Infographic: Online music streaming services

There’s no question that online streaming is hot. A growing segment of music listeners is just saying “no” to music ownership and local storage.

Oakland-based Pandora has been a leader, but the space is now quite crowded. How is a person to choose? This infographic, from Gerson Lerman Group, does a nice job in laying out the landscape.

But what does this all mean to audiophiles? My suspicion: not a lot, at least in the near term. Most enthusiasts have invested heavily in vinyl and/or optical media and players. We have seen that these trends are difficult to reverse.

I myself have been surprised by the reluctance of BAAS members in embracing music servers. But it is the “music server” that will ultimately power streaming services in audiophile reference systems. The fact that these devices are close cousins to general purpose computers, including the internet connection, will make it so.

Until then, these services will supplement existing media for audiophiles – and be used mainly when mobile.

What do you think? Please document your experiences and opinions in the comments.


Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, News

3 Comments to Infographic: Online music streaming services

  1. Bob,

    What gave you that idea BAAS members are reluctant to embrace music servers? I thought the interest has been high on the several sessions related to music servers tha you had, or planned to, put together. I, for one, is getting a basic one set up storing music files on a home server.

    Maybe one of the obstacles is that many members have already invested heavily in Vinyl, so going digital may be too much of an investment in money/time/effort?

    I’ve also had some fun playing around with Pandora, listening to some 80′s tunes that I don’t have in my collection.

    Frank Cheng

  2. gundam91 on February 23rd, 2012
  3. While interest in music servers has been quite high, actual implementation has been slow IME.

    The reasons include: (1) budget/existing investments (SACD, vinyl, etc.); (2) “sound quality can’t possibly match my XXX CD player”; (3) “I don’t know computers”; and (4) “I don’t want a computer in my living room.”

    I often recommend a Logitech Squeezebox as an easy and effective way to start. Then mod the Squeezebox, get an external DAC, or both. Coupled with a laptop of any flavor, this makes a very effective setup.


  4. Bob on February 23rd, 2012
  5. My wife and I love using Pandora. The paid service has the best sound quality. It is such a great way to discover new music.

    As far as music servers go for storing and playing your own music, I like using my iPod touch 4th generation. I don’t think an outboard DAC will make any difference because the onboard DAC is excellent. Computer and circuit miniaturization has already proved that bigger is not necessarily better. And using that instead of my computer means no hard-drive or fan noises; absolutely quite operation with album art and a server music search capability in the palm of ones hand. The iPad probably does just as well too. If you had bad sound experiences with the original iPod that does not apply to the newest iPod touch.

    Vincent Sauve

  6. skepica on February 25th, 2012