I keep getting asked why I don’t subscribe to Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music etc.
The answer is simple . . . . . I’d rather own what I listen to. Furthermore, at least 40% of what I have in my music library is not even available on the streaming services. However, I do like the convenience of having access to my music wherever I am.
This means uploading everything to remote storage and finding some means of playing the songs.
I used iBroadcast for a while, which is a great service and has the best catalogue management of anything I have tried. It’s mobile and tablet apps are peerless in function and form. But you have to upload everything to their servers first and it can take quite some time! The free tier is good enough for playing in the car (just about) but you need to pay about £40 a year for the decent streaming rate.
And then I heard about iTunes Match. For just £24 per year, you can have 100,000 songs in the library and play them anywhere. It works by looking at your local music stash. If the music exists in their catalogue, it does not get uploaded. If it doesn’t exist, it uploads.
This is something Amazon used to do in the past. For fun, I thought I would try it out!
Once done, I had access to everything everywhere! For me, it works brilliantly and the £24 annual cost is definitely great value. The added plus point is that you can turn off the nonsense Apple Music stuff (ie: it will only show me my stuff and nothing else) and not nag me to death about subscribing to a monthly plan I have no interest in. Are you listening Amazon???
I tend to buy music from either Amazon or, mostly, Bandcamp. I very rarely buy CDs (which I would then rip, of course!). The Amazon app is horrible, the functionaly is second-rate and they constantly try to push you into subscribing to their service. It’s a horrible mess and focuses on a certain type of customer that I will never be! And YouTube Music is just as bad. Probably worse.
Anyway, I buy, I download, I apply tagging and what-not using the brilliant jRiver Media Center 29. Once done, I fire up iTunes, point it at my latest purchases and, after a few minutes, it will either get uploaded or matched. Couldn’t be simpler.
I am a long way off being a fanboy to any tech or service, but credit where it is due. For me, at least, Apple have got it right for those of us who do not want an all you can eat buffet of music. Obviously, do not rely on Apple as your only source of ‘music backup’: that is not what it is for. To that end, I have three backups, two remote and one local of all my music. Cos, well, you never know!