I don’t like streaming music, a position that’s quickly becoming a minority opinion.

I still use an iTunes library, synced to my phone via iTunes Match. I have a ton of old (and new) playlists. I do use the streaming music service Spotify, but just to test-drive new albums and follow new releases from the bands I like. iTunes is still my “home” base, where I can feel good that I “own” everything in there and it’s all backed up to the cloud.

My two main sticking points with streaming services are:

  1. The recurring expense model.
  2. You don’t know what you’re missing.

To the first point: Yes, iTunes Match is a recurring expense, but it’s only $25/yr, and if Apple discontinues this service, I can download all my songs and figure something else out. It’s still all my music.

To the second point: a lot of bands aren’t on Spotify. But you wouldn’t know that unless you heard about the band somewhere else then looked them up. If you’re using Spotify as a music discovery service, there are probably some really good bands you’re just not discovering.

I spend a lot of time maintaining my music collection (an effort which, yes, most people are happily giving up in favor of streaming services). I like knowing that what I have in my music library is always going to be there, no matter how many licensing agreements change over the years. I don’t trust Spotify to be there in the future. If they close down, then where will I go? Are the playlists I create in Spotify exportable? It’s all too much uncertainty.

Then there’s the vanity card.

From Looking for a Connection in an Infinite Jukebox {npr}:

For decades, owning music used to be the shortcut indication to how much someone cared about an artist […]

Because when you’ve suddenly got millions of songs at your fingertips, it ultimately becomes harder to identify your own songs. And as more and more people trade personalized collections for access to an effectively infinite set of options, the idea of the music library as a signifier of personal investment in taste may be fading, but not disappearing altogether.

Check out the whole series, it’s really interesting: Streaming at the Tipping Point {npr}.

I am so obsessed with this band right now.


Strange Names. Kind of like The Cure’s more upbeat songs? Kind of like DEVO? Other good bands like that from the 80s?

Love the freaking bass in this song.

Strange Names — “Supernatural Science”

Bob your head to that then listen to the new album {spotify}.

Flight Facilities {new music}

One of my favorite albums recently is Down to Earth {spotify} from Australian duo Flight Facilities.

The band could be classified as electronic, but it doesn’t sound like a typical electronic record. Half the songs feature a guest musician.

Here’s one of my favorite songs from the album. It features Australian artist Micky Green, a reference to Montell Jordan, and a killer bass line.

Flight Facilities — “Stand Still” {mp3]

Via {kexp song of the day}.

Friday Link List

1. How to Draw a Picture While Running {tldr}

I don’t know why but I love this so much.

The conceit is simple. Claire [Wyckoff] uses her Nike+ to draw pictures on maps when she runs. She’s done drawings as mundane as a Corgi, and as complex as a Mennonite.

2. Raising Big Money to Fight Big Money {ny times}

Love Lawrence Lessig. I had read a few articles by him and was recently re-introduced thanks to his role in helping raise awareness about the plight of Aaron Schwartz. He has a new PAC he hopes will help elect candidates that support fundamental campaign finance reform.

“Inside-the-Beltway people don’t think this issue matters, they don’t think voters vote on the basis of this issue, and they advise their politicians not to talk about it,” said Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School with ties to Silicon Valley who is a founder of the Mayday PAC with Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to President George W. Bush. “We think this issue does matter, and we want to prove it.”

3. The Catchiest Song Ever {the bird and the bee}


4. 1 Billion Stolen Passwords? Not So Fast {tldr}

Lots of good reasons to doubt the severity of the hacks, especially the last one:

Hold Security [the firm that announced the hack] is using this announcement to offer a “breach notification service,” which is a $10 monthly subscription with the company to tell you if you’ve been affected.