So now that I’ve accumulated a 25,000+ song music library and a large video library, built around a media center using Plex, I’m watching the Apple Keynote for WWDC where they launch the Apple streaming music service, I have to wonder, should I really be streaming my music/video through one of the services like Apple, Google, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, et al?
Not having used Spotify and Pandora more than superficially (free versions), I don’t know to what extent I would be building custom playlists or how easily I’d find it to discover either new artists or more of the artists I already enjoy? How accessible would some of the trance/progressive music I listen to from DJ’s like Armin Van Buuren, Dash Berlin, Gareth Emery, Tiesto, be as discoverable as it is for me now? Could I reach back and find (again) some of the gems I might initially overlook?
Then there’s the monthly fee, but I wouldn’t have to pay for hard disk space and maintain my own server….
The future is streaming, it’s more a matter of whether I accumulate and roll/stream my own vs. pay for someone else’s collection.
Video streaming of content has expanded beyond the traditional YouTube/Netflix/Hulu/HBO to include apps like Popcorntime which make the underlying bitorrent architecture transparent. Seems like everyone wants the same eyes and ears, whether it’s Google, Apple, Amazon, cable company, Verizon/ATT/T-Mobile, Spotify/Pandora and their ilk, and they all want to bundle you to lock you in. Distributors/aggregators like these will determine what you see and what you listen to (through their deal with content creators), even though the selection may be vast.
They want to bundle your own content too, including photos Google Photos, Apple Photos and Amazon (Prime). The idea of having all your “stuff” (whether music or photos) anywhere, without having it on your local device is great, but you’ll likely have to make longer term choices about your provider.
Microsoft likely gave up on Windows Media Center in Windows 10, probably recognizing their failing place in content distribution and the future of streaming rather than owned media. They won’t even include software for playing a DVD (assuming you have a DVD drive in the future). So unless you roll your own through one of the solutions like Plex, Roku, etc., you probably end up being bundled. The more they bundle you, the stickier the customer you become. You are the product.