Build a digital music library or stream music?
Daniel Raggett - Melco Europe General Manager
To stream or not to stream?
Streaming and building a digital music library both have their place, as Daniel Raggett explains.
Finding what you like
Streaming services like Spotify are great for exploring music and finding more artists you like, based on your playlist history. Listen to an album, or search more songs from the same genre you usually favour and if you enjoy them, download them in hi-res and add to your music libraries.
Ease of search
With a digital library, everything is stored in a chronological order, so your music is easy to find and play. How you want to search for it i.e. by artist, album, song, works, genre etc. is then completely up to you.
A music collection that a customer has lovingly worked hard for many years to create, can be stored with ease on a music server and accessed via a phone, tablet or computer to control, without having to sift through the CD rack to choose.
With streaming, you have to choose what you are going to listen to at that moment, whereas with a music library you can scroll effortlessly through for collection and see what jumps out at you.
Control out of your hands
If a streaming service is no longer available, there goes your music collection! Whereas with a music library, you can keep adding to it and build a bigger collection, whether that’s via CD rips, imported music or downloads.
It is well known that artists are not supported well financially from streamed music, so buying that physical CD or purchasing that download means artists can still produce new music, play live gigs/ concerts and keep making the music that you love to listen to.
The quality of music and reproduction is much better when stored on a music library than being streamed. CD quality is 16bit/44.1 kHz (generally), whereas streamed music (from, for example, Spotify) is 320kbps (compressed) at highest audio quality.
There are other services such as Tidal and Qobuz (both supported via Melco music libraries and the Melco Music HD app) that offer higher quality bit-rate music, but playback quality can still be affected due to the music being stored on large commercial servers and other users acquiring that same file at the same time.
There are also high-resolution download services like highresaudio.com and NativeDSD (both friends of Melco) which can provide higher quality stored music at affordable prices. As these files are downloaded directly, the files are not being used by other people . Learn more about DSD music in our previous blog post here.
Remember: always keep a back-up of your music library, whether it be on a computer or dedicated music library server like a Melco.
So, we would say stream for discovery, library for playback.
How about you? Are you a streaming fan or a fan of downloads/ buying CDs? Let us know in the comments.