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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Here's Your Depressing Quote of the Day Re: the Future of Music Consumption

Posted By on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 3:26 PM

click to enlarge #Dead
  • #Dead

Twitter is scuttling its #Music app, which is barely news because no one used it or cared about it anyway. Wired has a good rundown on why the effort failed, noting that while Twitter and music go well together (seven of the top 10 Tweeters are musicians), music fans don't really need another app to discover songs and have conversations. They can do that on real Twitter.

Also a factor here is the dominance of the larger (yet unprofitable) music streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, and iTunes, which look way more useful than Twitter's music app ever did. Surveying this landscape, Wired's Angela Watercutter says:

Eventually, music services themselves could wind up as just something you buy when you get new headphones or pick a data plan for your car.

"Music will eventually end up as just a feature in somebody else's product," [Forrester analyst James] McQuivey says. "This transition may take time, but eventually, nearly every digital service we depend on will toss in music as a nice feature to sweeten the deal."

And wow, isn't that depressing to think about? "Music as a nice feature to sweeten the deal"?

Everyone knows we're heading toward an era in which music is all but totally free, at least if you only want to stream it over the Internet. But to think of music as a mere throw-in, a deal-sweetener, the recipe book that comes free with Magic Bullet order, the ShamWow mop thrown in with your full-price purchase of eight ShamWows, not even something worth acquiring on its own -- well, that's hard to come to terms with for those of us who live and breathe the stuff. Let alone for those who make it.

Here, for example, is John Reis, from our post this morning about Rocket From The Crypt, voicing a much different (and romantic and unrealistic and goddamnit, correct) perspective:

Neil Young's hardware player thing just came out, and basically, not that we needed a reminder, but it's just another example of why records are the best. Technology changes and changes and ... whether it's a cloud or stream, you're just renting it. You're just paying for permission to listen to it as opposed to actually having something forever. CDs, I guess you could say the same thing, but they seem more like a backup copy. A record is something that retains. It's tangible. It retains music but it can also have value beyond the music.

And while music files aren't nearly as lovely and permanent as records, this is also why I still love my iPod.

-- @iPORT


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Ian S. Port

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