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How Does All This Work?

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Not to drag up the debate about I-tunes and such, but I guess I do not understand how all these new platforms work.

I thought I-tunes and other similar companies had to clear legal issues before they could make music available? (Spotify etc.) I guess I just don't really understand the issues surrounding delivery methods of music. Anyone care to explain?

Give me Tower Records any day! :)
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
Mark I am going to say if you only want to buy a song, and since "singles" are for the most part, long gone, it's nice to be able to buy a track.
On I-tunes for example.

I liked being able to go out and hand pick up music, made it seem more substantial. More real, like it has more value (to me) than digital downloads. But I've learned to value both as a source as we don't have much choice anymore. I'm not giving up music, because I can't buy the way I have in the past.

Mark, I'm sorry I'm not qualified to explain (your question) but thanks for a place to rant. :)
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Really I find iTunes and the other music sites rip you off with single tracks or a lot of times the whole album. Most of the time I find its cheaper to buy the physical CD, and if I want to put the CD on my iPhone, I can choose how I want to rip the CD and the various compression settings (most of the time I go for uncompressed).

As for legal issues, with iTunes and other sites they go by your location. So if an album has only been released in Japan, you can only buy it from the Japan store in Japan, whereas I can buy a CD in Japan, and listen to it anywhere in the world.
 
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Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Not to drag up the debate about I-tunes and such, but I guess I do not understand how all these new platforms work.

I thought I-tunes and other similar companies had to clear legal issues before they could
iTunes, Spotify and other platforms negotiate with the record labels for the rights to stream, and/or sell, their music in various territories around the world. The music is stored as files on their servers. Music is distributed either by streaming, or by downloads, but not always both.

If you subscribe to a streaming service, and the contract for a certain piece of music runs out, then that music will disappear from the service's search engine and won't be available to stream anymore. Sometimes, it will show up in a search but will say "not available" if you try to play it.

Note that this does not apply if you "buy" the music. (You really aren't buying it, you're only buying the rights to play it.) Even if the "sales" contract runs out, the music still stays on the platform's servers, to accommodate those folks who have "bought" the music. So if your piece of music is not available for streaming, it would still be available for you to play if you "own" it.

Of course it's entirely possible that a platform may negotiate to re-acquire the rights to a piece of music again, and if that happens, it would be available to stream, download or "buy" again.

The above is a good illustration as to why it's a good idea to get some sort of copy of the music you really care about, whether it's a CD or a digital file stored on your own computer (and hopefully backed up somewhere). If you only do streaming, the day may come when your favorite tunes will just disappear.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
iTunes, Spotify and other platforms negotiate with the record labels for the rights to stream, and/or sell, their music in various territories around the world. The music is stored as files on their servers. Music is distributed either by streaming, or by downloads, but not always both.

If you subscribe to a streaming service, and the contract for a certain piece of music runs out, then that music will disappear from the service's search engine and won't be available to stream anymore. Sometimes, it will show up in a search but will say "not available" if you try to play it.

Note that this does not apply if you "buy" the music. (You really aren't buying it, you're only buying the rights to play it.) Even if the "sales" contract runs out, the music still stays on the platform's servers, to accommodate those folks who have "bought" the music. So if your piece of music is not available for streaming, it would still be available for you to play if you "own" it.

Of course it's entirely possible that a platform may negotiate to re-acquire the rights to a piece of music again, and if that happens, it would be available to stream, download or "buy" again.

The above is a good illustration as to why it's a good idea to get some sort of copy of the music you really care about, whether it's a CD or a digital file stored on your own computer (and hopefully backed up somewhere). If you only do streaming, the day may come when your favorite tunes will just disappear.
Thank you, Mike, for that explanation. So I'm not crazy to burn copies to disc! :wink:
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
I've seen so many say that they dump their entire CD collections since they can stream everything. They still haven't realized that if their Internet connection goes dead, they basically have nothing. Same if they can't pay for their streaming account. And like Mike says, if contract conditions change between the artist or the label, that music available today may be gone tomorrow...possibly from all streaming services, not just one!

I have streaming mainly for two reasons. One is while traveling. I do carry my favorites in the car spread across an SD card and USB thumb drive (my head unit can switch between them) so I can use those as an alternate method of playback (via my travel router), yet it's so much easier in a hotel room to connect to WiFi, open Qobuz and have access to probably 90% of what I have at home. And when I'm at home, streaming is a supplement to my collection on the music server. I use it to compare the sound of different releases, and to discover more music. I also get to hear pre-release tracks ahead of an album release. When guests come over, I can accommodate just about any request they have, and have it in nice, clean lossless digital audio. If I like something enough, I can buy it right from the Qobuz shop and download it within seconds. The downloads are mine to keep, forever.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I've seen so many say that they dump their entire CD collections since they can stream everything. They still haven't realized that if their Internet connection goes dead, they basically have nothing.
Not quite so. If you can pay for Spotify monthly, you can download your music and play it offline without any WiFi or mobile data.
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
Not quite so. If you can pay for Spotify monthly, you can download your music and play it offline without any WiFi or mobile data.
It works to a point. You can't actually download it and save it to your own collection, but many streaming services offer this sort of buffering where you can temporarily store the music to play offline, and that is a very nice feature to have. But, that also assumes that what you've downloaded is what you want to hear at any given moment. (Which in my case, isn't very often. 😁)
 
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