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Music Streaming to Overtake Downloads

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the how-do-you-steal-a-stream dept.

Music 254

Barence writes "Streaming will overtake download services to become the dominant force in the online music industry, according to industry insiders. The claim comes in the wake of the PRS cutting the amount of royalties streaming services have to pay songwriters to about a third. Sites will now pay the PRS 0.085p per track, compared to the 0.22p they paid previously. On-demand streaming services still have to pay the record labels about 1p for every track streamed, however. Steve Purdham, CEO of music service We7, says the move will accelerate the growing trend towards online streaming which has seen newcomers such as his site and Spotify attract millions of users in less than a year. 'Over the next 12-24 months you'll see a move towards listening [online],' Purdham told PC Pro. 'Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.'"

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You know... (5, Insightful)

jbacon (1327727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206219)

Sometimes, I want something to actually be MINE.

Re:You know... (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206589)

It can be: use streamripper or something similar and download your streamed music.

I for one don't download music through P2P or "pirate" sites (which in fact don't really exist anymore) anymore, but I download music from net radio streams, and quite a few tracks from Youtube too. Why? Because it shifts the blame away from me. When I rip a stream, it's undetectable. When I extract audio from a Youtube video (shitty, granted), it's undetectable. Not that there's much of a risk using P2P anyway, but when using high-profile sources, there's ZERO risk.

IMHO, that is the real reason why people seem to like net radios so much: they rip tracks just like they used to record radio hits on cassette in years past.

Re:You know... (1, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206631)

IMHO, that is the real reason why people seem to like net radios so much: they rip tracks just like they used to record radio hits on cassette in years past.

Not really, net radio is an always-on source of music, so why record it? Instead of playing that recording you made you can just tune in again...
And when you listen regularly (like at work) you'll hear the same songs again and again so there is even less reason to record it.

Even my cellphone can stream internet radio, so even for portable usage you don't have to rip the stream.

Once there is a 100% all-you-can-eat streaming music service for a fixed fee (i'm hoping last.fm will create this) i'll be the first to ditch my music collection... No need to store that shit locally when you can enjoy all music ever made by man with the click of a button.

Not everywhere (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206817)

> Not really, net radio is an always-on source of music, so why record it?

Here at my work in the NSA, I have trouble accessing my favorite streaming service. Posting anonymously for a reason :)

OK, OK, that was just a joke.... the NSA part, obviously.... but be informed that we are still far away from having ubiquitous access to the Internet, and security considerations will always make this only a dream no matter how far communication technology advances.

Re:You know... (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206927)

Well net radio, like traditional radio, evolves over time. Today you might be able to hear your favorite song played every two hours on a rotating basis, but what about ten years from now? Probably not because as songs age, they disappear off the DJ's playlist. The advantage of downloading a song is you can play it anytime you feel like it - like a few days ago when I started listening to 1978 and 79 disco songs.

Also:

The conclusion of this article is not too surprising. The number of people who listened to AM or FM radio over the last fifty years has always been much larger than the number who listened to records or cassettes or CDs. It seems logical that the same would still be true when radio moves from AM/FM to IP. The technology changes but people's habits remain pretty much the same.

Re:You know... (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206937)

I'd rather not have corporations able to track every individuals geo-location and listening patterns.

How about a streaming service to try new songs and then you can store the music locally that you actually do listen to. That way you have more freedom and no one can track your usage patterns or geo-location.

Why dream of a limited life?

Re:You know... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206965)

> Not really, net radio is an always-on source of music, so why record it?

1. You're not sure the track will always be available. (See youtube tracks removed, see chapter 11 filings, see politicians trying to curb the intertubes)
2. You have your streamed track right here in your half empty pc HD. Why waste bandwidth downloading it again? It's Environ-mentally absurd.
3. You supply less profiling data to be lost in a laptop and sold in the black market in a near future.

Now, i'm actually displeased by 3. because it's a kind of a deal, the site offers free stuff in exchange for my musical prefs and I cheat. If a service featured CACHEABLE tracks playable offline (html5 browsers and local storage allow this) they could possibly track the user playing when he connects for new tracks (for profiling and paying royalties) and don't waste heaps of band.
Italian PRO, the SIAE, used not to allow caching. Dunno if they changed that.

Re:You know... (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207111)

net radio is an always-on source of music, so why record it?

Few stations play exactly the music you like all the time. Sometimes even my favorite station plays something that I really dislike. By recording the stream, the listener can play the tracks he likes, skipping the bad ones, in the order he likes.

No need to store that shit locally when you can enjoy all music ever made by man with the click of a button.

If that's good enough for you, fine. But I like my local music collection, and no streaming service has ever come close. I'm not convinced that streaming is "the future" and locally stored music is "the past".

Re:You know... (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207155)

You're thinking of old-style radio stations, with a pre-planned stream of content. There are also streaming services that basically act like a music player on your computer - you pick the songs you want to hear, but they're streamed from the Internet instead of your hard drive.

Re:You know... (5, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206671)

Sometimes, I want something to actually be MINE.

Then create your own music. You don't need a license to do that (yet).

Perhaps you're confusing owning a physical representation of data with owning the rights to do whatever you want with those data. Obtaining and storing the data is trivial. It's the rights ownership issue that's pernicious.

Re:You know... (4, Insightful)

espamo (1061728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207265)

Obtaining and storing the data is trivial.

Not for me. Despite the 210k mp3s I have in my hard drives, the p2p networks, music streaming sites and online and traditional music stores, I have lists of hundreds of albums I cannot find anywhere.
Not only that, part of the music I own* doesn't meet what I consider a minimum of quality. But I cannot obtain it with a better encoding.
Music is a form of art and, as such, it should be considered, if not a patrimony of the humanity, at least something culturally valuable.
So it is significant how you store the data, how you rip, encode, tag and sort the music, in order to make it accessible and preserve its quality.

* I can manipulate it, delete it and listen to it whenever and wherever I want.

Re:You know... (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206821)

Sometimes, I want something to actually be MINE.

"This is MY elevator, and we're stopping at EVERY floor!"

What do you think? Was this quote from the movie CrimeWave or from a Sony executive?

Re:You know... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206963)

>>>"This is MY elevator, and we're stopping at EVERY floor!"

This is why I don't like public transportation. Because the train keeps stopping at every station, it takes forever to reach your ultimate destination, whereas if I take my Personal People Mover (aka car) I can eliminate all those stops & get there much faster.

Re:You know... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28207027)

A train doesn't have to wait for traffic, stop for red lights/stop signs or obey most traffic laws. You can read, play games, sleep or carry a real conversation on a train. You don't have to be sober or alert. You also don't have to circle around city blocks looking for parking for half an hour or pay outrageous fees to park. On top of it all, it doesn't pollute the environment as much as it would if everyone were driving cars.

Re:You know... (2, Funny)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207181)

I think trains *do* have to stop for red lights/stop signs, judging by the amount of uproar in the media, grieving relatives etc, when they don't.

Re:You know... (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207213)

A train doesn't have to wait for traffic

But has to slow down in certain residential areas, near crossings etc.

stop for red lights/stop signs

They do if it's a red light on the track.

You can read, play games, sleep or carry a real conversation on a train.

You can also end up standing for 8 hours because they didn't provide enough carriages, or get attacked by marauding soccer hooligans on their way home from the away game.

You don't have to be sober or alert.

You don't actually have to be sober or alert in a car, although it does help.

You also don't have to circle around city blocks looking for parking for half an hour or pay outrageous fees to park.

You circle around looking for an empty block of seats, away from anyone who might be over talkative, away from screaming babies and kids etc. Oh, and have you seen the price of a soggy bacon buttie on a train ? Parking is usually cheaper !

On top of it all, it doesn't pollute the environment as much as it would if everyone were driving cars.

If all cars were electrically powered, this might be up for debate.

Re:You know... (4, Insightful)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206867)

Sometimes, I want something to actually be MINE.

I wouldn't worry as the conclusions are "according to industry insiders." so it is almost certainly wishful thinking rather than rigorous, peer reviewed research.

Re:You know... (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207167)

Even if it the stats are true, is it so surprising that streaming would be more popular? First of all, there are several free services there that let you stream quite a bit of music, and secondly, the digital stores that do exist remain pretty clunky and either have DRM up the ass or very limited catalogues - or both.

Re:You know... (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206913)

I know that feeling. My last birthday present was link tou youtube.com carved out of wood on glass plate.

+1 troll (5, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206227)

Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.'"

idk, because you're not always connected to the internet?

because possession is 9/10ths of ownership (if it's not, it should be).

Re:+1 troll (5, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206327)

Exactly. I would ask the inverse rhetorical question: "Why do you actually have to be connected to the net to listen to music? Download, store and play on demand is really the future."

Higher speed connections, cheaper and physically smaller solid state storage. Downloading with the ability to resume if the cable gets pulled or you go through a long tunnel. It's much better than having to be always online, IMO.

File under fad that fades.

Re:+1 troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206351)

It's not going to fade. Soon Apple will be streaming music (what do you think that new $1B farm is for?) and streaming will be the new standard to get music. I wonder how long it will be until /. users realise that online storage for information is the way to go...

Re:+1 troll (5, Insightful)

deepershade (994429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206421)

I wonder how long it will be until /. users realise that online storage for information is the way to go... That'll happen around the time that online storage becomes more useful in all scenarios than physical and movable, self controllable storage. In short, not now, and from the looks of it, not for a long time.

Re:+1 troll (3, Insightful)

Zarluk (976365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206539)

Sometimes it seems I hear someone shouting "Give us your data! Give us your data!"...

Re:+1 troll (2, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206591)

I wonder how long it will be until /. users realise that online storage for information is the way to go...

That will happen once it's actually possible to connect to online storage from anywhere at any time, at no extra cost, and at a decent speed. This is currently not possible for anyone who ever steps outside their home, except in a tiny handful of major cities.

Once that's sorted out, we can start worrying about the privacy issues, and what to do if the storage company goes bust.

Re:+1 troll (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206759)

>>I wonder how long it will be until /. users realise that online storage for information is the way to go...

About as long as it takes to bring back true 'unlimited' internet use.

I'm already pissing off time warner with all my movie downloads and game playing online. Now you want me to stream music every day instead of just downloading it once?

Are you fucking stupid?

Re:+1 troll (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28207165)

Until online storage can guarantee 100% uptime availability, privacy from all people/entities and broadband becomes a thing that I can access at any point on the planet for free, without a physical connection and those wireless connection speeds match or exceed the speed of my SATA2 drives, then no, it most certainly is not the way to go.

Re:+1 troll (5, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206453)

Or maybe, just maybe, in the future, in the future we won't have to choose. Oh, what a glorious world that would be where one could not only choose to purchase music, but also choose to listen to music selected by someone else and pulled right from the air! Sadly though, you are right, we must choose only one method of listening to music -- any other way would be impossible, I feel foolish for ever having imagined otherwise.

Re:+1 troll (2, Interesting)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206499)

Despite your sarcasm, the music industry will choose one way or the other. This will be the best (highest capital gaining) method for them. Meaning, streaming will become standard. This is because they get to charge you for it continuously because you never "own" it. It's simple economics, really.

US-centric... (3, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206677)

The whole issue presupposes a US-centric model, where nearly everybody has access to a decent broadband connection. Here in Australia the best that most people can get at the moment is ADSL2+, which is quite good in itself, but suffers from the fact that we have a skinny pipe between here and the rest of the world. But outside major metro areas, there are still many areas where the best we can get is dialup. I have a property in Tasmania, which despite all the noisy promises about broadband rollouts looks like it is going to completely fall off the radar, and neither the politicians nor the telcos could give a fuck.

In any case, those of us in metro areas are typically capped at something like 4GB/month for AU$49 depending on your plan. Having to stream all content would quickly make a savage dent in that.

Re:+1 troll (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206681)

My entire compressed music collection fits in 11GB. It's not a large collection, granted. Let's say it's half the size of the average one, and round up to the nearest USB Flash drive, 32GB.

32GB flash drives start at about £45 here. Since I always work at a computer, this, plus a 1GB player that I've had for years, is more than enough. Much cheaper than a 32GB iPod touch at £400, reliable, shockproof, waterproof, portable, and most importantly, not subject to disconnection at the whim of any number of entities with an interest in tapping my income stream.

Re:+1 troll (1)

nyonix (1001721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206929)

I agree with you, but is easy to see the Internet everywhere in a few years, you will probably pay a monthly fee for your access to the Internet, wherever you are or for whatever purpose, be it on your car, cellphone, your friends house, or even his car, in a few years it will be inconceivable to not have Internet everywhere, just like electricity. Personally i prefer streaming, i use deezer.com.

Re:+1 troll (1)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207251)

I'll file it under fake fad that never comes to be.

Unless they give us free mobile internet, I seriously doubt that streaming will overtake downloading.

Re:+1 troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206599)

because big media can't be trusted to archive culture.

Whats a p? (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206229)

Sites will now pay the PRS 0.085p per track, compared to the 0.22p they paid previously.

I assume that one p means 0.01 UK pounds but I could be wrong about that.

Re:Whats a p? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206301)

You are correct, p = pence = penny = 0.01 GBP

Re:Whats a p? (0)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206461)

... Did you go to the verizon school of maths? if 1 pence = 1 penny = 0.01GPB, then 0.085 pence = 0.085 pennys = 0.00085 GBP. What the GP is trying to establish though is whether the summary/article authors also went to the verizon school of maths, or if they've written the values down correctly.

Re:Whats a p? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206555)

No Verizon math(s) involved. The rate is not a flat charge per track, the rate is per track per user, i.e. for every track they play they have to pay that fraction of a pence for every user who is streaming it.

Re:Whats a p? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206769)

Are you an idiot? That's not what he asked. He specificially asked "Whats a p?" followed by "I assume that one p means 0.01 UK pounds" which yes, it does. How is that in any way does that infer asking whether the summary authors got the prices wrong?

Re:Whats a p? (3, Informative)

Chief Camel Breeder (1015017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206715)

Correct. And the PRS [wikipedia.org] is a British organization, so the deal is national rather than international.

Re:Whats a p? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28207073)

Actually in the UK it's common to write £NN.MMp, £NN.00 or 00.MMp. Don't ask me why.

Nuh-uh. (2)

edlinfan (1131341) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206233)

Can't load it onto your iPod.

Unless you are tied to a PC all the time, (or have a fancy-schmancy iPhone or touch), this idea won't be as universal as good old MP3/WMA/AAC.

Re:Nuh-uh. (0, Redundant)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206249)

no, but with phones being connected to the internet they could stream that way, but it'd be a pain when you are in tunnels in the subway

Re:Nuh-uh. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206573)

Hmm... doesn't work in tunnels, plays music... brilliant, they've invented the radio. Oh wait... no, we've had that for about 100 years now.

Re:Nuh-uh. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207263)

or have a fancy-schmancy iPhone or touch

This article is about Britain. Our mobile phone networks are a bit behind the rest of Europe, and a lot behind Japan, but even so most phones sold in the last few years have supported streaming music, as long as your contract provides enough bandwidth, and pre-pay phones increasingly provide cheap(ish) data. My last two phones have both come with a media player that supports Internet radio stations and I generally get about 50KB/s transfers which is a lot more than you need for streaming music (most streams are 8-16KB/s).

Good luck with that. (4, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206241)

I have at least 5 different devices that cannot stream that I use weekly. Also why waste the bandwidth playing the same songs over and over again, yesterday I listened to almost 2 gigs of music and some days I might listen to 3-4x that amount when I listen to my 1980's punk FLAC-encoded albums. I use Comcast that would mean I would use 1/3-2/3 of my bandwidth per month just for background noise.

Re:Good luck with that. (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206319)

I have at least 5 different devices that cannot stream that I use weekly. Also why waste the bandwidth playing the same songs over and over again [..]

There's a difference between true streams and streams with cache. Applications like Spotify lets you choose whether you want to cache the songs you're listening to or not.

Slow connection? Use caching.

Running out of space? Disable caching!

Slow connection and low on disk space? Well, then this service is not aimed to people like you.

Re:Good luck with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206383)

Does that cache work on multiple computers?

Re:Good luck with that. (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206767)

that would mean I would use 1/3-2/3 of my bandwidth per month just for background noise.

Exactly. And if you want something better than background noise - if you want to actually hear some real music (!!) without all the flaccid bass, rolled-over treble and soggy midrange of compressed files, unless you have access to a real studio-quality soundcard, you are stuck with the CD.

I'm beginning to worry that we now have a whole generation that has never heard music reproduced as it was intended to be, and that has no expectation of anything ever sounding better than if played through a wet sock. Don't get me wrong, I love my iPod, but that gets used where there is lots of ambient noise, so I'm less critical of the sound quality.

But once you have bought your CD, you don't have to pay again and again to hear it.

industry insiders (4, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206247)

What do they know? If there was some knowledge in the industry about the future we wouldn't have the mess we have right now.

Re:industry insiders (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206467)

Yes, we would. To be a "knowledgeable industry insider", you have to find out what the company(s) you are working for want.

In a lot of these industry insider situations, if they don't hear what they want to hear you're not going to be in the industry for long.

Re:industry insiders (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206835)

So, the future will be something a lot of people don't like? With the result being the same "mess" we have now (e.g. downloading of illegally distributed music).
And, if the insiders are only going to predict what the companies what to hear, then what's the use in the first place. Why not simply buy parrots.

Re:industry insiders (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207019)

What do they know? If there was some knowledge in the industry about the future we wouldn't have the mess we have right now.

Same reason we're letting the banks and the Federal Reserve solve the problem they didn't see coming and initially assured us was contained.

Spotify is a valid option. (5, Interesting)

iVasto (829426) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206269)

I for one have used Spotify in the past. I no longer use it because every couple weeks I had to hunt down a British proxy in order to log in--Spotify isn't available in the US yet, hence the proxy. However for the two months I did use it, I loved it. The music library is a decent size, the playlists work well, and it even has the ability to have collaborative playlists. The creator of uTorrent, Ludvig Strigeus, is involved with Spotify. Granted, Spotify did not stop me from downloading music due to needing to put music on my iPod, I did download a lot less during those months. Spotify allowed me to listen to complete albums without needing to download first. This resulted in me only downloading the albums I really wanted on my iPod. Also, probably the most convienant part of Spotify was that I was able to set my laptop out at parties and people could add almost whatever song they could think of onto the playlist.

Spotify will not replace downloading, but I do believe that it will significantly reduce it.

Probably yes. (4, Interesting)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206281)

While I like my CD collection, I have to admit that Spotify is really really handy for casual listening. I have a jukebox of ridiculous proportions at my disposal, for the relatively cheap price of a few audio ads a day. (Which I could also get rid of with the subscription option.)

Streaming has the additional benefit of making it impossible to lose / delete what you don't story anyway.

I don't really think a lot of people will find the buying option very attractive once 3G cell phones acquire this ability... I'm waiting for Spotify for my phone, (they already hired an S60 developer,) but then again I live in Finland. ;)

Re:Probably yes. (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206285)

s/story/store/ Darn typos just don't give up.

Re:Probably yes. (1)

slart42 (694765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206949)

While I like my CD collection, I have to admit that Spotify is really really handy for casual listening. I have a jukebox of ridiculous proportions at my disposal, for the relatively cheap price of a few audio ads a day. (Which I could also get rid of with the subscription option.)

I wonder why, after months of using Spotify for free, I have never heard a single ad? Are ads not supported in my country (Germany), yet? Well.. I'm not complaining!

Re:Probably yes. (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207001)

I hear local ads, paid for by Finnish companies. Maybe the German marketing forces haven't realized Spotify is out there yet?

Welcome to 1995 (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206297)

You know, in a world without iPods - these insiders might be right. However that's not even remotely like the real world we live in. It does seem to bear a striking resemblance to the world U.S. cellphone company executives are trying to pretend we live in, though - that world where we pay them some amount of money to buy a service that duplicates what we can do for free without their hardware (yeah, Verizon, I'm looking at YOU).

I for one listen to a heck of a lot more music while I'm out and about than when I'm sitting at/near my computer. I realize I'm probably in the minority in that regard - but I think it's a safe bet that almost everyone that purchases music nowadays wants to listen to it on the go at least part of the time. Without ubiquitous, unlimited, cheap internet access that's not going to be music that's streamed.

Re:Welcome to 1995 (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206395)

Spotify is working on a solution for mobiles; they're going to allow "caching" playlists for offline use (see this clip [youtube.com] )

think of the desk jockeys... (2, Interesting)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206789)

I for one listen to a heck of a lot more music while I'm out and about than when I'm sitting at/near my computer.

I also listen to music when I'm travelling around town, etc. but I actually spend more time at work listening to internet radio. If this article, which is undoubtedly astroturf, defines satellite radio as streaming, then that will also draw millions of more people into the streaming category. Like everyone at 24 hour Fitness is listening to the satellite radio service piped through the speakers...

Trying to get people to pay for internet radio is an unrealistic fantasy, though. When I look at sites like cbsradio.com [cbsradio.com] , I wonder if they're planning to switch to a subscription model or try to build revenue through ads..

Seth

Re:think of the desk jockeys... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206829)

The BBC looked at the business reality of spotify the other week on Radio 4. They came to the conclusion that it could never be profitable and was burning through its cash very fast indeed.

Its a great service, it works brilliantly but the advertising won't cover the costs and users won't pay subscriptions.

The music industry might want this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206321)

But as a consumer I sure as heck don't. Think of how bad DRM is, well add another layer and you got streaming media (that is also DRM "protected"), also add the need for an always on connection (this works on my iPod how exactly?) and I'm sure we have a winner! Remind me again why I shouldn't be swapping around 1 terabyte hard drives with my friends?

Ok but... (5, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206323)

Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.

Wait a second. What goes for bandwidth issues that has been a hot topic lately regarding BitTorrent traffic, how will this be any better? If every song you hear through your PC is streamed, my guess is it would choke internet more than the current BitTorrent traffic.

Re:Ok but... (3, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206567)

Let's say you've got 24 employees working at your company. You've got a T1 line, but the only thing it's being used for is e-mail and a little light web surfing, so the bandwidth is sufficient.

Now half the staff starts streaming Internet radio. Your T1 line is now completely saturated, so you have to get another one. This doubles your monthly bill!

Sure, you could get a cable modem instead and save a bundle, but cable modems are unreliable compared to a T1. You could keep one T1 and add a cable modem, but your one part-time IT guy doesn't know how to set up the network to route Internet radio over the cable modem while keeping everything else on the T1. He explains to you, using a lot of technical-sounding words you don't understand, why it would be very difficult to get that to work reliably, and even though it's theoretically possible, it would require a lot of hands-on babysitting to make sure it kept working the way it's supposed to.

So what do you do? You either cough up the dough for a second T1 line, or you institute a company-wide no-Internet-radio policy, which will make the staff think the IT guy's only source of joy in life is the unhappiness of others.

(Internet radio is usually streamed over standard HTTP on port 80. Because everybody keeps changing stations, it's not practical to keep track of every stream everyone might want to listen to and add static routes for those IPs. The streaming URLs may not have any sort of identifiable pattern, so the only way you can identify streaming audio is by MIME type, which isn't available until after the request is made. You should be able to set up a proxy server that would check the MIME type of every URL requested, and hack it to reroute through the cable modem if it matches, but that's an enormous pain in the ass. You could route all HTTP traffic over the cable modem, but then you need some sort of failover in case the cable modem goes down. All of this is possible, but it's not simple.)

Re:Ok but... (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206689)

But how is this related to my post?

Re:Ok but... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206757)

you institute a company-wide no-Internet-radio policy, which will make the staff think the IT guy's only source of joy in life is the unhappiness of others.

Which, while true, is obviously not satisfied with such obvious methods.

"Oh, you forgot your password? I'm so sorry; there's simply no way of recovering your data, it's all encrypted and, for security reasons, you were the only one to know the key.
But don't worry. The server's online so you can try all possible passwords during the weekend. It shouldn't take you too long."

What metric? (1)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206329)

I didn't see what part of streaming is going to surpass digital downloads - shear data transfer, unique tracks transferred, money made, etc. I don't doubt that they'll transfer more data, since if someone wants to listen to a song 3 times in a week, they have to download it 3 times. Maybe even unique tracks will be higher, since people would be more likely to listen to a song they don't know if they'll like or not if they don't have to pay anything extra (free or flat monthly fee). However I'm not sure streaming will pass the revenue of digital purchases any time soon.

Who spends any time listening to music at their PC (1)

Orlando (12257) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206347)

'Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.'"

I don't have any numbers to back this up, but surely the majority of music is listened to off line at the moment, on mp3 players etc? The whole point of portable devices is that you aren't tethered to your PC to listen.

For this to change, it needs to become much easier and cheaper for portable devices to stream music "on the go".

Orlando

Re:Who spends any time listening to music at their (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206887)

I don't have any numbers to back this up, but surely the majority of music is listened to off line at the moment, on mp3 players etc? The whole point of portable devices is that you aren't tethered to your PC to listen.

I only really listen to music while sitting (near)by my computer, as background music while doing something else. It's pretty much the same for every person whose listening habits I have knowledge of. And almost all of these people have some portable device they _could_ use to listen to music on the go, they just don't. I usually listen to just podcasts with my portable player, not music.

In any case, for me Spotify has been a perfect application. I'd say the vast majority of my music listening needs are met by it. I realize that it could go down at any moment, and so could my internet connection, but that would just mean that I couldn't use this one additional way of listening to music. It's not like I'm giving up on anything by using it.

So in other words.... (2, Insightful)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206359)

A person who owns and runs a streaming music site is saying that people will actually start using the system?
Please that is worse then the head of Government Motors saying that US citizens are going to purchase those small cars he wants to force on everyone.

Re:So in other words.... (0, Offtopic)

Thermionix (1473355) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206385)

and they can't be painted black either, that makes them to hot when left to sit out in the sun ...

Not in Australia it won't. (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206407)

Here in Australia we have these horrendously tight-arsed ISPs who charge us ridiculous amounts of money for bandwidth. For my $70/month, I get 40gb of downloads and that's separated into 20gb peak and 20gb off-peak, on a 1.5mbps ADSL connection. I'd easily listen to far more than 20gb of music in any given month.

Quality, Does no one care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206433)

Unless they are going to start streaming lossless audio I have almost no interest in streamed music content.

Sure, it might be fine when you don't have access to your music collection, but I have spent a lot on money on my audio hardware, there is no way I will be happy amplifying the crappy streamed mp3's or what ever compressed format a service chooses.

If there are high quality (lossless) services out there, please let me know.

music identification (0, Offtopic)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206479)

Few weeks back, my friend showed me how iPhone (or something else from Apple.) identifies correct song and allows you to download by listening clip of a song from my mobile for few seconds. The song I played was hardly 16kbps mp3 and sound quality must have been not so great. It even showed me the Album which song it belongs to.

It was amazing.

the future, and royalties, and lackthereof (2, Interesting)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206491)

The future of "radio" is on the Internet, period. Although we'll probably never be fully free of the copyright cartel's grasp when it comes to music, the Internet levels the playing field and gives independent artists and stations equal footing and gives the listener a potentially unlimited amount of choice. And really, it's already happening. You can find sites and streams playing really good music by independent artists that meets or exceeds the quality of any professionally-produced stuff, just like open source software tends to best proprietary offerings because the creators are focused first on quality and their own idea of what's "good" instead of rushing to meet deadlines or achieve monetary gain.

After all the crap that the RIAA has pulled over the last decade, I try very to find music and streams that don't fund them or their artists every time I listen to or buy a song. On of my favorite "stations" is scenesat.com [scenesat.com] . They play music only from demoscene artists who give their work away freely. If you're into electronica, you'd do well to give them a listen. It's not all chiptunes and rehashed trance, some of it beats the pants off the offerings of similar commercial artists. I'd like to see more stations like this around. If the RIAA and PRS aren't careful, they could start to see some real competition in the near future from musicians who do what they do not because they want a phat paycheck someday, but because they love what they do and want to share their art with anyone who cares to listen.

If you know of more stations that stream independent royalty-free music, please share with the rest of us.

Q: How do you steal a stream? A: (3, Informative)

Kligat (1244968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206521)

Use Virtual Audio Cable [muzychenko.net] or a program that records everything going through your computer, to record all the music being played, then go back and remove the ads.

Re:Q: How do you steal a stream? A: (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206617)

I think I'd rather pay the 85 cents at Amazon and just buy the thing, frankly.

Re:Q: How do you steal a stream? A: (1)

Panseh (1072370) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206669)

Streamripper [sourceforge.net] is able to save the stream, and with meta data and silence detection, split it into tracks. Works for mp3 and ogg streams.

Or you can just run Audacity and consult a programming schedule

Environmental Impact (1)

johnsie (1158363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206561)

Tree huggers won't be a happy. Surely it takes more electricity to transport data around the world than it does to store it. Saying that, Spotify is one of the best programs ever released, simply because of the large catalogue of music and the way it's organised. I remember when the MP3 first took off people complained that it couldn't be streamed to the standard 33.6k modem. Alot of people preffered to stream using Real Audio because the file sizes were smaller. The sound quality sucked though. Personally, I'd prefer to be able to create playlists on the fly and that's why I think streaming is a good thing. In time people will be using their phones more for data purposes and for music, so it makes sense to have applications like spotify mobile so you dont get bored of the same music all the time.

Don't need anything else now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206583)

I used too download music until I found Spotify nine months ago. Their database of music is impressive, it's fast and with descent sound quality. I never thought it would replace my .mp3 collection, but it did.

Re:Don't need anything else now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206619)

I'm happy for you!

Someone had better tell the ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206663)

Another reason streaming is not the future - the return of download quotas. Even if there was internet everywhere, why would you waste your newly imposed quota downloading the same material over and over again?

Web 2.0 (2, Interesting)

IrritableBeing (1281212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206675)

They are trying to push it on us. Force it on us. Cloud Computing is not and should not be the way of the future. It gives the "providers" too much power. There has to be some balance between having our own personal digital copies of things, and "borrowing" it from the providers. There is clearly some kind of agenda behind the companies that push Web 2.0 concepts. Could it be money and power? Minute after minute, hour after hour. Web 2.0 is a corporate gangster's paradise.

1p for on demand song ? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206695)

Now that seems reasonable. Finally !
It is strange that these people still hold true the fiction that streaming and downloading are different things...

Stream is invariably transcoded to match bitrate (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206717)

If you like transcoded quality, buy your streams all you want. The quality is very low, unless your hearing is as bad as your sight then you may not notice how bad it is.

This is how it works. Take a mp3. Let's call it 128 kbps. Serve is up as various rate streams: 32, 64, 112, 192, 256, 320. All from the same 128 kbps mp3. That's what is done. And no, a 320 kbps transcoded from 128 kbps mp3 is not better, it's likely much worse: the 128 kbps encode removed 90% of the matrial. The 320 kbps transcode of that will remove another 35%, leaving you with, if you like the math, roughly 3^ of the original material. And that's a 320 kbps transcode, nevermind the others.

The truth about streaming music (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28206755)

Eric had been driving through Pennsylvania since dusk and had crossed into Ohio about two hours ago. It was 2 AM and pitch black outside as he approached Columbus. He flicked the ash from his Marlboro Light out his cracked window and mopped a greasy swatch of orange-brown hair back across his forehead. He hadn't stopped to eat, drink, or relieve himself since he'd left Malvern and the strain of the road was getting to him. With a gulp of cold coffee and one last puff from his cigarette he shit his pants. ``Time to make Free Software my bitch again'', He said to himself as he rolled up the window.

Why not both? (2, Interesting)

nausicaa (461792) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206885)

I still prefer physical media, like CDs, but I'm warming up to the idea of downloads (legal)..

Now, why not have streaming AND downloading? They both serve a purpose..

Take Spotify; I like having a lot of music at my fingertips, being able to try new stuff, find new stuff by pure coincidence, etc..

The only black cloud on the music-sky is really the labels.. They insist on regions for music. Wait a minute.. regions? I can buy a CD from whichever country I want (unless there's some embargo-crap going on), but once it's online distribution, they want to tell me what I can and cannot listen to? Hell no!

I remember having various odd tracks in my playlists.. I had the theme from Psycho Soldier, The Bottlerockets - Nancy Sinatra, Kim Chi - Octopus Song, and a remix from some DJ-mixalbum of Hyo-ri's Dark Angel.. All those were removed from my view..

Here's a novel idea; let anyone who wants to pay, stream and/or download, no matter where they are.

*joking* I guess culture really IS the new munitions! */joking*

So I can... (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206915)

'Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC?

So I can put it on my PSP?

what a crock . . . . (1)

jessejamz (1569343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206935)

'Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.'"

So now that the industry is losing the battle of having tracks with DRM and being able to completely control their content, they are now trying to say outright that we won't even be able to OWN the music. Yeah, who really needs to own anything anyway? Ownership is so overrated.

It won't be long before every song in your library, or every song you ever wanted for that matter, will be able to fit on a small portable device. What better reason to acutally own the songs. The industry is truly a crock of shit.

This is the only good way to compete with piracy (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206947)

The one disadvantage of the pirate bay is that you need to wait hours after the release until the movie is on there, and no matter when you want to watch it you need to wait hours to download it. With streaming, you can just go to the website and start in two minutes. Seems like an excellent way to take advantage of our instant gratification culture.

simply not going to happen. (1)

markringen (1501853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28206989)

simply not going to happen. like subscriptions scams (ala Microsoft) people want to own their music they don't want to lend it. also in Europe the entire renting market has collapsed, and it isn't going to be re-created in a fair competitive market (meaning markets where renting models work, the market is unfair and uncompetitive)

Say No! It's About Control NOT Customer Benefit. (5, Insightful)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207005)

Music companies would love to see digital downloads to disappear. It's destroying thier business model and it seems they are trying a new approach.

If they push the idea that digital downloads are now 'old hat' or 'not needed' and 'persuade' people that streamed music is the 'future'/'cool way' of listening to music then they can retain far more control of the format. Sure lock the vendor(e.g. radio station) into a 3-year deal - when the deal expires hike up the fees and/or the record companies force vendors to stream music directly from record company controlled servers only - thus full control of music property is preserved, artificial scarcety remains and profits increased for record companies.

This has already happened to the newspaper industry here in the UK. A central body controls all publishing rights to newspaper articles.

Of course mobile phone companies like this scenario as well.

I want my music (paid for) to be available for MY convenience to listen to not the other way round.

This stinks of serious astroturfing and a feeble attempt to change consumer's attitudes to ownership.

Just say NO!

Personally I would to see something like; offer a 'lossy compressed' track for very low cost or free. If you really like it - buy a pristine copy of the music (e.g.lossless compressed - flac) the difference in sound quality is obvious. Of course DRM would kill this idea.

Then again record companies seem to be risk adverse or just don't get the nature of the Internet.
Out-of-touch music executives (looking at you Sony!) are hurting the music industry more than anybody else and you cannot blame pirating of music for the decline of an industry. Ultimatly, pointing your finger and blaming something else is not your answer. You need to take stock of your business and figure-out how can you change to meet the ever-changing state of the market. If you think it should be the other way round - well you are doomed to failure - it's inevitable.

There must be "internet savvy" executives out there who can do something credible and create a workable solution.

Millions new listeners in about a year? (1)

sirsky (53613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207043)

It might be just me, but it sounds like about a year ago, especially in the US, was when the price hikes for online 'radio' streaming stations was such BIG news that they were all about to be shut down.

#1. The RIAA didn't like it cause they didn't get their $$$.
#2. They lobbied to have the prices increased cause they were plain greedy, and apparently don't like people to listen to music.
#3. What's the difference to radio in your car?
#4. For me - I've had a 3G or EVDO phone capable of streaming Net Radio for years. 1xRTT or Edge coverage? Pick a lower-bitrate station. Same music.
#5. Why pay $15/mo. for Satellite Radio ala XM or Sirius when you can stream from your phone and plug into your car stereo? Sure it might cut in and out now and again, but you're not forced to pay $$$ for your music, and no radio upgrades to "HD Radio".

Especially with the advent of the iPhone, and the iPod Touch, music players with built-in WiFi, a lot of this issue goes away. I can tell you there's RARELY a time I'm either 1.) Away from my computer. 2.) Somewhere without my iPod Touch or iPhone. 3.) Somewhere I'm lacking 3G/Edge coverage on my iPhone. And if I am in a place like that, I turn on the ACTUAL CAR RADIO, or listen to some of the albums I've BOUGHT. Wow. Listen to the music you own, or to what other people are listening to. What a concept.

I think the RIAA shot themselves in the foot here, by trying to get their $$$ and forcing such a HUGE increase in royalties paid that they ended up bringing so much attention to the issue that everyone jumped on board. Whoops. How much did streaming radio stations save in advertising revenue to get listeners, when the RIAA yelling and screaming 'NO! MY MONEY!'??? Bring that kind of national attention to yourself, and folks will flock from everywhere to see what it's all about.

Downloading and owning your music is good and all - and a lot of folks have posted as such - that they want to own it. Then BUY THE CD or buy the album from iTunes. If you just want to listen to random music ala radio - stream it, what's your problem?

Plus, you can't discover new music and new artists by listening to the same shit that you OWN over and over and over. That's at least ONE thing the streaming stations provide.

That, and YOU try and find me ONE real 'radio' station that everyone can tune in to that plays the same stuff as GROOVE SALAD from Soma.fm on the regular airwaves. Then tell me it's not worth it.

Lots of reasons (5, Insightful)

techmuse (160085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207077)

1) You might not always have a network connection but still want to listen to music (for example, if you are traveling or your network is down).
2) You might want to take your music with you on a portable device.
3) Streaming kills battery life on mobile devices, especially if embedded in flash.
4) Your streaming music provider might not have, or might stop carrying, a song you really want to listen to.
5) Streaming providers may not have that eclectic genre of music you like.
6) You will likely have to pay subscription fees at some point, which means you keep paying for the same music over and over again.
7) Streaming does not necessarily provide music at its highest quality (in fact, it likely does not). If you want to listen to a recording at its original fidelity, streaming is a bad way to do it.
8) Streaming makes you dependent on whatever technology your streaming provider chooses to use. If you don't want to, or can't use that technology, you are out of luck.
9) You can't sell your copy of an audio stream to someone else when you no longer want it.
10) Streaming often takes much more CPU than local playback (for example, Pandora, which uses Flash)
11) Streaming often has advertisements in it, but you don't want to listen to ads or see them so you can listen to music.
12) Streaming may eventually come to be dominated by companies such as clearchannel, which will provide streams that cater to the largest groups of listeners, but exclude what you really like.

This article is lovely corporate propaganda huh? (4, Insightful)

_.-*'Se La CeY'*-._ (1020567) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207081)

to quote " 'Why do you actually need to have something downloaded on your PC? The streaming idea is really the future.'" Basically, lets use our computers for radio, so we can go back to the good old days like frakin clear channel or some other obnoxious controlling entity. Keep the downloads up, the trading up, and soon we will rid ourselves of another obnoxious leftover from the 50's business model.

Dammit (0, Offtopic)

pennyloafer (1175025) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207121)

As an American, I am angry fat, and drunk.

Help a start-up out (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207217)

Okay... so if i rejig kazaa to stream the mp3 to 1,000 people instead of transferring it, the RIAA can only sue for the loss of revenue of a penny instead of £20,000 or so?
Streaming really is the future! Where are my coding trousers and hat?

RIAA lobby (2, Insightful)

YouDoNotWantToKnow (1516235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207243)

Yes, I do see some valid advantages of streaming audio, especially for radios. I use iMeem on my gPhone extensively since it plays just fine and lets me discover new music similar to my taste without forcing me to pick song by song myself. On the other hand, personally selected songs/albums will never make sense to store exclusively online. Yes, some sort of repository for me to download it do various devices would be cool but do not expect me to let go of physical posession of at least one copy of my stuff. Unless the big record company bosses come to their senses and switch to a mass distribution model ready for this century. Make songs 10c and albums 2$ and see how your unit sales explode. If you make music so affordable and convenient to download it beats the pirate model, just as many (or close to that) people who now pirate the stuff will buy it.

PR Campaign (2, Insightful)

PattyMc (1394421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28207245)

"Industry Insiders' seems to be Steve Purdham, CEO of a music streaming service. Nice plant.
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