love 30-40 times and then I can barely, if ever, listen to them again."

I cannot for the life of me fathom feeling this way about "records I love".

Alex in SF, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

At age 45, my big paradigm shift was when the artwork and liner notes shrank from 12" to 5", so I find myself strangely blasé (perfectly happy, actually) about the shift from 5" disc to digital file.

Hugh Manatee (WmC), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

Pardon my grammar. I'm 45, not my paradigm shift.

Hugh Manatee (WmC), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

w/r/t generational divide, I don't believe the next generation will be so alien as to maintain a digital collection against an endless buffet that makes that collection obsolete when making personal top-ten lists does all the signifying one needs (and is an activity well-enjoyed cross-generationally)

so maybe this kind of digital album collecting as if they were physical albums will be a weird hiccup peculiar to just this moment in time.

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

i can appreciate good artwork as much as the next dude but i've pretty much always listened to music the same way - compiled the best songs into whatever format i was working with at the time (tape, cdr, playlist) and listen to that, completely separate from the original artifacts. so artwork is really something i only ever looked at if i wanted to know who the producer was or something. frankly some records i appreciate more for not having the shitty artwork.

internetkonnektivität (electricsound), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

i have a car and that is mostly why i buy cds

winston, Monday, 24 August 2009 04:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Honestly, though, I usually listen to records I love 30-40 times and then I can barely, if ever, listen to them again. Wilco's a ghost is born is my favorite record of the decade, and I've barely listened to it since 2005. By then, my brain's had enough of the record for a lifetime.

How old are you? I found that after about 10 years, I bought a lot of albums I previously weeded out by favorite groups. Now that I'm digitizing my collection, it's not as big a deal. I'm still keeping 60% of my CDs. I'm ripping in FLAC with dbpoweramp, correct some tagging and make playlists with Mediamonkey, and listen in three rooms with Squeezebox. I will be able to fit everything on my 6TB NAS server with room to spare, and have everything backed up twice, one on extra drives at home, another at work. It's nice to be able to have access to everything at work.

I think it's crucial to use lossless files. You can easily convert them to another format with a batch converter without losing anything. Buying CDs is still the cheapest option, because you can get deals on them new and used for under $10 each. $1 to $2 a song for FLAC is just not an option. The CDs you don't want to keep, you can sell, and end up spending only $2 to $5 on the music.

I'm listening to more of my music more often now that I can play it simultaneously in multiple rooms. Living with someone else the past couple years, I had stopped listening later at night because she goes to sleep earlier. Now I can put on some closed headphones and have access to the whole collection from bed on the Duet remote.

Fastnbulbous, Monday, 24 August 2009 13:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

i mean, one of the biggest obstacles for me re: digital is that iTunes keeps changing how it organizes things.

Like for a while it was just artist/song/album and then with a recent update you can put files in one pile while labeling it another with "sort by." Also my iphone used to recognize "sort by" so I'd sort all my compilations by "#" so the errant comp tracks just show up at the end. The new iPhone update no longer recognizes "sort by" and my iphone tracks are now a shitty jumble again.

Who knows what iTunes will change to? Or even if we'll be using itunes in 10 years?

patti lmaonnaise (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 24 August 2009 13:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

where we're going, we don't need iTunes

tony dayo (dyao), Monday, 24 August 2009 13:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

iTunes is just a ID3 tag editor isn't it (at least for mp3 files) and it's such an 800 pound gorilla that I'm sure whatever player we'll be using in the future, Mp3-O-Matic 5000 or whatever, will definitely be "iTunes compatible"

the Album Artist field is such a life saver w/r/t rap albums...and Sort By is great for those who catalog by last name, among others

tony dayo (dyao), Monday, 24 August 2009 13:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

but completely useless for people that use iphones

patti lmaonnaise (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 24 August 2009 13:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

I seriously need to get over my fear of ditching file hierarchies. Sure, it'd mean fresh backups of everything but after that, file management would be entirely through the player. There also seems to be an increase in albums that span more than one genre, which makes organizing and searching with Explorer much more difficult.

doug watson, Tuesday, 3 April 2018 18:54 (one month ago) Permalink

It made sense when you were sharing more music, you could just drop the folders on a disc/drive and everything was all neat and tidy for them. Rendered moot with streaming.

Jeff, Tuesday, 3 April 2018 18:56 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's a good point. Folders were beneficial for file sharing. But having not done that in over a decade, it's a much lesser argument for me.

There's also a 128GB card which is just a single huge folder full of albums from any genre at all which fulfill the qualification of being instrumental.

This. I never thought I'd use the "instrumental" tag but it's become one of my largest folders. It's, uh, slightly more descriptive than Miscellany.

doug watson, Tuesday, 3 April 2018 19:00 (one month ago) Permalink

The way I’ve done it for the past ten years or so: to make backups a bit easier I create a new folder each year, and throughout the year dump all downloaded albums & single tracks in there, add to iTunes (used to be other players but I’ve gone back) and fix tags in there if needed.

Plex (my self-streaming/family-sharing service) is smart enough to pick up any added new music automatically. Workload is pretty minimal this way, no need to rename folder/file names.

Siegbran, Tuesday, 3 April 2018 19:10 (one month ago) Permalink

Xpost I just find that a genre-blind directory of instrumental music sorted by album title is the scenario that actually leads to me jumping around between radically different musical cosmoi. I do have a genre-blind favorite albums folder (lots of which are vocal obv) but there, I tend to cue up my next choice from the same tradition as the thing I’m already listening to.

when worlds collide I'll see you again (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 3 April 2018 19:15 (one month ago) Permalink

I haven't previewed a streaming service that i've enjoyed. Picking a couple tracks and letting the algorithm choose the next tracks usually results in something that sounds very "same-y" in they lack sufficient variability in genre/tempo/era (or whatever their secret sauce spits out). Making a mix is far more efficient when sitting at my computer with my 4TB stax. In my vehicle, i can easily carry 500GB of music on microSD that fits into a wallet no larger than a stack 3 or 4 credit cards.

Another factor i have yet to see mentioned is that even if the streaming service could produce an interesting mix of "unknown" music, when i'm out and about, the last thing i want to do is keep checking my device to see what's playing. I mean, i'm busy doing shit, man; i hate being that plugged in where i have to check the device, a watch, some holographic retinal projector every few minutes (or worse).

Getting to be an old fart, but i have a growing disdain for people continuously checking their devices. I work in a time-critical field and nothing's so important that it can't wait for a convenient pause in my main activities to check notifications.

bodacious ignoramus, Friday, 6 April 2018 01:02 (one month ago) Permalink

so you want a streaming service that gives you 'different-y' songs, but not so different-y that you'd have to look at your player to see what they are

congrats, you have the first-world-est problem i've ever heard of

mookieproof, Friday, 6 April 2018 01:31 (one month ago) Permalink

i mean, if you're so busy doing time-critical shit, man, those sounds are only gonna distract you

good luck

mookieproof, Friday, 6 April 2018 01:34 (one month ago) Permalink

To be fair, with Spotify once you've been using it a while, it gets very good at coming up with new stuff that suits your taste: I assume it needs a decent-size sample of your listening habits to get this good, though. previewing it a bit probably wouldn't cut it.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Friday, 6 April 2018 05:47 (one month ago) Permalink

Mookie -- I don't have a problem; i listen to music just fine -- the streaming services simply don't yet offer an option i find suitable for my listening style and tastes. I didn't say i was so busy doing time-critical shit to listen to music via streaming, i was trying to make the point (and a secondary one at that) that i don't favor the position of always being "plugged-in". My profession requires i always be available within a reasonable time-frame and that's plenty connected for me. When i'm mobile, i use the time listening to things i haven't yet, doing audio "homework" like sifting through large swath's of individual careers, or just getting down with stuff i like. I've discovered little new material on streaming services -- i do read a ton of blogs, still, i doubt my lifetime will ever see an AI superior to the experience of listening to a knowledgeable DJ dolling out their craft.

I use a product called MuvAudio that makes my entire stax available to any wi-fi device around the house (or anywhere else i'd care to pay the extra data fees for) to listen to my collection in the resolution and format i've stored it in. If it strikes me to run chronologically through the early works of Luis Bonfa, i can set that up on microSD in about 3 minutes and take that 5+ hours of discography on-the-go.

Mince -- I'm sure the services may improve song choices with a larger data set, i just don't know if i have it in me to put the time into the process -- it requires sufficient effort now keeping "new" material updated and properly tagged as it is. Maybe if a service could look at my entire stax and make some suggestions it would be more rewarding because the stuff i like most is not necessarily the stuff i listen to most; follow?

bodacious ignoramus, Saturday, 7 April 2018 09:03 (one month ago) Permalink

Another factor i have yet to see mentioned is that even if the streaming service could produce an interesting mix of "unknown" music, when i'm out and about, the last thing i want to do is keep checking my device to see what's playing. I mean, i'm busy doing shit, man; i hate being that plugged in where i have to check the device, a watch, some holographic retinal projector every few minutes (or worse).

― bodacious ignoramus, Thursday, April 5, 2018 9:02 PM (two days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I relate to this. I don't stream music, but I do listen to the local jazz / classical station when I'm driving around running errands. I consider myself a very cautious driver (only one fender bender in 12+ years) but have narrowly avoided a disturbing number of potential accidents since I started using Shazam a year or two ago. Once upon a time if I heard a song on the radio I liked that I didn't recognize I would have to note the time on the clock, and go find the station's online playlist later in the day to find out what it was. I may go back to doing that.

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 7 April 2018 12:08 (one month ago) Permalink

Amen, brother paul

bodacious ignoramus, Saturday, 7 April 2018 18:29 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

So it looks like Google are going to pull the plug on Google Play Music or at least merge it with 'YouTube Remix'.

I have 15k + of my own tracks uploaded to GPM so this is potentially a complete ball ache. It was inevitable I suppose given their track record of pulling products.

Now considering a Dropbox + Cloud Player combo. Will have to shell out £7.99 a month for DB though.

millmeister, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 20:41 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I always wondered how they’d ever make money off Google Play Music and it seems they never figured that out either. I’ll predict Amazon is going to be next to pull the plug on uploads, Apple will not be far away.

It’s going to be either self-streaming (Plex ahead of the pack there I’d say) or the Spotify model.

Siegbran, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 22:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i remain v. pleased with subsonic

mookieproof, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 23:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

wtf i pay for google play music

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Wednesday, 25 April 2018 23:39 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i'm just going to carry a portable radio from now on

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Wednesday, 25 April 2018 23:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Yet another reason to keep your own shit; fuck 'em all.

bodacious ignoramus, Thursday, 26 April 2018 00:15 (three weeks ago) Permalink

^^^

sleeve, Thursday, 26 April 2018 00:27 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Every time I think I might trust a streaming service or a third party server (like Google Play et al), mitigating factors rear their ugly heads. Apple Music's integration with uploads was a world class shitshow (and I think that they actually wanted to please those of us who don't trust a third party.) For collectors, there's virtually no reason to expect labels and lawyers to be able to find a global copyright agreement in hopes that someday EVERYTHING will be online and hosted by someone other than me.

I've tried everything in this thread (and more) and honestly if I'm streaming my own stuff, Plex is the best solution.

Joe Gargan (dandydonweiner), Thursday, 26 April 2018 01:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I’ll predict Amazon is going to be next to pull the plug on uploads

They announced that a few months ago -- they're not allowing subscription renewals anymore and once your subscription is up your uploads are gone.

Fingers crossed that Google maintains the upload service but I'm not optimistic. I've got 30,000+ uploaded and it's been amazing having access to that wherever I am, especially with its integration with Sonos and Chromecast Audio.

Yet another reason to keep your own shit; fuck 'em all.

Pretty much agree but that's what Google Play Music has been for me -- my own shit, but backed up on their servers. I don't pay for their streaming service. I'll probably end up subscribing to one though if uploads go away. Did Apple ever sort out their issues? I don't really hear about them anymore but maybe that's just because everyone gave up on integrating their libraries?

early rejecter, Thursday, 26 April 2018 03:15 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Why stream at all when there are inexpensive players with great soind and dual micro-SD slots and 400gb microSD are not too expensive and 512gb are around the corner? Then you don't have to rely on data service/connections, you can use Android music applications that can readily deal with large collections (I'm somewhere upwards of 80k tracks ripped from my CDs, with great results using GoneMAD player), you don't have to pay a subscription to access your own music, and it can't go "poof" (assuming you back up on other physical media). It's honestly the golden age for digitizing ones own collection, but even real music lovers are cashing it in for the illusory "cloud" scam...

Soundslike, Thursday, 26 April 2018 04:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

That’s doable for most ppl yes, if you have a <250 GB library, mine’s around 1.5 TB (200k tracks) so the all-on-my-phone dream is still 6-7 years away.

Siegbran, Thursday, 26 April 2018 05:48 (three weeks ago) Permalink

man if i find something i like on youtube i download that shit.

streaming services to me seem mostly useful for people who don't care what they're listening to. that's not a diss. from a listener's standpoint, i'm not sure there's a huge advantage, in the long term, of having a strong attachment to particular songs or albums. streaming services are probably pretty good for discovering things you might not have heard, which is something i spend a lot of time and effort doing.

my library won't fit on my phone but i do carry a laptop around with me most places, and that will fit my library.

ziggy the ginhead (rushomancy), Thursday, 26 April 2018 10:35 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I guess for folks who insist on FLAC for every album, 2x 400gb (or 2x 512gb) isn't sufficient space. But 800gb holds almost 8,000 records at mp3 VBR V-0...

Soundslike, Thursday, 26 April 2018 11:49 (three weeks ago) Permalink

My entire music collection is mp3 VBR V-0 and it's still 1.5TB+ and growing. Like Siegbran I'm holding out for some sort of all-in-one-place dream solution.

I'm Finn thanks, don't mention it (fionnland), Thursday, 26 April 2018 11:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I insist on lossless wherever possible, so that makes the dream of a SD chip with my collection (2TB) kind of far off.

I download shit on YouTube too; people post rarities that inevitably disappear.

I don't trust Apple to manage my collection at all, given the debacle in the beginning when Apple Music launched, and then the abortion that is iTunes makes me even more leery. And with Apple absolutely trending towards the streaming model, it's inevitable that they will screw me over and make me do workarounds in the coming years. The good news is that it's dirt cheap to stream your own stuff via Plex, hassle though it might be.

Joe Gargan (dandydonweiner), Thursday, 26 April 2018 12:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i have never used Plex for music but the other day i was in another country, tried streaming movies via Plex to my phone and it... worked?? i literally never set anything up specifically to make this happen, it just did it seamlessly. i was pretty impressed.

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 26 April 2018 12:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Yup, I might give Plex a go. As far as I can see, if you want Chromecast support and the ability to listen to music offline, a premium subscription is required. If it means taking back some control and hosting my own library, it might just be worth it.

millmeister, Thursday, 26 April 2018 13:19 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I use the free version of Plex to stream to Chromecasts around my house, and it works well, even using an antiquated 2008 Mac as my server. But I don't stream outside my own LAN, so my use of Plex may be different from what most people want to do with it.

Brad C., Thursday, 26 April 2018 13:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

server requirements for something like Plex (ESPECIALLY to serve music files, which tend to be small and have lower bandwidth requirements) are very minimal and old machines can easily handle it...of course the problem with old machines is not their hardware specs to actually serve streaming, but their operating system requirements to run Plex or similar.

Joe Gargan (dandydonweiner), Thursday, 26 April 2018 13:48 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I guess for folks who insist on FLAC for every album, 2x 400gb (or 2x 512gb) isn't sufficient space. But 800gb holds almost 8,000 records at mp3 VBR V-0

personally I'm very grateful I can't really tell the difference btwn v0 and FLAC for most things

Simon H., Thursday, 26 April 2018 13:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

As much as I love gadgets, the days of carrying around more than just my phone are long gone. Modern DAPs are very cool, with their multiple card slots and amazing feature sets, but being able to stream my library via my phone is all I need (though I do have a full microSD card in my phone for when a connection isn't available). I have both Subsonic and J River Media Center set up (just in case one is down) and use BubbleUPnP to play my music to any device (headphones, bluetooth car radio, Sonos, Chromecasts, etc).

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 26 April 2018 14:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

personally I'm very grateful I can't really tell the difference btwn v0 and FLAC for most things

Haha, yeah! Age + too many loud shows = no high end hearing.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 26 April 2018 14:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah offline listening/mobile sync only works with the Plex Pass subscription, I’m glad I got lifetime a few years back. But streaming works on the free version, and Chromecast too I think?

Siegbran, Thursday, 26 April 2018 15:48 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The Google Play news is inevitable but it's still a pain in the hole. Could someone explain (or point to an explanation) of how to set up the basic requirements to stream my own stuff?

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 26 April 2018 16:06 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Get a Discman. Carry all your CDs with you. Simple!

deluded vinegar (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 26 April 2018 16:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Every discman I ever had was clunky, skippy shite!

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 26 April 2018 16:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Even though I'm old and my ears probably can't discern lossless and even 192VBR mp3, I have a thing against using destructive compression...never know when some amazing tech will allow me to hear better and I'll want the better sound.

Joe Gargan (dandydonweiner), Thursday, 26 April 2018 17:06 (three weeks ago) Permalink

more machine than man now...

deluded vinegar (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 26 April 2018 17:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

would y'all be interested in official issues of stem tracks for songs?

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 26 April 2018 18:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

yes

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Thursday, 26 April 2018 18:57 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Stream your own stuff from Dropbox/OneDrive cloud drive: upload it there, use the mobile app or website to stream yr music

Stream your own stuff from yr own PC/Mac: set up Plex account, download the server application, point it to your music, download the Plex app on your phone, stream away.

Siegbran, Thursday, 26 April 2018 19:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

dropbox is embarrassingly better at remembering track position across devices/through time than apple's own native software is

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 26 April 2018 19:44 (three weeks ago) Permalink

not tried it with Plex but it's v good at remembering where you left off watching videos so i imagine it's the same with music

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 26 April 2018 19:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

will Plex stream FLAC files from an external HD?

sleeve, Thursday, 26 April 2018 19:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

muzecast

bodacious ignoramus, Thursday, 26 April 2018 20:48 (three weeks ago) Permalink

yes xp

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Thursday, 26 April 2018 20:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Honestly I tried uploading my entire library to Dropbox and it was just a diabolical idea. Takes ages and doesn't really work as anything other than backup. Don't bother.

Matt DC, Thursday, 26 April 2018 20:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i will stick a few mixes or whatever on there and it works great. what was wrong with the whole library thing, did it just choke trying to transfer all the files?

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 26 April 2018 22:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink


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