I know a few people who are completely sold on streaming music services like Spotify. I tried Spotify, and enjoyed it, and would love to jump on board. I don’t have a big music collection, and the appeal of being able to listen to anything I want, legally, for a fee of just £10 a month is tempting. I almost signed-up, until I realised that I will be paying just £10 a month for the rest of my life.
I hope to live a healthy and strong life, which for me includes enjoying music, at least to the age of 80. I’m 30 now. At just £120 a year, that’s a total of just £6000.
And if during the next 50 years I decide to stop paying just £10 a month, all of that music is gone.
That’s as negative as I will get about streaming, because I can see how it’s a powerful service. If I was really into new music, it would be the right choice for me. It’s great how many record companies have got on board, and how easy it is to use. I could well be the future of the music industry, and in a couple of decades it might be what everyone is be doing.
But I’ve gone for a different approach. I’ve made a little spreadsheet which earmarks just £10 a month for what I’ve called my ‘music fund’. As you can see, I’ve been busy the last few months and haven’t had time to do my intial goal of buying one lossless1I’ve commited to buying only lossless audio, which future-proofs my collection. For more on lossless and why it will supercede mp3, check out this podcast. album per month:
If I do this for 50 years, I’ll have 600 albums. I probably won’t, and that’s where we hit the crux of the matter: I can stop paying into my music fund at any time but still get to keep what I’ve already invested.
This system is simple, slow, and I don’t get instant access to everything I would like. It takes me time to track down a lossless format, and some record labels aren’t even selling them.2I’m looking forward to the time that the iTunes store starts offering lossless audio, to fill-in these gaps. But something about this feels more solid, and I’m taking pleasure tracking down these files, and supporting the label directly.