This month in digital music libraries - May 2022
This month - a trip inside a songwriter’s mind, the death-of-the-iPod backlash and some interesting insights into how streaming’s playlist-oriented use is leading to some unexpected results.
Billy Joel… being honest
It’s good to see some honest, insightful journalism. In this interview from 2018, David Marchese doesn’t hold back to unearth why Joel simply gave up releasing new music.
Interesting to read some genuine reflection from a successful musical artist about the pressure of writing new material. Also: great, if risky, interviewing. https://t.co/Jbbq8c9XSb pic.twitter.com/Z2zde81lZW— bliss (@bliss_music) May 6, 2022
iBroadcast out of beta
iBroadcast are an online music library storage service - what is sometimes called a “music locker”. I featured them in my earlier roundup of available services with the note that I didn’t believe they could go on offering so much for free. Well, they’re out of beta but they are still giving away an awful lot for free. Hope they can continue and provide some decent competition in the space!
They don't appear to have announced it but @iBroadcast appear to be out of beta now and have refined their pricing tiers... I've updated my cloud music locker article. https://t.co/g37RVNEaO9 pic.twitter.com/RKXtwrjL4R— bliss (@bliss_music) May 8, 2022
The end of the iPod
One of the biggest talking points this month has been Apple’s rather oblique announcement of the discontinuing of the iPod.
Apple's iPod days are ending https://t.co/3eDV4xfmHm— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) May 10, 2022
A raft of memories hit Twitter. Some were very close to my heart (and interests!):
I do not remember this because I spent hundreds of hours organizing my mp3 collection to have consistent ID3 metadata like a CIVILIZED PERSON. https://t.co/qbRgWLJYXL— foulowl (@afoulowl) May 12, 2022
Some were quick (too quick IMO) to call time on personal music libraries:
Thoughts from @Tom_Gatti on #ipod but doesn't recognise that the personal library is alive and well (maybe not in the mainstream, but still). There are too many #musichoarders and #selfhosting (ers) to let it die! https://t.co/G0d5N6DSEo— Astiga (@astigamusic) May 12, 2022
And others took up the age-old debate about specialised devices versus general purpose devices:
One thing you might be missing is the distraction element. Some people value their attention, and the streaming firehose (e.g. auto-playing next content, algorithmic never ending playlists etc) is anathema to them (and me). Smartphones are more distracting and less focused.— bliss (@bliss_music) May 13, 2022
Onkyo, formed just after the Second World War and a big name in hi-fi ever since, announced their bankrupcy.
New shiny tools
This month I discovered a couple of new tools.
First, another specialised audiobook server:
And in addition a tool for checking bitrot:
It seems that, almost overnight, streaming has lurched from “it’s going to conquer everything” to “NFLX is heading to 0”. Could increasing prices be encouraging a move back to piracy?
Streaming services captured market share from P2P sharing because their solution was low-friction and cheap. Now there are multiple services, friction is increasing and prices are rising. So... https://t.co/rG8ulCQ2ez pic.twitter.com/yGyHyL6OwK— bliss (@bliss_music) May 22, 2022
Elsewhere in the streaming world, an article about Spotify playlists has unearthed some SEO practices within the Spotify platform which means celebrated artists are being delisted in favour of “fake artists”. But is it just our lazy preference for ‘background listening’ or passive consumption that’s feeding this?
Don’t hate the player, hate the game…
"Background listening" or passive consumption has led to an SEOing of playlists. But the ramifications are not just for the quality of musical content, it also implies #metadata is ignored. https://t.co/T6ANlJsbxW pic.twitter.com/64I7eZ5sPp— bliss (@bliss_music) May 24, 2022