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Thread: is the MP3 dissapearing? and is this a good or a bad thing?

  1. #1

    is the MP3 dissapearing? and is this a good or a bad thing?

    i was fairly devastated when google play closed up recently and moved over to youtube music, which appears to be a streaming service.
    now, electronic might be the last music affected by this, since it is a very DJ centric type of music, so i can see beatport and places like that hanging on for a while yet.
    but overall it looks to me like the industry is moving towards the streaming model now, with Spotify and such, it seems to be a better money-making strategy than making a one-off sale of an mp3
    so im wondering if, over the coming years we will see further closure of online mp3 sales outlets and maybe even a move towards streaming for DJ purposes.

    as a consumer i have mixed feelings about this , because streaming is more practical actually, and it ironically pushes me back to buying CDs (if i really want to own the album), truth be told, i never really got much satisfaction from owning an Mp3 album anyways
    but for DJing this is a real problem when you just want to pick up one song especially for those of us who are diligent about following a legal method of buying mp3s.


    thoughts?
    Last edited by DJ Matt; 04-06-2021 at 07:20 AM.

  2. #2
    BanHammer™ Manu's Avatar
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    Beyond being a DJ, as a music listener and music collector, mp3 sounds inferior and if the device has any problem then it's all your eggs in one basket situation. Being an avid metalhead, I can clearly hear how mp3 simply is not good enough and will taint the sound instead of giving a faithful reproduction.

    Mp3 came forward because compression and saving memory space. I can hear distortion, compression, sizzling, frequency limitations, highs being tainted, muddy unrefined mids, bass getting shallow, and all that rubbish. It's kind of bearable with EDM because it is mostly synth music, and all of it these days is mastered into a brick wall, but when real instruments and sound dynamics are involved, I can tell it does not sound like it should.

    streaming is more practical actually
    Until your internet goes off. I've seen people streaming stuff, signal dropoffs, signal cutoffs, sound artifacts, file is loading etc. If it's not a physical format then I'm not buying. No way either I'd use iTunes because even if you pay for it you don't own it. Call me old school but if my router dies or anything happens, I still have a music collection on CD and vinyl. Same goes for people who moan about "nothing on netflix" (I hear it often), I have a movie collection in the thousands, my problem is actually having too much choice without the need for a third party streamer that's going to dip in my wallet on a monthly basis.

    One of my friends simply streams youtube from his phone into his lo-fi all in one pioneer cube. It sounds like ass, and he's like, "hey that's pretty good isn't it, how's that sound quality?" - while I feel like slicing my ears off. I don't want to sound like a sound snob, but that's my reality. The sooner mp3 disappears the better, I don't like compressed sound and I don't purchase superior gear only to play inferior files. Let alone stream, my DJing does not require solutions to a problem I do not have in the first place.

    Also vinyl is still making a comeback, and the music industry have jumped the prices up. £20/$25 for a record average these days, no wonder more and more people are turning to youtube for free streaming. The record companies are here for the profit, your convenience means nothing to them. LAtely I have not bought this or that album, because it's not yet on the shelf.

    I think covid may also be a factor in the past year, people are stuck home streaming instead of going to record fairs and shops.

    Dare I say fad? Seen lots of those before, format wars began when music got published. Here's one of the many examples does not matter how crappy is the format for as long as people pay up:


    Last edited by Manu; 04-06-2021 at 08:13 AM.
    SoundCloud ______ MixCloud
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Manu View Post
    Beyond being a DJ, as a music listener and music collector, mp3 sounds inferior and if the device has any problem then it's all your eggs in one basket situation. Being an avid metalhead, I can clearly hear how mp3 simply is not good enough and will taint the sound instead of giving a faithful reproduction.
    so, do you still prefer to buy your music on CD or vinyl format ?

    one upside to all this is I can pick up CDs for quite a decent price these days, as people are selling off their physical music collection , i have been replacing music this way, that i originally had on Mp3
    Last edited by DJ Matt; 04-06-2021 at 10:35 AM.

  4. #4
    BanHammer™ Manu's Avatar
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    I still buy on CD and vinyl. Same I can grab here for dirt cheap, though sometimes it is still expensive, but then I have stuff that is exclusive to the format and that you won't ever find on mp3 from any of those online shops. I went as far as paying 20 extra or more on a 5 bucks CD ordered in the States, and then I pay more in tax just to get it shipped over in the UK. I paid over the odds for records also, and to this day I have no regrets. Some of them have increased in value so much, I could put them on sale and turn a profit because collectors items.

    I am still very much against paying over the odds for an mp3, over here at £1.50. On the side I bought so many CD singles that contains remixes and seen up to 8 on a disc. If you applied that to mp3, I'd have to pay 9 x £1.50 to get the same thing, if I could find it. That's why I have a nice collection of remixes and people keep asking me where did I get those... IE I have loads of those FatboySlim CD singles and records, same for the Prodigy. Bonus is, I have some remixes no one can get from itunes or amazon or wherever else. Mp3 practicality only goes as far as how many versions of the same track you can get out of one single purchase, and the record companies are certainly milking the single track market.

    Then you try to resell just one of your mp3s out of collection... Not happening is it. Resale value, zero. I never had a problem reselling the CDs or records I did not want to keep. I'm looking forward to the next albums on my list. I have no music to buy on my mp3 list.
    SoundCloud ______ MixCloud
    "Wrong speed, we've got it on the wrong speed. For those of you who are recovering from a hangover, that's gonna sound just right. " - Robin Williams

  5. #5
    Technoez Rek_Aviles's Avatar
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    Other than buying music to DJ with, I haven't purchased music for my personal collection in a long time. Pandora replaced the need for that but in recent years I moved to Google Music, now called Youtube Music (I think Google Play and Music were 2 separate apps). I actually prefer YT Music over the others (Spotify, Pandora) because it has the option of only playing songs/videos that I've liked (thumb'd up) since the start of my account. It also has the option of playing audio only or the video - I should add that I pay for YT premium so some of these features may be premium only, i don't know.

    With all that said, I still jump to Pandora to find new music. For some reason I have been luck finding new tracks on there compared to all the other services.

  6. #6
    Moderator pete's Avatar
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    It all reminds me of back in the day when I worked in music distribution.
    We got 35quid of music from the catalogues of some fine record labels every month as a bonus. But at trade price, so an album was about 6 or 7 quid.
    I always got vinyl. I was never into CDJs and was a vinyl snob, anyways. Plus I could easily get the promo versions of the CDs on the sly.
    My colleagues were always laughing at me as they couldn't understand why I spent so long choosing the records and why I only used funny vinyl records and not the latest trendy-artist CDs.
    Now I have racks of vinyl (that I rarely use these days). It only increases in value. And the CDs my colleagues got, are probably binned by now.
    Back then the labels probably got about 2 quid per sale. So the artist was making pennies.
    Then Napster and iTunes happened. Those Mp3 sites sold their service to labels as being "better than getting no money from no sales".
    I bought Mp3s rarely, cos I saw little point in paying for something I didn't own. I much preferred to buy records.

    Google play music was great. I could upload 1000s of my CDs or records in FLAC and listen to them anywhere. Even if the streaming quality was meh.

    Youtube music removed this functionality, added adverts, and moved towards the Spotify model of pushing music they wanted you to hear.

    Still, I listen to Spotify, although all it seems to want to play me is retro synthwave. Part of me is happy with that. The other part of me has a large SD card in the phone to play my collection.

    What does all this mean for DJing?
    Well first of all, generally, the artists will be getting even less than pennies.
    Streaming has its downsides and means that any DJ has access to all tracks. It takes all the digging out of DJing, so traditional DJing has died.
    Streaming will come as a service to DJs. Some have tried and failed to put it into place, but it is the future.

    As for music sound quality, there is really no excuse for vinyl, CDs or MP3s these days. Apart from the lethargic nature of the music industry.
    Anyone into music probably has a super high resolution DAC and the listening equipment to go with it. The labels should get on board and release tracks direct from the studio at high bit rates. They're probably holding out for the right moment to make the most profit. Not that the artist will see any of that money.
    bored, curious, deaf or just bad taste in music?
    finally a mix by me
    and what's this, another shoddy mix...another dull mix

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Rek_Aviles View Post
    With all that said, I still jump to Pandora to find new music. For some reason I have been luck finding new tracks on there compared to all the other services.
    i used to get amazing use out of pandora back when it first came out, i think it was operating outside the law at first, then they had a court battle, and sorted it , but only for the USA and unfortunately i dont think they ever fixed that so we lost pandora here in europe ever since.
    man i loved it

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    My colleagues were always laughing at me as they couldn't understand why I spent so long choosing the records and why I only used funny vinyl records and not the latest trendy-artist CDs.
    Now I have racks of vinyl
    i still think there is a lot to be said for physical media, for better or worse, you amass a collection that you can then look back over later, long after you forgot you even liked it.
    i still have my dads old reel to reel tapes dating back to the 1950s, if he had been using computers and social media back then we might not have them now. or had they been digitized 10 or 20 years ago, its possible that the tapes would still outlive the digital versions, which could easily get lost on some hard drive somewhere. physical media just lives on.

  9. #9
    Moderator pete's Avatar
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    The funniest thing I think about is all the iPod owners who bought full price 128Kbps Mp3s back in the day.
    Waste of money.
    Streaming today often gives better resolution.
    bored, curious, deaf or just bad taste in music?
    finally a mix by me
    and what's this, another shoddy mix...another dull mix

  10. #10
    Truck Driver Dix's Avatar
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    Like Manu, I suppose I am old school. I like having my physical collection but I also enjoy the compact format of MP3's.

    I have to admit, I have NEVER used a streaming service... ever. But, its just me. I like to physically own my collection.

    Some of you may know that I retired after 17 years in the mobile business, in 2019. I don't DJ anymore at this point but I have a nice collection of MP3's that I still enjoy. However, as a DJ, for me, I'd never rely on streaming my music for a live show.... period. I wanted my collection on my external HDs.

    At my age (and some others here can understand where I am coming from), I have been through many stages of music formats. As a kid, we had 33 rpm albums & 45 rpm singles.
    Then came 8 track tapes. Then, cassette tapes. Then CD's. Now MP3's.
    As noted by the OP, now we see another format disappearing & yet another format taking over the industry.

    When I started DJing in live radio in 1982, we used vinyl 33's & 45's. We did have some reel to reel audio tape (Teac), but we didn't use it often. I used to drag it out just for the experience of the time & for something to look back on 40 years later.
    In the late 80s - early 90s, I started using mostly CDs in the club along with still some vinyl.

    When I got into my mobile business in 2002, I bought my setup from the beginning for MP3's.

    In the end, as in the past, I hate to see the old formats go but, I really hate to see MP3's disappear & leave us with only streaming audio. But, at almost 62 years old, I'll never continue any kind of music career in the future to matter what it does in reality. I just hope there is at least some method of buying MP3's for the next 10 or 15 years.
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