“Confronted by the empty search bar on Spotify, I sometimes feel paralyzed. The unseen presence of the app’s 20 million songs weighs down on me,” writes John Jurgensen in Friday’s (1/3) Wall Street Journal. “What starts as a tantalizing abundance of music can [become] one reason why we fall back on the same stuff we’ve been listening to since senior year in high school. There’s no shortage of guides designed to lead us through the wilds of digital music, but they all have drawbacks.… The already fierce competition in the field of streaming music is about to intensify…. dozens of new digital music services are expected to launch in the U.S. this year,” including YouTube, Deezer, and Beats Electronics. “[In pop music] browsing and searching music is usually pretty seamless…. But … if you’re looking for all recordings of ‘The Magic Flute,’ you’re best off searching these services for both the opera’s English and German name, Die Zauberflöte.…With every digital music service offering more or less the same stock … my money will go to the one who can best guide me through the aisles.” A separate article at the BBC’s website on Wednesday (1/8) reports on recording trends in 2013, including increased streaming via websites and higher sales of vinyl recordings.
Posted January 8, 2014