This is not a post to pick on Apple, though the image above might suggest that. Instead I’m going to lump them all in one demonic basket: Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. All because they’re alienating hardcore music listeners and audiophiles:
And also because none of these bastards can be trusted.
Every tech giant wants you to use The Cloud. The Cloud is the future. The Cloud will bless us with a flood of entertainment, streaming into our devices like a perpetual well of digital goodness. In fact, they’ve pretty much won the battle. Many aren’t buying music anymore, they’re streaming it. This pretty much sucks for the artists who receive but a pittance for their work, but hey, it’s convenient. It also sucks to listen to.
I shut off my iPhone and iPad’s connection to Apple Music immediately, before that service replaced everything in my library with crap (see link above) but also because I hate streaming. Depending on something to be streamed in the very rural area I live in is like depending on a windbreaker to get you through the North Dakota winter. It just isn’t going to happen.
I’ve seen the numbers crunched on the quality of signal you’re getting from streaming at best is 320Kbps. That’s comparable to a good MP3. OK, that will be acceptable in a car or maybe over low-grade headphones but on any decent gear it comes off as rather thin. The only time I listen to MP3s is when I’m forced to listen to what is on my phone or iPad, usually if I am somewhere waiting. Otherwise it’s lossless digital files, CDs, and vinyl. There’s at least 10K lossless songs sitting on my PC right now with another 20K residing in the hard drive. As my friend (and Apple employee) Jambo has pointed out, I’m not exactly the ideal customer for this sort of audio service.
But you all should be questioning this gravitation to The Cloud. It’s depriving artists of a decent income. It’s putting control in the hands of tech giants whose sense of benevolence and fair play are often limited. It’s trusting your data to companies who have been hacked again and again. It’s relinquishing control to a higher power that may not have your best interests at heart. Ask yourself again, at what price is the convenience of The Cloud?