How to future-proof your music library

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Anonymous said…
Excellent item ... thank you.

I agree with just about everything you say. This is undoubtedly conditioned by my own experience, having started collecting at university in about 1964, when your choice was LPs ... or LPs. I've never viewed streaming as anything other than a substitute for listening to FM, with 2 modes - listening to a particular program which interested me (a broadcast of unfamiliar material, for example) or something for casual listening (there are a couple of internet radio stations which play excellent jazz playlists ideal for late evening listening).

I still listen to LP's, and buy a few out of curiosity. I have enough CDs that convenient storage space for LPs and CDs is becoming a problem. This leads to my one differing perspective from your post. I find that downloads have an increasing part to play, with mobility not being a necessary component. Disclaimer - I speak only for myself, of course, and if I started buying LPs in 1964, I'm clearly not in what you'd call a growth demographic.

Downloads don't replace the well-designed and elegant packages you mention (Jordi Savall et al). However, in a lot of cases, I find myself buying downloads rather than CD's. I'm talking particularly about companies who provide the same documentation with each (Hyperion and Linn, to mention only 2). I've even succumbed to the lure of a digital streamer which includes a CD player, and so all sources other than LP's are played through the same unit.

Downloads have some other (minority) advantages. Example - my downloaded music sits on a network-attached drive, and I can give a friend access to muic which they'd particularly like to hear. I can also access it from outside the home ("mobility", if you will), but that's a very minor item for me.

An aside - as I'm sure you know, the elegantly packaged "theme" set of CDs is not all that new. I'm looking at my copy of the slipcased 2000 Columbia/Legacy issue titled "Louis Armstrong: The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings." Four CDs, an extensive photo gallery, excellent essays, production credits - this is certainly not something where a download would be an adequate substitute.

And other more recent examples would include the DGG Bach Passion sets.

Collectable? Absolutely. I'd just put a bit more emphasis on downloads than I think you would. But why agree on everything? That would be dull ...

Pliable said…
Thanks for that Scott. In fairness, Qobuz is/was both a streaming and download service, and it does tick the box of offering hi-res file formats. But the concerns that you and I share remain valid.

My big concern is that as the peripheral players such as Qobuz fall by the wayside, a few corporate giants such as Amazon and Apple will not only dominate the distribution of classical music, but also invest in content ownership. Which means that when Len Blavatnik grows bored with playing at being a record company mogul the EMI catalogue - and much more - could well end up being owned by Amazon -

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