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Question: What're your main places to listen to music?
Spotify
Youtube Music
Deezer
Apple Music
Youtube
Tidal
Soundcloud
iTunes
Amazon Music
Bandcamp
CDs/Vinyls
Local files
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Something not listed here!
Pandora
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Author Topic: How do you listen to your music, and how has it changed?  (Read 686 times)
vvinrg
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« on: November 18, 2023 @900.86 »

What's your history of actually listening to a music? How do you listen to it these days? Do you prefer to buy it, or stream it? Generally curious about how people actually consume music.

I'll start:

I think the first proper music service I used was Amazon Music, years and years ago, on a Kindle Fire my parents got me. Later on I began using Soundcloud, and I listened to a lot of bad EDM. At some point I started using Youtube Music and stuck with it for ages, but in more recent years I've started buying a lot of music. I get most indie stuff through Bandcamp, and everything else as either used CDs or iTunes purchases. Being that I am a sucker for audio quality, I've also started paying for Apple Music, as it will actually stream lossless audio, and it's easy to listen to stuff on it and then purchase it on iTunes later. These days, I listen to my bought music via a self-hosted airsonic-advanced server, and almost everything else through Apple Music.
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2023 @940.06 »

awesome topic!

my music history has been a bit circular, really... i was stupidly poor as a kid so i inherited my parent's taste for music through "borrowing" a god-knows-how-old MP3 player which i ripped a bunch of their classic rock CDs onto. the only other way i could find new music was through the radio when songs i liked were playing (i miss good ol' Kerrang and Absolute Radio!); i didn't have my own computer when i was a kid so i couldn't pirate anything. on a tangent: it's ridiculous how many ads you get between songs these days. used to be three tunes in a row followed by a couple mins ads. now it feels like you get one song every five minutes!

anyway. i got older and realized Spotify and Youtube were a thing - both felt too good to be true. there's no way there isn't a catch to being able to listen to any song you want anyti- oh, yeah. ads. /that's/ the catch.

that phase lasted a couple years until i got a bit more privacy-oriented and realized that songs sometimes became unavailable on streaming platforms. that's when i switched to downloading things onto an MP3 again (thank you yt-dlp!).

a few years after that i got properly into the indie music scene and realized that music is as much about the artists as it is the folks listening, so i started paying for my music (on Bandcamp) and downloading it instead of ripping songs off websites. pretty embarrassed and sorry to the artists i've listened to that i didn't support them earlier - pretty shitty of me. i had always kinda been a part of the underground scene (my mum & i went to a lot of small gigs and enjoyed smaller bands at festivals), but i wanted to perform more myself, and i met some folks who were pretty in the scene, too. that's kinda continued onto now: i don't really listen to non-live music anymore (though there are exceptions). instead, i go to gigs or stop to listen, clap and donate to buskers whenever they perform.

Quote from: vvinrg
I am a sucker for audio quality...

ironically i've had a couple discussions with friends about this (and video quality!). i guess growing up like i did has made me a little desensitized to 144p Youtube videos and MP3s, but hey-ho. it's cool that you self-host, by the way!
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2023 @946.63 »

i've also kinda been wondering how people listen to music nowadays as well, with all of the different streaming services and online music stores that have opened up in the past decade or so.

back in the day, the only music site i used to use was newgrounds! i'd always check through the electronic music category there to find any new tracks, and eventually i built up a list of my favorite newgrounds artists and realized that trance and drum'n'bass were my favorite genres. whenever i would accumulate enough new music from newgrounds, i'd burn it to a CD and listen to it that way. i think i ended up with 4 or 5 total "NGC" (newgrounds collection) CDs by the time i moved on to other music sites.

after that, i started using pandora to discover new music. i'd create radio stations on there based off of a genre or artist i was into, then just let it do its thing. whenever it would present me with a new-to-me song or artist that seemed particularly interesting, i'd just pirate the album (or buy it off of itunes if i had the spare cash and was feeling guilty enough), then burn those albums to CD to listen to them in my car, copy them to an MP3 player for on the go, and use winamp when at home.

when spotify entered the scene, i jumped to it pretty quickly, and foolishly abandoned my (now massive) winamp library in favor of just selecting albums on spotify. at the time, it seemed so much more convenient to be able to just save albums there. i could listen to them anywhere, at any time, on any device! however, after several years of paying $10/month with nothing to show for it, having my favorite albums randomly disappear entirely or be replaced with """remastered""" versions overnight, and eroding my relationship with music so much that i could no longer even listen to a single song all the way through without skipping around, i decided enough was enough and quit using spotify.

since then, i started building back up a local music library again, but with a much greater focus on physical media. if an album i want is available on CD or vinyl, i'll obtain it that way first, then rip it to my winamp library. if it's only available digitally, like through bandcamp or itunes, i'll buy it there, then record it to minidisc so i still have a physical copy.

tl;dr: newgrounds + burned CDs, then pandora + itunes, then spotify, and now currently CDs + vinyl + minidisc + bandcamp
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2023 @968.89 »

I only started intentionally listening to music less than 5 years ago. Over time it went from single iTunes download, to youtube + an adblocker (apparently that doesn't work as well anymore, oh well), to CDs (and a portable player), to an iPod found in someone's trash, to CDs + local files, to whatever I'm doing currently. It's some mix of CDs + bandcamp + other downloads + cassettes played back from a computer at home, CDs, a Walkman, or an iPod. Depending which batteries I remembered to bring/charge. On the rare occasion I'll also listen to some random MIDI files I've grabbed from bitmidi, freemidi, or wherever else. Threw some of those onto a floppy for gits and shiggles or whatever.
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2023 @977.93 »

I've been listening to music via YouTube for as long as I can remember (I'm doing it right now!), although I would mess around with CDs and especially the radio, until I would get my pc. Despite my preference to download .mp3s onto my device whenever possible (usually through Bandcamp), streaming music online is a bit more affordable for me and therefore prioritise this option.

Aside from Youtube, I recall trying out Spotify for a while. It didn't last very long; I found it somewhat limiting when it came to the short range of tracks and artists. Plus, there was some weird stuff going on with how it handled monetising its artists if I recall correctly, but that's another story! :dive: Whereas, you can find literally anyone and anything on YouTube. I enjoy checking out a variety of artists and I reckon YouTube is one of the anticipated places to explore for lesser-known creations. I'm sure some other options here are also as good, but that's my experience. :ok:
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2023 @151.44 »

I originally mainly only listened to music through mp4 downloaded music videos on my dad's kindle fire which I carried around with me, then for a period of about 4 years I listened to music exclusively through SoundCloud (and rarely but occasionally local files) because I was super into electronic music at the time. I quite enjoyed my time as as soundcloud producer, but eventually I randomly on a whim decided to try listening to Metallica and found out my father got a discount Spotify family plan. From then on I was addicted to Spotify for the next... around 6 years, until last year when I finally became fully radicalized against DRM and subscription services. I began working on a strategy to migrate my Spotify library to a personal collection of local files. It took... a LOT of trial, error, error, and more error. In the end, I now have a personal library of over 2000 albums. I originally listened to it by using syncthing to sync my collection between my phone and computer, but now what I do is keep my personal collection on my computer and run syncthing on my server+computer to have them sync from my computer to server and then refresh. I use navidrome obviously, and I listen most frequently on mobile with DSub, and sometimes on desktop with Strawberry. tbh it was 100% worth the pain and I recommend everyone else do it too. If you want help learning how to acquire your music and set up stuff for a subsonic server, feel free to ask me about it, I had a lot of fun getting things set up.
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virtue
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2023 @187.97 »

Oh I somehow forgot to mention something I've been really getting into, Internet Radio! soma fm is an absolute BLESSING. if youre looking for new music, especially in the electronic/ambient scene, you are in for some real treats on there! A lot of my friends also listen on real FM radio with their phones that have radio antennae built in! Also I have a friend who is SUPER into tape. Those are the main listening methods I engage with that weren't listed, internet radio being the only one I use particularly often myself.
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2023 @636.24 »

I mostly listen to Vocaloid, and by its nature I'm pretty restricted to Youtube, Nico Nico Douga, and BiliBili. It has gotten better in recent years with more albums being available to stream on Youtube Music, but it still has a ways to go. That Vocaloid Essentials playlist they have... Yeah no. You can tell when a playlist was made by someone who understands the community and when it's made by an intern just looking up "hatsune miku songs". I don't trust Spotify at all for Vocaloid after the Masa situation. I have some songs downloaded to listen to when I'm working, but not a ton.
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wygolvillage
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2023 @661.59 »

I used to specifically only download mp3s and listen to a single song on repeat until I got sick of it. I was like that for years and sometimes I still do that, but lately my listening habits have been to dump a bunch of full albums into a giant playlist (nearly 700 hours long. I'm normal.) and shuffle it all so I'm always listening to a mix of songs I enjoy and new stuff I haven't really deep dived into before. If a song really stands out to me on shuffle I'll look more into the artist...

This tactic for listening to lots and lots of artists has kept my listening habits and knowledge of the "sound" of the music scene I'm in pretty diverse.
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2023 @754.40 »

I've always been kind of a stickler for listening to local files and owning my albums as much as possible. I usually chalk this up to being an "Old Person," but I also listen to a lot of stuff that's a bit more obscure, and it's either harder to find on streaming services, or gets removed frequently. After re-mapping a good chunk of my playlists on Amazon Music, I just said Screw it and started buying phones that have SD cards for my 70+GB of music (that's just on the phone though. There's quite a bit more on my PC, where I've been transferring my collection from PC to PC for years). I do kind of miss my MP3 players, but the phone is more convenient, and it works best for me.

One thing I've noticed is that I prefer to listen to full albums all the way through, which isn't how most streaming services are structured, since they like to push the top hits at you. Nothing against listening to one-off songs, but I've just found I really enjoy it the other way.

I use Poweramp on Android, which I love EXCEPT for the fact that it's really limited when it comes to smart/dynamic playlists. Services have dropped these entirely in favor of "algorithms," and SMART PLAYLISTS SHOULD COME BACK THEY ARE GREAT. The ability to sort things dynamically by ratings is my favorite thing ever. A while back I saved a reddit comment going over an epic dynamic playlist list that used "feeder" playlists to keep everything fresh, and I'll post it here for those of you who might use it:

Quote
Here are the feeder smart playlists:

    One sets up 25 songs selected at random which I have rated 5 stars and have not played in the last 2 weeks
    One sets up 30 songs selected at random which I have rated 4 stars and have not played in the last month
    One sets up 20 songs selected at random which I have rated 3 stars and have not played in the last 2 months
    One sets up 5 songs selected at random which I have rated 2 stars and have not played in the last 3 months
    One sets up 10 songs selected at random which I have not played in the last 18 months
    One sets up 10 songs selected at random which I have added in the last 30 days and have not been played in the last 5 days
    Then I have another smart playlist I call "The Filter" which includes any songs labeled comedy, children, christmas, books, classical, video, podcast, movie, music video, TV show, personal, or rated one star or less.

So my final mixtape is a smartlist combining smartlists (1 through 6) - 7. This gives me about 100 songs which are weighted by my preference, including new songs I might want to hear again, old songs I may have forgotten, with a stronger recurrence of songs I like more often. I almost clear the playlist everyday at work including the drive. I update it and have a new mix the next day. Sure, I still fast forward a song or two, but not as much as if I just put it on shuffle.

tl;dr: phil_dunphy is anal about his music collection

EDIT: I should add that in order to implement the Filter playlist, I have added it to each individual smart playlist before compiling them all together. Some have asked questions about this, so I thought I would clarify.
From here: https://www.reddit.com/r/DoesAnybodyElse/comments/depap/comment/c0zoa3n/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
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vvinrg
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2023 @942.55 »

awesome topic!
thanks!

and realized that songs sometimes became unavailable on streaming platforms.
this was a major motivation for me as well!! sometimes artists even take stuff down on bandcamp, and there's no way to download it after that :/ that was the main thing that got me to start selfhosting.

newgrounds...pandora
gah, forgot about those! adding them to the poll!

I originally listened to it by using syncthing to sync my collection between my phone and computer, but now what I do is keep my personal collection on my computer and run syncthing on my server+computer to have them sync from my computer to server and then refresh.
Interesting! I manage stuff on my Windows machine, primarily, and I usually work by organizing new files, and rsyncing it to the server. My desktop serves as the source-of-truth, for everything else.

I use navidrome obviously, and I listen most frequently on mobile with DSub, and sometimes on desktop with Strawberry.
Love DSub. I've never considered using desktop clients and always just stuck with the airsonic webui. Is it preferable?

Oh I somehow forgot to mention something I've been really getting into, Internet Radio! soma fm is an absolute BLESSING. if youre looking for new music, especially in the electronic/ambient scene, you are in for some real treats on there!
Ooh, I'll be sure to check it out!

A lot of my friends also listen on real FM radio with their phones that have radio antennae built in!
They make phones like that!? That's awesome!!

started buying phones that have SD cards for my 70+GB of music
This was a major motivation for self-hosting for me. My phone only has 64gb of internal storage, so being able to have an owned library somewhere that doesn't need a constant massive local copy was a godsend.

One thing I've noticed is that I prefer to listen to full albums all the way through, which isn't how most streaming services are structured, since they like to push the top hits at you. Nothing against listening to one-off songs, but I've just found I really enjoy it the other way.
This! There are some songs where it's honestly jarring when I hear them on shuffle, cause of how used to hearing them in-album I am.

I use Poweramp on Android, which I love EXCEPT for the fact that it's really limited when it comes to smart/dynamic playlists. Services have dropped these entirely in favor of "algorithms," and SMART PLAYLISTS SHOULD COME BACK THEY ARE GREAT. The ability to sort things dynamically by ratings is my favorite thing ever.
I'm gonna need to really look into this and see if I can set something up like it in airsonic, it sounds awesome! IK there's a plugins API, so I'll have to research that when I get a chance.
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2023 @953.75 »

I've pretty much been on Spotify my whole life. I started listening to vinyl records in high school, but have transitioned to cassette tapes. Like vinyl, they give the same physicality to music that Spotify will never give you. Vinyl got to be a hassle to store so I got a cassette deck since tape is smaller. Plus, if I ever find an album that isn't offered in a physical format, I can make my own tape pretty easily.

Of course, Spotify is still my go-to for listening in the car, while at the gym, etc.
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virtue
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« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2023 @2.28 »


Interesting! I manage stuff on my Windows machine, primarily, and I usually work by organizing new files, and rsyncing it to the server. My desktop serves as the source-of-truth, for everything else.

Love DSub. I've never considered using desktop clients and always just stuck with the airsonic webui. Is it preferable?

I'll be honest, it really depends. I'm not a big fan of the web interface in general, but I also just always prefer native applications over web clients no matter what. Strawberry is definitely not the best client for listening with subsonic, but what matters most to me is looks, and strawberry looks absolutely gorgeous.

Ultimately, the general look was more than enough to sell me. (Yeah I know its a clementine fork) It is definitely not even close to as integrated with subsonic as an app like DSub, but I don't use most of the integrated features at all, so its worth it in my case. The one frustrating thing is that I think it cant use server-side playlists, which could definitely be a deal breaker for a lot of people. It definitely is pushing it for me, but I don't find it too difficult to make local playlist versions of those if i REAAALLY wanna listen on my computer for some reason.

They make phones like that!? That's awesome!!

You'd be surprised, a lot of phones are just like that by default; they just don't often come with software to use the antennae.
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virtue
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2023 @18.15 »


Interesting! I manage stuff on my Windows machine, primarily, and I usually work by organizing new files, and rsyncing it to the server. My desktop serves as the source-of-truth, for everything else.

Love DSub. I've never considered using desktop clients and always just stuck with the airsonic webui. Is it preferable?

I'll be honest, it really depends. I'm not a big fan of the web interface in general, but I also just always prefer native applications over web clients no matter what. Strawberry is definitely not the best client for listening with subsonic, but what matters most to me is looks, and strawberry looks absolutely gorgeous.

Ultimately, the general look was more than enough to sell me. (Yeah I know its a clementine fork) It is definitely not even close to as integrated with subsonic as an app like DSub, but I don't use most of the integrated features at all, so its worth it in my case. The one frustrating thing is that I think it cant use server-side playlists, which could definitely be a deal breaker for a lot of people. It definitely is pushing it for me, but I don't find it too difficult to make local playlist versions of those if i REAAALLY wanna listen on my computer for some reason.

They make phones like that!? That's awesome!!

You'd be surprised, a lot of phones are just like that by default; they just don't often come with software to use the antennae.
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2023 @824.65 »

I was a full-time Spotify person all through high school, but now that I'm not using a smartphone I've switched exclusively to buying music and CDs. I'm building up a CD collection and I have a lot of mp3s on a 2nd gen iPod nano, which I love dearly and am also planning on refurbishing. I was super nervous about quitting Spotify, but I've found that it actually has made my relationship to music better. I have a close friend who mails me a bunch of CDs they like, and I also find myself listening to full albums on Bandcamp a lot of the time. I discover a lot more new music and I have a longer attention span to listen to full albums. Really loving it.

Next step for me is a portable CD player that has an AUX plug and a powerful speaker to play out loud, ideally.
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