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Apple Music: Why Having Absolutely Everything Feels Absolutely Wrong

Posted on May 11, 2016

Apple Music: Why Having Absolutely Everything Feels Absolutely Wrong

There are many things I love about what the Internet age has done for me as a music listener. From the convenience of listening on a myriad of devices, to the smart algorithms and searches that make the discovery of new music so easy, I love it. And I wouldn’t go back to the old way for anything. But a recent development troubles me. I’m mourning the loss of my personally curated collection.

It used to be that I bought my music and downloaded it to my computer and other devices. Because those purchases were by item, I had to make careful choices. Did I really need that Digable Planets album? (Yes.) Esperanza Spalding? (Yes.) Kaskade? (Maybe not.) And after having made my choices over the years, I was left with a collection, a carefully curated compilation of my taste in music listening, past and present.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]when you can have everything for a few dollars a month, it feels like music has lost a lot of it’s value[/pullquote]

Now that I have Apple Music, that’s changed. Today I don’t have a collection. I have everything. Absolutely everything. And, somehow, when you can have everything for a few dollars a month, it feels like music has lost a lot of it’s value. Moreover, I no longer have that living document of my personality and interests to smile over in contemplative moments. (And I don’t mean to pick on Apple. There are at least two or three times as many Spotify users who are feeling my pain right now, too.)

Maybe an era has passed. Remember those artists who bemoaned the single track download? The ones whose albums were meant to be listened to in their entirety and in a specific order, as God intended? I remember them. I also remember that I responded to their protests with a hearty “meh.” I didn’t care. There were too many benefits to this new way of doing things to cry over the end of the album format. Besides, musicians managed to express themselves before the album. Surely they will after it. We’re probably only talking about a few decades in which they had this recording/distributing artifact to play with. They’ll get over it.

And so it is, I suspect, with me and my beloved personal music museum. It was a thing that had value and now it’s gone. But that doesn’t mean this new way isn’t better. It probably is.

Isn’t it?

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