Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Alex Ross answers his own question

He pens a column asking why bother to collect CDs any more?
Why bother with space-devouring, planet-harming plastic objects when so much music can be had at the touch of a trackpad—on Spotify, Pandora, Beats Music, and other streaming services that rain sonic data from the virtual entity known as the Cloud? What is the point of having amassed, say, the complete symphonies of the Estonian composer Eduard Tubin (1905-82) when all eleven of them pop up on Spotify ...?
And then he goes on to say,
... albeit in random order? (When I searched for “Tubin” on the service, I was offered two movements of his Fourth Symphony, with the others appearing far down a list.)
And there you are. He elaborates:
Spotify is notorious for its chaotic presentation of track data. One recording of the Beethoven Ninth is identified chiefly by the name of the soprano, Luba Orgonášová; I had to click again and scrutinize a stamp-size reproduction of the album cover to determine the name of the conductor, John Eliot Gardiner.
I haven't even tried Spotify, but the same thing is true of services I have tried online. They don't understand classical music. Not realizing that works may have more than one movement, or how to label them if you do, are common. Only YouTube, whose classical services are run by the dedicated and knowledgeable pirates who upload ripped recordings, is at all reliable in its packaging or labeling.

And that's enough, surely. Not even necessary to get into the sound quality or the economics.

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