no more iTunes and too much Main St music

Somebody thought it would be a good idea to start playing music here on Main St again, for the summer, and again it’s gone horribly wrong. Well, maybe not horribly wrong, but I woke up to bad jazz coming in through my window at 4 AM this morning, so pretty wrong. I stayed in bed until about 4:30, when the switch from bad jazz to yacht rock occurred, at which point I gave up and got out of bed. So now I’ve got an extra hour or so to kill before I have to go to work, so I might as well do some blogging.

I’ve been running across a lot of articles this week about the end of iTunes. Some of them are quite overblown and even misleading. Here’s one that isn’t. Key line: “For the most part, the end of iTunes seems to be an end in name only: key features will be retained in the Music app.” (And iTunes for Windows is sticking around for now too.) Here’s a FAQ-style article from CNET that’s also fairly useful and not misleading.

There are a lot of think pieces out there that are mostly following the same narrative. Here’s one from The Verge. The general structure of most of these goes through the rise of iPods, ripping CDs, pirating music through Napster, and buying 99¢ songs through iTunes, then the decline of that model and the rise of streaming music. I can’t argue with any of that, though I’m still not that keen on switching over to a $10/month streaming service.

Depending on how usable the new Apple Music app actually is, I may need to go back to my search for a good alternative music management system. Back in 2017, I had an issue that prompted me to look around. I tried Swinsian on my Mac and MediaMonkey on my PC, but wasn’t happy enough with either of them to stick with them. The issue I had with iTunes eventually got fixed, so I stuck with iTunes.

I’m actually getting a lot of my music these days from podcasts and streaming radio. I’m listening to Monday Graveyard and Future Astronauts regularly, and enjoying both. (And supporting both on Patreon, though for only a buck a month.) And right at this moment, I’m listening to some nice stuff on NTS. (The description of the show I’m listening to right now starts with “Exploring long-form structures and expressive micro-tuning systems…”, so yeah, it’s that kind of music! It’s these guys, apparently.)

I occasionally consider signing up for a streaming music service, though I still can’t talk myself into it. Amazon Music Unlimited would probably be the cheapest, at $8/month for Prime members. (I’m wondering about that price now though, since the page linked above currently shows two “Try It” buttons, one of which says $7.99/month under it, while the other says $9.99/month. And I saw an even higher price in a popup in the iOS app yesterday. So I don’t know what’s going on there.) Anyway, my taste is weird enough right now that I’m probably better off sticking with oddball podcasts, streaming radio stations, and an occasional Bandcamp purchase.

Well, it’s around 6:45 AM now, so it’s still a bit too early to go to work. Maybe I should go for a walk.


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