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I wouldn't use this for my own moral reasons but we have different definitions of free. In this case you use "free" to mean: providing personal data and being subjected to a targeted marketing campaign in exchange for music.

Using youtube-dl circumvents both the personal data and the marketing. Just convert to audio with ffmpeg, and then you can listen on your own devices with a normal music player.

You can use youtube-dl to download just the audio stream directly, no need to remux with ffmpeg.

Are you happy with the audio quality with streams ripped from YouTube? I'm guessing it's been compressed more than once and that can't be good.

Using the flag shown at https://askubuntu.com/questions/423508/can-i-directly-downlo..., you can see all of the different stream qualities available (both audio and video). Some videos (particularly official music videos) have pretty good audio, while amateur videos, remixes, and parodies usually don’t sound as good.

Assuming the file uploaded to youtube was high enough quality, what you get from youtube-dl has only been compressed once.

It's just as good as taping music off the radio...

So I'm curious why you draw a moral line here?

- Do you find it immoral to watch music videos on YouTube?

- Do you find it immoral to watch music videos on YouTube with ads blocked?

- Do you find just putting that in a separate player to be the immoral part?

I haven't really thought through my moral position in detail and I probably wouldn't answer this even if I did. I'm just a random person on the internet.

I agree on the YT front, but I don't remember seeing Spotify ads.

From Spotify: https://www.spotify.com/us/legal/privacy-policy/#s6

"To provide you with features, information, advertising, or other content which is based on your specific location."

You might also be interested in the massive amount of data they store about users that was discovered after GDPR passed. Here's the HN thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17681289

That has to be in the license for the free service. There are no ads, period, when paid.

Also, location information is used to avoid account sharing, which I think would clear GDPR.

Forgive my lack of clarity, I was only talking about the non-paid service.

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