Streams vs. .mp3’s: Why Streams Own

Streams will become the new mp3’s for 4 simple reasons.

Reason #1: The only reason to really download music anymore is to put it on a mobile mp3 player like an iPod or a Zune.

Reason #2: Streaming Recommendation sites like Grooveshark, last.fm and Pandora have become extremely popular, and these sites have begun making apps for a range of mobile smart phones and mobile computers, which can easily take the place of simple mp3 players.

Reason #3: Streaming eliminates the need to store all that data on a phone or computer, which leaves room for more cool apps, and you don’t have to worry about back ups, or losing it all!

Reason #4: No fear of lawsuits, and actually a way for artists to get paid via advertising revenues. The streaming method happens to be trackable thanks to it’s marriage with the internet. This can provide artists with better information about how and when their music is shared or played, and could allow artists to get paid ANYTIME their music is played, if the switch is made from downloads to streams.

From an artist’s perspective it’s the perfect solution, and from a fan’s perspective it’s the perfect solution too, because if the artist gets paid from ads while streaming, then the music should be free for the fans!

Problems Holding Streaming Back:

1. The lack of proliferation of web-connected mobile devices. Once the price of these things comes down a little, and they figure out better ways to hook them up to your car stereo, streaming will easily be a top choice.

2. The ads associated with the streaming sites are often annoying and obtrusive, with audio interruptions and flashy oversized banners. The solution here is a switch to small, unobtrusive logo icons that just sit there quietly in the corner of the player, but are very appreciated for allowing the fans to get the music for free.

It will be interesting to see what new innovations in this field emerge in the next couple years. My prediction: Streams will be the big adoption of this decade, due to accessibility, sharability, and simple practicality.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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2 responses to “Streams vs. .mp3’s: Why Streams Own

  1. Streaming may be better for free music here and there, but buying your MP3s, or even downloading (though illegal!) is better if you listen to a lot of music, especially the same music over and over again.

    Each song is 3-12MB in size depending on length and audio quality. Say, at 5MB/song, if you listen to 200 songs/month, you have reached 1GB not including the bandwidth to enter the site, log in, choose your song (photos, album covers, ads, banners). Now, I listen to about 40-50 songs/day, meaning up to 500MBday in bandwidth just on streaming. On my internet, with 60GB of bandwidth, I can ONLY listen to music, nothing else. On your cell phone, most plans come with only a couple of Gigabytes, meaning even at 3MB/song (reduced audio quality), I could easily go over my phones plan in less than a couple weeks. If I bought my MP3s, I would only need to download once, and listen as much as I wanted, saving me bandwidth charges and allowing me spend more bandwidth on other things such as email, games, chat, youtube, or any other activity.

    • Yes, this terrible tragedy needs to be fixed, along with internet speeds and weak signals. There are still some problems to be worked out, but given the exponential growth of computer speeds and capacity, I think we’ll soon reach a time where we won’t be able to use up our bandwidth no matter how long we jam out. Remember, mobile technology is what can really take streaming to a whole other level, by allowing instant remote access to live updated playlists and recommendations from your friends, along with online radio station access, which can allow you to be introduced to new music that you’ve never heard before, which isn’t possible when you’re listening to a downloaded playlist, unless maybe if it’s your friend’s ipod. That being said, smartphone technology is still relatively new, so it needs a chance to mature a little bit more, but it turns out that streams are the better choice in the long run, being the more versatile medium, on account of the amazingly versatile network that they’re a part of.

      I do sympathize with you though. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Even though it sounds crazy, the truth is the web isn’t really set up to handle music yet. Here’s an article that explains that more. https://beatplay.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/indie-artist-promotion-priority-1-reduce-clicks/

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