This doesn't appear to be an issue on my end, I haven't had problems with any of the other streaming apps I use and I've confirmed the same set of issues after a fresh install of the app. For the time being it's more of a nuisance but I would be prepared to consider alternatives if things don't start improving soon.
Life without adverts, week-long battery life, instant track skipping, ratings, playlists (and OTG playlists) make the music experience better than any streaming services, which are really just radio replacements.
Embedded systems might not be "cool" any more, but they're repairable, and have other features too (iPod notes, games, contacts, calendar), and a thriving mod firmware scene (iPodLinux and Rockbox).
There is an alternative, if you'd like to come to the hardware side :)
It mentions a pipeline deployment introduced a bug (https://status.cloud.google.com/incidents/LuGcJVjNTeC5Sb9pSJ...) but why weren't they doing staged deployments to region(s) at a time?
A recent example, Firefox's Jan 2022 outage was due to an unannounced change deployed by GCP to their load balancers.
I've read several GCP related stories over the years so my opinion of them has fallen quite a bit. For some reason GCP does not get the flak they deserve, and their role in outages tend to be downplayed, while AWS and Azure are scrutinized and raked over the coals for smaller incidents.
Google doesn't need to announce every change they make. It was Firefox's fault for not supporting the protocol correctly.
It ends up costing me about as much as streaming.
Spotify is $10/month. If you're purchasing everything instead, that's only about 1 new album or 10 tracks per month into your collection.
The only way the price could be similar is if you're not listening to much new music. That may work from some people, but I don't think it's common. I estimate I listen to a minimum of 50 new tracks per week, which would be hundreds of dollars per month if I was buying everything.
I also wouldn't be exposed to nearly as much new music if I had to buy it all.
> I'd have a hard time going back to other streaming services after getting used to the convenience of having control over the entire chain.
I'm also confused about how dealing with all of these small purchases, manually managing your library, and setting up and maintaining a server for it is more convenient than signing up for Spotify.
It's hard to beat something like Spotify for convenience: Create account. Add payment method. Listen to nearly anything.
I think you might be dismissing the relative complexity of your setup because it's something you enjoy setting up and maintaining, but it's definitely not as convenient as Spotify (or other music streaming services).
On average, that is indeed where I'm at, I had thought I did more than that but upon actually checking my purchase history, I found that I didn't really get new tracks too often, instead every few months I come across a new artist (via covers on youtube or from twitter) whose style I really enjoy and end up buying most of their discography in one go (and new tracks don't come out too often). Then I spend a lot of time listening to it all, enjoying picking up things I might've missed before.
This is probably also affected by my preferences being a bit niche as a very specific flavor of J-Pop.
For managing the overall structure of my library I use MusicBrainz Picard, the small purchases don't really bother me too much.
You're right in that I do also enjoy setting up and maintaining my configuration. I self-host a bunch of things so the machine is already running anyway.
What convenience is that? How do you consider that your setup is in anyway more convenient that opening the Spotify app and listening to basically anything?
If you are into very niche music or something maybe, but it's pretty hard to beat just clicking "play". Now if you said you simply pirate the songs I could see the convenience of saving money, but in your case you buy the music anyway?
Then there's also the issue of VPNs, especially on my phone, I prefer to always have my VPN active which most streaming services do not allow.
Plus, on desktop I often prefer to use a separate music player (MusicBee), which again lends itself nicely to the self-hosted solution since I just have it pointed to the same library as plex. Related to this is that I can organize my music however way I want and don't have to worry about being locked into the app's quirks.
Then, with the spotify outage I came across many complaints about login timeouts causing the app to outright log them out, preventing them from accessing even their downloaded music, which is also a nice thing to not have to think about.
On top of all that, my taste in music is indeed slightly niche and it isn't too uncommon for some track I have to outright not be on any streaming service (sometimes because it's too old, sometimes because it's from too small of an artist or isn't a public release), so not having to switch to a different app for only that music is also nice.
So combining all that makes a plex/plexamp style arrangement much more convenient to me than any streaming service.
I used to pirate the music back when I was too young to afford it and might still do so for music that isn't available for convenient purchase (ie only available by importing expensive physical media from the other side of the world), but otherwise since I can now afford it and am often somewhat invested in the artist's career, I don't mind buying it.
In my particular case, as someone who listens to a lot of international music: licensing. I've come across, and subsequently lost track of so many amazing international groups whose music suddenly comes off of streaming sites and don't come back because of licensing disputes or the license just plain ran out.
Pretty convenient for me now to just buy the song/album, put it on my drive and know it's not going anywhere outside of data loss or drive theft. Two things I can reasonably control with a bit more vigor.
- Opening this setup and enjoying the highest quality.
- Opening this setup and having full control over playlists.
- Opening this setup overseas and still listening to the same tracks, regardless of local distribution rights.
- Opening this setup and realizing that you have already paid the artist likely more than several years of your listening on Spotify nonstop would bring them (only feels good if it's one of your favorite artists).
But yes, if you don't have to do anything to have an enjoyable experience on Spotify, then there's no reason for you to bother with self-hosting.
I would go on weekend long binges of cleaning up the mess. The neurotic side of me misses having the busy work, but the practical side appreciates having the free time.
I've seen logging out on failed network requests, but that is highly annoying and frequently occurs and typically just a coding mistake.
On the day of my free trial ending I received the first and only phishing email I've ever had from spotify telling me my trial was ending and it was time to swipe.
Up until then I had been happy with the service, but then noticed I was about to get owned.... Down to the day of expiration...
I emailed their support about how this was sketchy and they needed to do better information masking and got told their team did not consider any of this a vulnerabilty.
With this in tow, it really cast some shade on their serious engineering abilities for me.
Over the same period, I gave exactly €1200.93 to Spotify .
 note: it’s a pure coincidence that this is ~ €10 * 12 months * 10 years; the price has not always been the same.
It's a combination of Spotify's fantastic weekly playlists, keeping up with new releases, and exploring new genres.
You are essentially listening to 40 new songs per day.
Last week I found a Russian artist in a playlist I follow and I listened to all their albums. I don’t know how to pronounce their name nor the title of any of their songs, but it was a nice background music for coding since I don’t understand a thing of the language.
I don't want to have thousands of different songs floating through my ears. If I'm in the mood for something new, I'll get a recommendation from a friend or an online service, listen to a couple tracks then decide if I should invest more time in the band or just forget about them. Interestingly after a few streams of albums it on Bandcamp, they nag you to buy and it's usually about the time where "yeah, you know, I probably should add this to the collection". Unless finding new music, I always listen by whole albums as the bands decided was best to listen to the tracks, not individual songs--so the numbers you bring up just aren't something I care about. Whole albums are cheaper and if only one track is good on an album, that band not really something I'm interested in.
In 20 years spent even more on digital.
I have tons of things not available on streaming.
Regardless, the fact my listening gets to be an isolated activity, the fact no one can take it away? Priceless
But for example me, I grew up listing to mixtapes and as a child/teenager spent many weekends in front of my sisters programmable 5 disc CD player to record songs from CDs borrowed from friends to cassette tapes. I never got out of this habit. While some albums I prefer to listen as a whole, in general I favor playlists. Streaming is great for this. Also especially YouTube has a lot of live recordings that aren't released otherwise.
I do buy quite a bit of digital and physical records from independent artist but then listen to them on Spotify. Because the streaming platforms tend to have horrible payment models. This I find much worse, than DRM and lack of ownership.
They're also amazing for portability. Every phone, desktop PC, laptop and tablet I have can play MP3s, and while most can also run spotify, the same can't be said for all the TVs, DVD/blu-ray players, CD players, ebook readers, and game consoles that support MP3. It must have been an easy bullet point to add to a feature list because I see MP3 and other music formats supported in a huge number of devices. I've seen it supported in GPS navigation devices, alarm clocks, children's toys, workout equipment, and toothbrushes
On the other hand I buy merch and go to concerts as much as I can, but at this point I could actually ditch Spotify and Deezer only if they confess to killing puppies, the difference is that big.
Some major labels don't sell on Bandcamp; for those I often buy the MP3s on Amazon. I don't love Amazon, but they do sell high quality, DRM-free music now.
Apple Music does not have a great UI but it is definitely worth the trade off.
Tidal sounds great, but they make you pay extra for lossless and have a smaller catalogue.
Having used both, I'm now happily paying for Spotify to avoid using the train wreck that is the Apple Music app. It is a true shame what Apple has done to iTunes.
Also, I’m not certain, but I think the tracks that are studio masters are often mixed differently. I’m not sure what it is, maybe greater dynamic range (cd tracks are louder). I think it sounds better.
Even though Apple sounds better, I probably still use Spotify more because the client isn’t as terrible (or at least is terrible in different ways that I’m used to).
I am not completely sure if its the codec Apple uses that is making the difference or if it is because the source is lossless, but bass sounds punchier and instrument separation is much better with Apple Music compared to Spotify's best quality.
I was really looking forward to Spotify's lossless that was announced (I think it's called Spotify HQ?), but I haven't heard about that in a long time.
Edit: If you plug in your Airpod Max with a hardwire cable, the difference is even more noticeable, even with iPhone's internal DAC.
Also want to clarify that the differences and not so pronounced that you will be able to tell right away, but if you listen to Apple Music for a while and try to listen to the same song on Spotify, it will not sound the same. It's one of those cases where you don't know what you don't know till you know it once.
Spotify was great for finding indie music bands, and could really give good recommendations. Apple music is not even in the same league.
Is it? When I switched to Apple Music I didn't find it remarkably better or worse then anything else I've used (including Spotify). Reviews (https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/apple-music) don't mention any UX issues either. If you know of any substantive commentary on this I'd appreciate a link.
- On Mac, Apple Music will just consistently stop playing audio. Force quitting & restarting fixes it.
- On iOS, the app is prone to crashing more than any iOS app I've seen. It's not horrible (I very rarely see crashing period), but it's far more than 3rd party apps or even Apple's own set.
- On iOS and on a weak connection, Music will not play even if it is downloaded. I suspect it has something to do with DRM servers, but don't know for sure.
- I once changed my iCloud password on my account, and it sent the Apple Music app into an infinite loop of trying to reload content, instead of just prompting for my password again.
- Load times are horrendous for online content, even on fiber connections.
- I don't have many complaints about discoverability, but it's certainly nowhere near Spotify's recommendation engine. Spotify's weekly-updated new music playlist is way more relevant to me than Apple Music's version (New Music Mix).
- I think way more people can tell the difference between Spotify's audio quality and Apple Music's Lossless/Atmos. I sure could, and it was obvious.
But have you blind A/B tested this with a third party? I don't mean to be combative, but the audiophile community is ripe with this kind of thing. People claiming that a speaker cable (or sometimes even a power cable) gives them better quality audio.
And then once you blindfold them and ask them to tell which is which, suddenly the differences aren't so clear.
I would love to see someone do this experiment though, maybe I am an audiophile and didn't even know it.
Your perceived change in audio quality is more likely to be placebo in the justification of your own platform choices. Spotify high quality is certainly transparent on the equipment you use, as the drivers in those headphones are physically unable to provide enough detail to show any differences between that and lossless.
The improved sound quality on Apple Music is a major benefit, and I was able to add all my music that isn't in their library (and sync across devices).
I also love that upcoming albums that drip feed new tracks aren't categorized as EPs like Spotify does it. I can view the track in the upcoming album on Apple Music, add the album to my library, and then get notifications as they add more tracks or release the album.
Apple Music's macOS app UI is terrible, no way around that. They're supposedly making some parts of it native in a future macOS release though.
And that Spotify is led by people who think artists who want that level of compensation are "entitled":
Apple posted profits of $34.6 billion last quarter. Use whatever service is most convenient for you, but I take umbrage with trying to paint a trillion dollar corporation as altruistic for paying a penny per stream to a musician.
Obviously Apple can afford to pay a lot lot more. Now obviously you can say that if they can't afford it they shouldn't be in business, but you can say the exact same for the record labels/artists. They can just pull their songs from Spotify.
I don't have any sympathy for Spotify, though. No one has done more than they have to create the price point expectations for products like theirs. They should have known it wasn't enough. They probably did know and like most growth phase startups simply decided to care until later if ever, and any negative enduring impacts on artists be damned.
I think Napster/Limewire/Kazaa were far greater influences on price point expectations for Music. This reads like complete erasure of music distribution from 1999-2011. Not to mention you already have companies like Rdio and Grooveshark that were pretty much squeezed to death by the labels.
Yes, Advertising is a poor way to monetize such a service (just look at Pandora), but Apple is in a privileged position being able to start today with a subscription only service; one that is enforced by their market position in devices. There is no way you could have pulled that off in 2008, and the reason for that was piracy.
Unauthorized copies have been a fact of life not only through the dawn of the P2P era but back through the cassette era. And you don't even have to get into the ethics of that in order to understand that none of them ever set price point expectations. Everyone involved in that activity ultimately understood that they were not participating in economically supporting the artist (or indeed, in any economic transaction at all). Everyone was clear on the accounting.
Spotify adopted an economic model marginally different from piracy but with the veneer of a legitimate economic transaction, the pretense of some kind of proper accounting.
So yeah. It absolutely did more to set price point expectations.
> Rdio and Grooveshark
Rdio and Grooveshark are weird examples to pull in, Rdio because it was always too late and too small to have really made that much of a difference, Grooveshark because it started life as more of a P2P tool. What's next, pointing out the missed relevance of audioscrobbler/last.fm?
> There is no way you could have pulled that off in 2008, and the reason for that was piracy.
The primary reason you couldn't have pulled that off in 2008 was economic contraction, not piracy.
If you actually look at the RIAA sales history figures you can see it:
The total sales volume peaks quite clearly coincide more with macroeconomic trends than technical trends. CDs get huge during the "irrational exuberance" of the 90s. It dips with the dot-com crash, but even with P2P taking off like crazy and digital retail barely getting off the ground, the amount of money going into CDs is more flat than downward ... until 2007, of course, and everyone knows what happened then. And the recent primary huge revenue growth in streaming has coincided with periods of big economic growth.
And you can also see the story in there of digital retail growth from 2004... up until streaming cannibalized that.
I don't believe you can present this decision as independent of piracy and business model. The reason for Spotify's abysmal payouts compared to Apple's has to do with the _business model_. Advertising is an awful way to pay to content when it comes to music especially when you have to placate labels. You are making it seem Spotify just kept the money for themselves, when there simply wasn't that much money to go around.
>Rdio and Grooveshark are weird examples to pull in
I bring them up (and include Pandora) because they had the functionally the same business model; to appease labels by giving them advertising revenue. It didn't work because the revenue wasn't there.
>The primary reason you couldn't have pulled that off in 2008 was economic contraction, not piracy.
Spotify was founded in 2006; and launched in the US in 2011 (the same year Limewire shutdown). You could not have launched a successful, subscription only streaming service the year limewire shutdown. Your chart is a great resource - look how tiny the "On Demand Streaming (Ad supported)" revenue bar is; that is the "money pool" most artists are drawing from when they get paid from Spotify.
To summarize, Spotify's payouts are historically terrible and will continue to be terrible for as long as they continue to support their free product. The advertising market just isn't there, and all those free users depress the pay per streams that Spotify provides. Spotify's "price expectation" was driven by the fact they likely needed to launch with a free ad supported product or they would have never succeeded in the competition with piracy. Apple now enjoys only having to compete with Spotify, and not with Limewire, and doesn't have to offer a free product. With a much larger revenue pool to draw from, per stream, their numbers naturally look better than Spotifys.
The effects of piracy cannot be discounted; even Jobs practically built iTunes and the iPod on the backs of piracy.
How does your critique of Spotify not apply to Apple? They lack a free/ads tier, and claim to pay a bit more to artists. Does this fundamentally change the fact that they’re still /streaming/?
So my critique could apply to Apple in approximately the ratio between their payouts and Spotify's (averaging around $.01 to $.004).
I would also point out that Apple's scheme starts to get into territory that looks reasonable-ish as a replacement for recording retail. Ask yourself how many plays you're likely to get out of a single you buy. If my recall of my iTunes history is any indication, it probably averages out to around 50. $1.00 a track, 70% to artist, that's right around a penny per play.
Of course, there's a short peak (opposite of long tail) of more individually popular tracks that people will play hundreds of times. Those the economics probably works out down in the tenth-of-a-penny range. But even then, retail incentives were better -- front-loading payouts creates a situation where new-music-creation is incentivized more heavily, leading you to be more likely to have more from your favorite artists if there's more to make.
Looking externally at the company they’re listed as having 50,000-100,000 employees. That’s a lot of people to employ for a audio streaming service.
I also happen to know their cloud commitments (I know a guy) and they are large enough that it starts to make a lot of sense to invest into physical hardware.
I’m talking so much money per year that it rivals the GDP of some countries.
Uhhhh. Do you mean Apple or Spotify? Spotify's 2021 Q4 press release says:
>At the end of Q4, our workforce consisted of 7,690 FTEs globally.
I did Spotify for a year. Then I did Apple Music for a year. Family plan both times for the whole family. I switched back to Spotify after a year of Apple.
Spotify let me catalog, and find music better. The rest of the family agreed.
I found this BYU Divine Comedy amateur sketch to sum it all up pretty well. Particularly the Apple experience parody: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvqcNBksCXE
the tidal client is nearly as bad as spotifys too
General headphone recommendation? Best I have is an MDR-7506 but I don't think it's meant for listening rather producing.
Will keep it in mind I'll compare the 58x to DT 77 although open backs limit usage for me I think (not have other people hear my music).
This one of those things drives you insane so many choices
Will give them a chance/listen for a bit. Just funny you get this obsession like "I gotta buy it" then disappointed.
Fairly neutral response (dunno if you'd prefer something bassier for listening) and very comfortable
Thanks I'll put those on a list. Definitely one of those things have to try on in person to buy but recommendations help too.
Edit: not too bassy actually, neutral would be nice like works for almost anything.