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Music Streaming to Overtake Downloads 254

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-do-you-steal-a-stream dept.
Barence writes "Streaming will overtake download services to become the dominant force in the online music industry, according to industry insiders. The claim comes in the wake of the PRS cutting the amount of royalties streaming services have to pay songwriters to about a third. Sites will now pay the PRS 0.085p per track, compared to the 0.22p they paid previously. On-demand streaming services still have to pay the record labels about 1p for every track streamed, however. Steve Purdham, CEO of music service We7, says the move will accelerate the growing trend towards online streaming which has seen newcomers such as his site and Spotify attract millions of users in less than a year. 'Over the next 12-24 months you'll see a move towards listening [online],' Purdham told PC Pro. 'Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.'"
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Music Streaming to Overtake Downloads

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  • You know... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbacon (1327727) <jcavanagh617.gmail@com> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:44AM (#28206219)

    Sometimes, I want something to actually be MINE.

    • Re:You know... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @04:02AM (#28206589)

      It can be: use streamripper or something similar and download your streamed music.

      I for one don't download music through P2P or "pirate" sites (which in fact don't really exist anymore) anymore, but I download music from net radio streams, and quite a few tracks from Youtube too. Why? Because it shifts the blame away from me. When I rip a stream, it's undetectable. When I extract audio from a Youtube video (shitty, granted), it's undetectable. Not that there's much of a risk using P2P anyway, but when using high-profile sources, there's ZERO risk.

      IMHO, that is the real reason why people seem to like net radios so much: they rip tracks just like they used to record radio hits on cassette in years past.

    • Re:You know... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @04:21AM (#28206671) Homepage

      Sometimes, I want something to actually be MINE.

      Then create your own music. You don't need a license to do that (yet).

      Perhaps you're confusing owning a physical representation of data with owning the rights to do whatever you want with those data. Obtaining and storing the data is trivial. It's the rights ownership issue that's pernicious.

      • Re:You know... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by espamo (1061728) * on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:48AM (#28207265)

        Obtaining and storing the data is trivial.

        Not for me. Despite the 210k mp3s I have in my hard drives, the p2p networks, music streaming sites and online and traditional music stores, I have lists of hundreds of albums I cannot find anywhere.
        Not only that, part of the music I own* doesn't meet what I consider a minimum of quality. But I cannot obtain it with a better encoding.
        Music is a form of art and, as such, it should be considered, if not a patrimony of the humanity, at least something culturally valuable.
        So it is significant how you store the data, how you rip, encode, tag and sort the music, in order to make it accessible and preserve its quality.

        * I can manipulate it, delete it and listen to it whenever and wherever I want.

      • The right of copyright/redistribution is the pernicious issue. The right of ownership is pretty clear. once you get *sold* a CD it is yours. You can hear music on any device you want, there is a fair use portion to allow you backup/transfer on other device (your OWN device), and most importantly you can use the CD as frisbee, as coaster for beer, or for whatever you can think of.

        But as soon as you want to redistribute the content, or the image / photo of the CD / Cover, you have to ask the copyright holde
      • The Next Step (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SirGarlon (845873) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:17AM (#28207775)

        This looks to me like just the next step beyond DRM.

        With DRM, you possess a copy but can only use it ways the copyright holder lets you. With this "streaming" model, you don't even possess the copy.

        Probably the "industry insiders" think this is a way to get people to rent music instead of buying it (you pay for what you listen to, every time you listen). Good luck with that.

      • by Sj0 (472011)

        I'm SJ Zero
        No hero
        I'm Nero
        On my violin drinking beer yo
        third time this year, oh
        Your shit burns when I'm near, bro.

        I battle rap like yu-gi-oh
        I set my trap
        While you yap
        At the gap
        I attack
        With magic black
        1 2 mic check
        On this track
        I stack
        lyrics whack
        so step back
        You're filled with fear though.

        You know, maybe I'll just let the professionals deal with this...

    • Sometimes, I want something to actually be MINE.

      "This is MY elevator, and we're stopping at EVERY floor!"

      What do you think? Was this quote from the movie CrimeWave or from a Sony executive?

      • >>>"This is MY elevator, and we're stopping at EVERY floor!"

        This is why I don't like public transportation. Because the train keeps stopping at every station, it takes forever to reach your ultimate destination, whereas if I take my Personal People Mover (aka car) I can eliminate all those stops & get there much faster.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          A train doesn't have to wait for traffic, stop for red lights/stop signs or obey most traffic laws. You can read, play games, sleep or carry a real conversation on a train. You don't have to be sober or alert. You also don't have to circle around city blocks looking for parking for half an hour or pay outrageous fees to park. On top of it all, it doesn't pollute the environment as much as it would if everyone were driving cars.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by zmollusc (763634)

            I think trains *do* have to stop for red lights/stop signs, judging by the amount of uproar in the media, grieving relatives etc, when they don't.

          • by daveime (1253762)

            A train doesn't have to wait for traffic

            But has to slow down in certain residential areas, near crossings etc.

            stop for red lights/stop signs

            They do if it's a red light on the track.

            You can read, play games, sleep or carry a real conversation on a train.

            You can also end up standing for 8 hours because they didn't provide enough carriages, or get attacked by marauding soccer hooligans on their way home from the away game.

            You don't have to be sober or alert.

            You don't actually have to be sober or alert in a car

            • by Ragzouken (943900)

              But has to slow down in certain residential areas, near crossings etc.

              And so do cars, and there's still the problem of cars having to sit in traffic.

              They do if it's a red light on the track.

              Red lights on a train journey are significantly less frequent than in a car journey.

              You don't actually have to be sober or alert in a car, although it does help.

              Is that supposed to be some sort of rebuttal? You are significantly safer in a train than you are in a car if you are not sober or not alert.

              Oh, and have you see

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                We can talk conjecturally all we wish, but here's a real-world comparison. My boss tried to get me to ride a train to work when I first started here, but I ignored him once he described his commute: 10 minute drive to the station; 10 minutes wait; 40 minutes on the train; 10 minute drive from the station to the workplace. Repeat when he goes home. Total - Almost two-and-a-half hours.

                It only takes me 25 minutes in my car. Total - Under an hour.

                I think I'll stick with driving my 85-90 mile per gallon Hond

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Sj0 (472011)

                I just ran the numbers for mass transit vs. automobile transport.

                I'll pay $6000 on my car loan this year, $2100 on insurance, and about $1200 on fuel (assuming I want to hit year 5 with my waranty intact and limit my driving to 20,000km/yr), and 4 oil changes at 50 dollars(yes, the manufacturer schedule drastically over-maintains the vehicle, but as you can see, maintenance is about the least expensive part of the vehicle). Total cost of using a vehicle for a year will be $9500. By contrast, a year of bus p

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  >>>I'll pay $6000 on my car loan this year, $2100 on insurance, and about $1200 on fuel

                  That's stupid. Not you, but your approach to servicing your car. I pay $0 on my car loan (don't have one), $200 on insurance, and I don't know how much on fuel but since my hybrid gets 85-90 MPG it isn't much. Maybe $300. I change my oil on a 10,000 mile schedule since I'm using synthetic, so that's a trivial cost as well.

                  But more importantly I have *flexibility*. If my mom calls me in the middle of the n

          • by peragrin (659227)

            Syracuse, NY to Boston, MA.

            Plane 1.5 hours
            Car 5 hours
            Train 11.5 hours

            Trains combinethe worst of planes(layovers) with the worst of cars(top speed of 60mph on average)

            I don't know about you but my time is worth more than that. If trains took roughly the same time as a car then yes a train would be better. But you have to play games on a train as they take so long.

            • by jotok (728554)

              I live in Europe and the trains seem to work a lot better here. Planes are faster and the price is the same but they're a lot less comfortable.

            • by stupid_is (716292)
              Central London, UK, to Central Paris, France:

              Train [eurostar.com]: 2hrs 25mins (plus check-in times: 30mins for regular punters, but can be as low as 10 mins)
              Plane: 1hr 25mins (plus travel to the airport, plus a check-in delay of 2hrs, plus transfer time to centre of Paris (at least 40mins))
              Car: 5hrs 17 mins plus traffic delays

              It all depends on the trip you're making and the infrastructure that's in place to service that trip. The above is a moderately similar distance trip to yours.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              >>>Syracuse, NY to Boston, MA.
              Plane 1.5 hours
              Car 5 hours
              Train 11.5 hours
              >>>

              I'd take the car for two reasons: (1) A plane is 1.5 hours but you can add another 1.5 for wait times, going through security, and finding a rental car. So figure 3 hours total. (2) My employer reimburses me around 50 cents/mile, so I get to pocket the additional money. In essence I'm getting paid to drive which is a sweet deal.

              When I had to make a trip from Oklahoma City to Minnesota I chose to drive. My cowor

          • >>>A train doesn't have to wait for traffic, stop for red lights/stop signs

            Neither does my car since I drive I-95 every day and it doesn't have stop lights. Yes there is some backup at 8 p.m. but it's easily avoided by starting work earlier at 6 or 6:30 and beat everyone into the office.

            >>>A train doesn't have to obey most traffic laws.

            You're wrong about that. Trains have traffic laws to follow too, and often times those laws are more onerous than road laws, like requiring the train to s

    • Re:You know... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by siloko (1133863) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:05AM (#28206867)

      Sometimes, I want something to actually be MINE.

      I wouldn't worry as the conclusions are "according to industry insiders." so it is almost certainly wishful thinking rather than rigorous, peer reviewed research.

      • Even if it the stats are true, is it so surprising that streaming would be more popular? First of all, there are several free services there that let you stream quite a bit of music, and secondly, the digital stores that do exist remain pretty clunky and either have DRM up the ass or very limited catalogues - or both.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        <quote>
        <p>I wouldn't worry as the conclusions are "according to industry insiders." so it is almost certainly wishful thinking rather than rigorous, peer reviewed research.</p></quote>

        Absolutely. They've based their entire business model for the last twelve years on wishful thinking, which is why they're in the crapper. Thier mindset is changing from "wouldn't it be nice if we could sell people digital music files they can't copy?" to "wouldn't it be nice if we could sell people di
    • I know that feeling. My last birthday present was link tou youtube.com carved out of wood on glass plate.
    • Sometimes, I want something to actually be MINE.

      Then write yourself a song or a novel.

    • So make a slight correction to the headline: Music Streaming and Ripping to Overtake Downlaods Everyone wins, right?
  • +1 troll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RLiegh (247921) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:45AM (#28206227) Homepage Journal

    Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.'"

    idk, because you're not always connected to the internet?

    because possession is 9/10ths of ownership (if it's not, it should be).

    • Re:+1 troll (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Max Littlemore (1001285) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:02AM (#28206327)

      Exactly. I would ask the inverse rhetorical question: "Why do you actually have to be connected to the net to listen to music? Download, store and play on demand is really the future."

      Higher speed connections, cheaper and physically smaller solid state storage. Downloading with the ability to resume if the cable gets pulled or you go through a long tunnel. It's much better than having to be always online, IMO.

      File under fad that fades.

      • Re:+1 troll (Score:5, Insightful)

        by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp@gmai l . c om> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:34AM (#28206453) Homepage
        Or maybe, just maybe, in the future, in the future we won't have to choose. Oh, what a glorious world that would be where one could not only choose to purchase music, but also choose to listen to music selected by someone else and pulled right from the air! Sadly though, you are right, we must choose only one method of listening to music -- any other way would be impossible, I feel foolish for ever having imagined otherwise.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by rxan (1424721)
          Despite your sarcasm, the music industry will choose one way or the other. This will be the best (highest capital gaining) method for them. Meaning, streaming will become standard. This is because they get to charge you for it continuously because you never "own" it. It's simple economics, really.
          • by malkavian (9512)

            No, people will choose.
            Now, you can bet the industry will try and fob them off with the highest capital gain for themselves at the expense of the general public, but that doesn't mean people will always bite.
            If they make it completely inexpensive and always convenient for people, then they stand a good chance of getting a buy in, but that's not always the case (laserdisk et. al.).
            What'll be interesting with streaming is that they'll have to face up to long term survival of the music (it'll be better for the

      • US-centric... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BrokenHalo (565198)
        The whole issue presupposes a US-centric model, where nearly everybody has access to a decent broadband connection. Here in Australia the best that most people can get at the moment is ADSL2+, which is quite good in itself, but suffers from the fact that we have a skinny pipe between here and the rest of the world. But outside major metro areas, there are still many areas where the best we can get is dialup. I have a property in Tasmania, which despite all the noisy promises about broadband rollouts looks l
      • My entire compressed music collection fits in 11GB. It's not a large collection, granted. Let's say it's half the size of the average one, and round up to the nearest USB Flash drive, 32GB.

        32GB flash drives start at about £45 here. Since I always work at a computer, this, plus a 1GB player that I've had for years, is more than enough. Much cheaper than a 32GB iPod touch at £400, reliable, shockproof, waterproof, portable, and most importantly, not subject to disconnection at the whim of any numb

      • I'll file it under fake fad that never comes to be.

        Unless they give us free mobile internet, I seriously doubt that streaming will overtake downloading.

  • Whats a p? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:45AM (#28206229) Homepage Journal

    Sites will now pay the PRS 0.085p per track, compared to the 0.22p they paid previously.

    I assume that one p means 0.01 UK pounds but I could be wrong about that.

  • Can't load it onto your iPod.

    Unless you are tied to a PC all the time, (or have a fancy-schmancy iPhone or touch), this idea won't be as universal as good old MP3/WMA/AAC.

    • or have a fancy-schmancy iPhone or touch

      This article is about Britain. Our mobile phone networks are a bit behind the rest of Europe, and a lot behind Japan, but even so most phones sold in the last few years have supported streaming music, as long as your contract provides enough bandwidth, and pre-pay phones increasingly provide cheap(ish) data. My last two phones have both come with a media player that supports Internet radio stations and I generally get about 50KB/s transfers which is a lot more than you need for streaming music (most strea

  • by linzeal (197905) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:48AM (#28206241) Homepage Journal
    I have at least 5 different devices that cannot stream that I use weekly. Also why waste the bandwidth playing the same songs over and over again, yesterday I listened to almost 2 gigs of music and some days I might listen to 3-4x that amount when I listen to my 1980's punk FLAC-encoded albums. I use Comcast that would mean I would use 1/3-2/3 of my bandwidth per month just for background noise.
    • by eebra82 (907996)

      I have at least 5 different devices that cannot stream that I use weekly. Also why waste the bandwidth playing the same songs over and over again [..]

      There's a difference between true streams and streams with cache. Applications like Spotify lets you choose whether you want to cache the songs you're listening to or not.

      Slow connection? Use caching.

      Running out of space? Disable caching!

      Slow connection and low on disk space? Well, then this service is not aimed to people like you.

    • You'd be very unlikely to be streaming FLAC; it would take you quite a few days to reach 2G streaming at 128kbps 24 hours a day.

  • industry insiders (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <.elmuerte. .at. .drunksnipers.com.> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:48AM (#28206247) Homepage

    What do they know? If there was some knowledge in the industry about the future we wouldn't have the mess we have right now.

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Yes, we would. To be a "knowledgeable industry insider", you have to find out what the company(s) you are working for want.

      In a lot of these industry insider situations, if they don't hear what they want to hear you're not going to be in the industry for long.

      • So, the future will be something a lot of people don't like? With the result being the same "mess" we have now (e.g. downloading of illegally distributed music).
        And, if the insiders are only going to predict what the companies what to hear, then what's the use in the first place. Why not simply buy parrots.

    • by feepness (543479)

      What do they know? If there was some knowledge in the industry about the future we wouldn't have the mess we have right now.

      Same reason we're letting the banks and the Federal Reserve solve the problem they didn't see coming and initially assured us was contained.

  • by iVasto (829426) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:53AM (#28206269) Homepage
    I for one have used Spotify in the past. I no longer use it because every couple weeks I had to hunt down a British proxy in order to log in--Spotify isn't available in the US yet, hence the proxy. However for the two months I did use it, I loved it. The music library is a decent size, the playlists work well, and it even has the ability to have collaborative playlists. The creator of uTorrent, Ludvig Strigeus, is involved with Spotify. Granted, Spotify did not stop me from downloading music due to needing to put music on my iPod, I did download a lot less during those months. Spotify allowed me to listen to complete albums without needing to download first. This resulted in me only downloading the albums I really wanted on my iPod. Also, probably the most convienant part of Spotify was that I was able to set my laptop out at parties and people could add almost whatever song they could think of onto the playlist.

    Spotify will not replace downloading, but I do believe that it will significantly reduce it.
  • Probably yes. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:53AM (#28206281) Homepage

    While I like my CD collection, I have to admit that Spotify is really really handy for casual listening. I have a jukebox of ridiculous proportions at my disposal, for the relatively cheap price of a few audio ads a day. (Which I could also get rid of with the subscription option.)

    Streaming has the additional benefit of making it impossible to lose / delete what you don't story anyway.

    I don't really think a lot of people will find the buying option very attractive once 3G cell phones acquire this ability... I'm waiting for Spotify for my phone, (they already hired an S60 developer,) but then again I live in Finland. ;)

  • Welcome to 1995 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:57AM (#28206297)

    You know, in a world without iPods - these insiders might be right. However that's not even remotely like the real world we live in. It does seem to bear a striking resemblance to the world U.S. cellphone company executives are trying to pretend we live in, though - that world where we pay them some amount of money to buy a service that duplicates what we can do for free without their hardware (yeah, Verizon, I'm looking at YOU).

    I for one listen to a heck of a lot more music while I'm out and about than when I'm sitting at/near my computer. I realize I'm probably in the minority in that regard - but I think it's a safe bet that almost everyone that purchases music nowadays wants to listen to it on the go at least part of the time. Without ubiquitous, unlimited, cheap internet access that's not going to be music that's streamed.

    • I for one listen to a heck of a lot more music while I'm out and about than when I'm sitting at/near my computer.

      I also listen to music when I'm travelling around town, etc. but I actually spend more time at work listening to internet radio. If this article, which is undoubtedly astroturf, defines satellite radio as streaming, then that will also draw millions of more people into the streaming category. Like everyone at 24 hour Fitness is listening to the satellite radio service piped through the speakers..

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The BBC looked at the business reality of spotify the other week on Radio 4. They came to the conclusion that it could never be profitable and was burning through its cash very fast indeed.

        Its a great service, it works brilliantly but the advertising won't cover the costs and users won't pay subscriptions.

    • Without ubiquitous, unlimited, cheap internet access that's not going to be music that's streamed

      And with ubiquitous cheap Internet? Most Internet Radio streams are around 128Kb/s. The government wants 2Mb/s broadband everywhere by 2012, so that takes care of all home and office users. That just leaves mobile. UMTS gives around 400Kb/s in real-world use, and most networks are now deploying some kind of HSPA, which gives at least five times that. A cheap (£10/month) mobile broadband connection gives 3GB/month, which is enough for about two hours of streaming per day. If you pay a bit m

  • Ok but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by noundi (1044080) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:01AM (#28206323)

    Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.

    Wait a second. What goes for bandwidth issues that has been a hot topic lately regarding BitTorrent traffic, how will this be any better? If every song you hear through your PC is streamed, my guess is it would choke internet more than the current BitTorrent traffic.

    • Re:Ok but... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3@nOSPam.phroggy.com> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:58AM (#28206567) Homepage

      Let's say you've got 24 employees working at your company. You've got a T1 line, but the only thing it's being used for is e-mail and a little light web surfing, so the bandwidth is sufficient.

      Now half the staff starts streaming Internet radio. Your T1 line is now completely saturated, so you have to get another one. This doubles your monthly bill!

      Sure, you could get a cable modem instead and save a bundle, but cable modems are unreliable compared to a T1. You could keep one T1 and add a cable modem, but your one part-time IT guy doesn't know how to set up the network to route Internet radio over the cable modem while keeping everything else on the T1. He explains to you, using a lot of technical-sounding words you don't understand, why it would be very difficult to get that to work reliably, and even though it's theoretically possible, it would require a lot of hands-on babysitting to make sure it kept working the way it's supposed to.

      So what do you do? You either cough up the dough for a second T1 line, or you institute a company-wide no-Internet-radio policy, which will make the staff think the IT guy's only source of joy in life is the unhappiness of others.

      (Internet radio is usually streamed over standard HTTP on port 80. Because everybody keeps changing stations, it's not practical to keep track of every stream everyone might want to listen to and add static routes for those IPs. The streaming URLs may not have any sort of identifiable pattern, so the only way you can identify streaming audio is by MIME type, which isn't available until after the request is made. You should be able to set up a proxy server that would check the MIME type of every URL requested, and hack it to reroute through the cable modem if it matches, but that's an enormous pain in the ass. You could route all HTTP traffic over the cable modem, but then you need some sort of failover in case the cable modem goes down. All of this is possible, but it's not simple.)

      • by noundi (1044080)
        But how is this related to my post?
      • by Thanshin (1188877)

        you institute a company-wide no-Internet-radio policy, which will make the staff think the IT guy's only source of joy in life is the unhappiness of others.

        Which, while true, is obviously not satisfied with such obvious methods.

        "Oh, you forgot your password? I'm so sorry; there's simply no way of recovering your data, it's all encrypted and, for security reasons, you were the only one to know the key.
        But don't worry. The server's online so you can try all possible passwords during the weekend. It shouldn't take you too long."

  • I didn't see what part of streaming is going to surpass digital downloads - shear data transfer, unique tracks transferred, money made, etc. I don't doubt that they'll transfer more data, since if someone wants to listen to a song 3 times in a week, they have to download it 3 times. Maybe even unique tracks will be higher, since people would be more likely to listen to a song they don't know if they'll like or not if they don't have to pay anything extra (free or flat monthly fee). However I'm not sure stre

  • 'Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.'"

    I don't have any numbers to back this up, but surely the majority of music is listened to off line at the moment, on mp3 players etc? The whole point of portable devices is that you aren't tethered to your PC to listen.

    For this to change, it needs to become much easier and cheaper for portable devices to stream music "on the go".

    Orlando

  • by will_die (586523) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:10AM (#28206359) Homepage
    A person who owns and runs a streaming music site is saying that people will actually start using the system?
    Please that is worse then the head of Government Motors saying that US citizens are going to purchase those small cars he wants to force on everyone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by H0p313ss (811249)

      worse then the head of Government Motors saying that US citizens are going to purchase those small cars he wants to force on everyone.

      Clearly I have not been paying enough attention, there I was thinking that one of the causes of the demise of GM was the decline of sales of their gas guzzlers in favor of smaller more efficient vehicles...

  • by Eil (82413) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:45AM (#28206491) Homepage Journal

    The future of "radio" is on the Internet, period. Although we'll probably never be fully free of the copyright cartel's grasp when it comes to music, the Internet levels the playing field and gives independent artists and stations equal footing and gives the listener a potentially unlimited amount of choice. And really, it's already happening. You can find sites and streams playing really good music by independent artists that meets or exceeds the quality of any professionally-produced stuff, just like open source software tends to best proprietary offerings because the creators are focused first on quality and their own idea of what's "good" instead of rushing to meet deadlines or achieve monetary gain.

    After all the crap that the RIAA has pulled over the last decade, I try very to find music and streams that don't fund them or their artists every time I listen to or buy a song. On of my favorite "stations" is scenesat.com [scenesat.com]. They play music only from demoscene artists who give their work away freely. If you're into electronica, you'd do well to give them a listen. It's not all chiptunes and rehashed trance, some of it beats the pants off the offerings of similar commercial artists. I'd like to see more stations like this around. If the RIAA and PRS aren't careful, they could start to see some real competition in the near future from musicians who do what they do not because they want a phat paycheck someday, but because they love what they do and want to share their art with anyone who cares to listen.

    If you know of more stations that stream independent royalty-free music, please share with the rest of us.

  • by Kligat (1244968) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:51AM (#28206521)
    Use Virtual Audio Cable [muzychenko.net] or a program that records everything going through your computer, to record all the music being played, then go back and remove the ads.
  • Now that seems reasonable. Finally !
    It is strange that these people still hold true the fiction that streaming and downloading are different things...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you like transcoded quality, buy your streams all you want. The quality is very low, unless your hearing is as bad as your sight then you may not notice how bad it is.

    This is how it works. Take a mp3. Let's call it 128 kbps. Serve is up as various rate streams: 32, 64, 112, 192, 256, 320. All from the same 128 kbps mp3. That's what is done. And no, a 320 kbps transcoded from 128 kbps mp3 is not better, it's likely much worse: the 128 kbps encode removed 90% of the matrial. The 320 kbps transcode

  • Why not both? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nausicaa (461792)

    I still prefer physical media, like CDs, but I'm warming up to the idea of downloads (legal)..

    Now, why not have streaming AND downloading? They both serve a purpose..

    Take Spotify; I like having a lot of music at my fingertips, being able to try new stuff, find new stuff by pure coincidence, etc..

    The only black cloud on the music-sky is really the labels.. They insist on regions for music. Wait a minute.. regions? I can buy a CD from whichever country I want (unless there's some embargo-crap going on), but o

  • 'Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC?

    So I can put it on my PSP?

  • by mrpacmanjel (38218) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:33AM (#28207005)

    Music companies would love to see digital downloads to disappear. It's destroying thier business model and it seems they are trying a new approach.

    If they push the idea that digital downloads are now 'old hat' or 'not needed' and 'persuade' people that streamed music is the 'future'/'cool way' of listening to music then they can retain far more control of the format. Sure lock the vendor(e.g. radio station) into a 3-year deal - when the deal expires hike up the fees and/or the record companies force vendors to stream music directly from record company controlled servers only - thus full control of music property is preserved, artificial scarcety remains and profits increased for record companies.

    This has already happened to the newspaper industry here in the UK. A central body controls all publishing rights to newspaper articles.

    Of course mobile phone companies like this scenario as well.

    I want my music (paid for) to be available for MY convenience to listen to not the other way round.

    This stinks of serious astroturfing and a feeble attempt to change consumer's attitudes to ownership.

    Just say NO!

    Personally I would to see something like; offer a 'lossy compressed' track for very low cost or free. If you really like it - buy a pristine copy of the music (e.g.lossless compressed - flac) the difference in sound quality is obvious. Of course DRM would kill this idea.

    Then again record companies seem to be risk adverse or just don't get the nature of the Internet.
    Out-of-touch music executives (looking at you Sony!) are hurting the music industry more than anybody else and you cannot blame pirating of music for the decline of an industry. Ultimatly, pointing your finger and blaming something else is not your answer. You need to take stock of your business and figure-out how can you change to meet the ever-changing state of the market. If you think it should be the other way round - well you are doomed to failure - it's inevitable.

    There must be "internet savvy" executives out there who can do something credible and create a workable solution.

  • Lots of reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techmuse (160085) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:54AM (#28207077)

    1) You might not always have a network connection but still want to listen to music (for example, if you are traveling or your network is down).
    2) You might want to take your music with you on a portable device.
    3) Streaming kills battery life on mobile devices, especially if embedded in flash.
    4) Your streaming music provider might not have, or might stop carrying, a song you really want to listen to.
    5) Streaming providers may not have that eclectic genre of music you like.
    6) You will likely have to pay subscription fees at some point, which means you keep paying for the same music over and over again.
    7) Streaming does not necessarily provide music at its highest quality (in fact, it likely does not). If you want to listen to a recording at its original fidelity, streaming is a bad way to do it.
    8) Streaming makes you dependent on whatever technology your streaming provider chooses to use. If you don't want to, or can't use that technology, you are out of luck.
    9) You can't sell your copy of an audio stream to someone else when you no longer want it.
    10) Streaming often takes much more CPU than local playback (for example, Pandora, which uses Flash)
    11) Streaming often has advertisements in it, but you don't want to listen to ads or see them so you can listen to music.
    12) Streaming may eventually come to be dominated by companies such as clearchannel, which will provide streams that cater to the largest groups of listeners, but exclude what you really like.

  • by _.-*'Se La CeY'*-._ (1020567) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:57AM (#28207081) Homepage
    to quote " 'Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.'" Basically, lets use our computers for radio, so we can go back to the good old days like frakin clear channel or some other obnoxious controlling entity. Keep the downloads up, the trading up, and soon we will rid ourselves of another obnoxious leftover from the 50's business model.
  • Okay... so if i rejig kazaa to stream the mp3 to 1,000 people instead of transferring it, the RIAA can only sue for the loss of revenue of a penny instead of £20,000 or so?
    Streaming really is the future! Where are my coding trousers and hat?

  • RIAA lobby (Score:2, Insightful)

    Yes, I do see some valid advantages of streaming audio, especially for radios. I use iMeem on my gPhone extensively since it plays just fine and lets me discover new music similar to my taste without forcing me to pick song by song myself. On the other hand, personally selected songs/albums will never make sense to store exclusively online. Yes, some sort of repository for me to download it do various devices would be cool but do not expect me to let go of physical posession of at least one copy of my stuff
  • PR Campaign (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PattyMc (1394421)
    "Industry Insiders' seems to be Steve Purdham, CEO of a music streaming service. Nice plant.
  • Welcome to 1997 (Score:2, Informative)

    by deviceb (958415)
    Long before nubs found napster..
    We have a laptop hooked right into the mixer
    The club hooked up DSL for 2 nights
    Were uploading the stream to our Shoutcast [shoutcast.com] server
    Parties in Toronto & Chicago are picking up the stream

    by the way... there is a nice little open source app called streamripper that allows you to record the music should it be good enough.
    So yeah... good idea recording industry stay ahead of the curve..
  • by Biotech9 (704202) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:18AM (#28207399) Homepage

    I use itunes all the time, and rip my own CDs (and download the albums I own on vinyl), in total I think my library is around 140 gigs. Streaming as an alternative would suck because I would NEVER be able to remember all those albums and artists! I love to browse through the music that has taken years to accumulate and spot something I haven't heard in ages and play it.

    If someone deleted my iTunes library I would never be able to get it all again precisely because I would never be able to recall everything in there.

    Having said that, streaming services like Spotify are fantastic for their own niche. A lot of people I know that are maybe not as into music as some, use spotify as their sole music source and find that satisfactory. Then you have the great ability to just type in some artist or famous song that you wouldn't like enough to buy or even download, but want to check out.

    and there are the communal aspects of it, like making a playlist for a party that anyone who is invited to can add songs to. This is a very useful service I've used a few times to great effect.

  • by nullhero (2983) * on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:22AM (#28207423) Journal
    then I would change to all streaming. I think it would be great to enter an artist or album name and stream all that music or to be able to pick and to create a playlist of specific songs that I can stream to my devices. Until then I'll download my music and create my playlists on my iPod. Give me more options is what I, and it seems a lot of people, want. So, I'll continue to stream music to find new artists and download them to create my perfect playlist.
  • > Purdham told PC Pro. 'Why do you actually
    ? need to have something downloaded on your
    > PC? The streaming idea is really the future.'"

    Duh!

    If you download that file you can play it multiple times without needing to pay for any more network bandwidth.

    If you have to stream it to your computer you'll not only have to pay for the bandwidth each time, but you'll have to pay to listen to it each time.

    Streaming is only the "future" of music on the Internet if you believe that in the past you could only liste

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