Online and Streaming

Since quite a few people I know tend to only stream their music or listen online I figure this is a good place to start.

I've used quite a few streaming services to listen to music over the past 10 years, So I'll briefly show them with some comparisons;

NameOnlineOfflineFLAC
Bandcamp*XX
SpotifyX*
TidalX*X
DeezerX*X
YouTubeX*

X = Yes

* = It does but within a proprietary application

Spotify Alternatives

I've used Spotify for well over 6 years at the time of writing it but the lack of Hi-Fi audio made me want to look for alternatives.

While I've been a longtime BandCamp supporter they're not a streaming client for all artist, it's primarily for independent artists, which is awesome but not a good replacement, that being said it had lossless options for you to download when you purchase an album.

YouTube is great for finding great music to listen to and download but there's a limit as to what you'll find as well as the lack of Hi-Fi audio.

Tidal I thought would satisfy my want for Hi-Fi and for catalogue they offer but overall the service lacks support for open-source tools making it something I don't want to support, that and the rising cost of the Hi-Fi/Master service make it undesirable in the long run.

Deezer - a service most people probably haven't heard of - offer almost everything that I've said above with some caveats. It's online streaming is great with a large number of platforms under it's belt and a variety of applications that support Deezer streaming. It's Hi-Fi price point is what the price of Tidal used to be making it the cheapest for Hi-Fi. Good price, lossless audio format, github tools for listening offline, and a catalogue just as big as the other services make it something that I'll most likely move to.

DRM?

You may be asking why I'm choosing to stream content that I don't own rather than just getting the digital version, and the answer is mainly due to there being no difference. If I can download the music I want off of Deezer to listen to offline even when I no longer pay for it then I don't really see how that's any different from me going to the library or to a friend to borrow a CD and rip it onto my computer. I still buy digital albums, CDs, Cassettes, etc from artists that I like so I don't feel like I'm taking revenue from them when they still get money from listens as well.

Offline Listening

I have a pretty large collection of CDs and cassettes from over the years of going to shows and music festivals, but with that large collection comes the trouble of storing those songs and labeling them.

Tools

NameUse
cmusTerminal-based music player
abcdeTerminal program to rip CDs
ClementineMusic Library/Tag Manager

The above are the tools I primarily use for offline listening on my laptop, anything else will be with actual equipment I have (turntable, cassette deck, etc.).

The Future

I hope to setup a media server sometime by next year with Kodi or Jellyfin running on a server with all my music tagged with proper cover art and such. Whenever I do that though I hope to write an article regarding that.

Final Notes

While I mainly listen to music offline I like checking out new music every so often and being able to follow artists I like without using social media. Offline is obviously superior in many ways, but having options is important. While I avoid using proprietary services on my personal machines I do let up a bit when it's music related.

If I'm wrong about something or you think there's a better alternative then feel free to reach out to me by visiting my contact page.

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