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There was a time (Napster -> Bearsahre/Limewire/Kazaa) when I would have been excited about something like this. As I've become more financially stable, and have more hardware for music to integrate into I look at a project like this and think: How can I share music links with my friends easily? How do I get these songs on my watch? How do I get these songs on my phone? How do I play these from my home speakers? How easy is going to be for my partner to do all of the same things?

The user experience bar for a music service has gone up since the days of Napster. If you primarily use one computer and that's your audio experience, this probably works well. I've found that I'm increasingly playing podcasts and music in different locations and going back to a centralized playing source is not an experience I want.




Ten years ago evey respectable device had DLNA support, an agnostic way to browse and play all kinds of media content available on the local network. Sharing a song with a friend could be easily done by sending the whole song (duplicates were not an issue since well-formed MP3s usually included Musicbrainz UUIDs that the media players compared), or by simply linking to Youtube or Grooveshark.

DLNA is slowly going the way of RSS. It's too open of a standard for the current times. Google is already mounting an Embrace-Extend-Extinguish attack on it via the Chromecast protocol. I'm scared Bluetooth audio will be the next to be forgotten. Meanwhile, cloud music services are current trend, and it's not crazy to think they will follow the Nextflix-HBO-Disney steps and start creating walled gardens full of exclusive content.

So, which options do we have now? Users can surrender power and gain convenience by going with, say, Spotify. The app's slick, the multiple device support is awesome, and the social features, while nowhere near Audioscrobbler/Last.fm, are enough. Keep in mind Last.fm is more than 15 years old. 15 years without progress on the music social media front. Also, disappearing songs are a huge problem. A company that pulls a song from their catalog without notifying the user is borderline evil. I feel connected to music. It's almost like the company is deleting a memory from your brain, hoping you won't notice its absence.

Another option is to keep living in the 00s and maintain a home music library. You ensure no songs will disappear from your library without notice, which is good. The bad thing is you are more isolated. There's no easy way to access your library in other devices, there's no easy way to integrate a personal library with a cloud service, and there's no easy way to share your experiences with friends in the same way you can do it with Spotify.

What do I do then? I decided to go the Spotify way, while keeping a small "memories" library which contains the more obscure songs, plus the ones I want to keep with me forever. I'm wary, though. The day Spotify decides to become more profitable, it will be over. Half the features will be gone, and we'll have to start all over again in a worse position than before, because our hardware will be less open than it is now.


> Another option is to keep living in the 00s and maintain a home music library.

This is how I roll. I'm not sure what benefit I'd get by integrating my personal library with the cloud, but I find accessing my library from multiple devices to be pretty easy by simply duplicating songs onto those devices. Nowadays most of my devices are big enough to accommodate the whole library. Sharing music with friends is also simple because pretty much everyone's phone can play an mp3 file out of the box these days. This approach might have been cumbersome when I was younger and I added to my collection more frequently, but I had fewer devices then. Not only does this strategy insulate me from the whims or obsolescence of some third party, but the defacto back up preserves my collection in the face of device loss/failure as well.


>Another option is to keep living in the 00s and maintain a home music library. You ensure no songs will disappear from your library without notice, which is good. The bad thing is you are more isolated. There's no easy way to access your library in other devices, there's no easy way to integrate a personal library with a cloud service, and there's no easy way to share your experiences with friends in the same way you can do it with Spotify.

I have ~40k songs uploaded and available to stream for free anywhere with google music. I'm still the kinda of crazy that maintains my own collection locally and it stays sync'd automatically. It also serves as a free offsite backup. Agreed that there is no easy way to share but I have vastly different musical tastes from my friends so that's never been an issue for me, though for a lot of people it might be a negative.


I used Google Music until recently, just to unify the cloud library with my personal library. The problem was how atrocious the Google Music player is. It's a joke compared to Spotify, or to any desktop app.


Does Spotify let you merge your personal library with their cloud library? I used to use Google Music but I switched to Apple Music when they allowed you to have a hybrid library.


You can have a local library in Spotify, but it isn't synced. Google Music allows you to upload your own songs and play them on all devices.


Ah okay. Apple Music works the way Google Music does.


You might be interested in Funkwhale: https://funkwhale.audio/




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