Stream of Consciousness

Rocco Pendola announces that iTunes is dead:

Digital downloads are dead. As reported by Billboard, digital music sales decreased — for the first time ever — by 5.7% in 2013. …

Apple wins no matter what happens. The record industry cannot hang its hat on the still-breathing iTunes Store. That’s a ticket to certain death. Put another way, iTunes will not be the sole long-term survivor, as digital sales go the way of the compact disc. That’s why Timothy D. Cook hedged his bets with streaming service iTunes Radio.

2 thoughts on “Stream of Consciousness

  1. So we’ve gone from a physical disc to a digital download to something so impermanent you can only hear it if you have internet access. I guess the next format will be delivered via a wire in your brain. BTW, I recently read that digital files will only last about ten years on a hard drive. I’m glad I hung on to my CDs.

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  2. eheter

    I’m not necessarily buying the idea that digital downloads are dead and that streaming services like Spotify are going to supplant them. For one thing, as a commenter in the linked article mentioned, you have to deal with bandwidth limitations placed on you by cellular providers, which are not an issue when music is stored locally on your device. Another issue is the dependence on a persistent connection to a remote source to listen to the music. Inevitably, you will have outages, which results in no music at all for those that rely exclusively on streaming. That will drive some back to digital files stored locally. Most streaming services like iTunes Radio, Pandora, and so on, don’t give the listener as much control over what they hear as locally stored files can. And finally, there are a couple of promising memory technologies on the board right now that could do a lot to obviate the need for cloud storage.

    In short, I think streaming services will at most co-exist along with CD’s/digital downloads in the same way that FM radio co-existed with vinyl LP’s and CD’s.

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