Streaming the Unknown – Unknown Sundays 9-2016

Streaming music services are both a blessing and a curse (please note, as always, this article was written July 18, 2016), much like the radio has and will continue to be. While it is utterly fantastic to have supposed and complete access to an entire catalog of music that spans generations and genres, it is also left unmanaged and flat by the inability and inefficiencies of these establishments to actually continually fulfill and modify content. For example, try keeping up with Buckethead releases and loading all that content up on your server, or the issue with keeping up with recent classical and jazz album releases, or even the simplest—which is the spelling of the band information right—or even the album. (insert swear emoji here)

I go through each release week and right down between 12 – 15 albums on average to listen to. Of course the usual ones—the popular ones—they are there and ready for play at the highest exposure level. However, there are a lot that are not entered at all, mistyped or mis-entered into a genre, and left to the diabolical search engine of us, the musical mutliverse traveler, to somehow decode and find. Sure it is aggravating for us, but how did the musician feel?! (insert swear emoji here)  Then, there are those that are just lost in the “not so popular” by-gone, supposed unnecessary musical past that most engines don’t wish to pay to have. That’s even more criminal!

I don’t know all the services out there, but I have partaken of three, and have settled on one. I’m not going to say which, but the main reason was the pricing and the ability to have multiple devices without getting hassled into more monthly fees. However, my own musical collection dwarves any of them in their ability to store it all, which leaves me feeling a little worried for the future of this streaming media type getting better.

All the above being said, let me tell you how much I love it! The unknown amounts of hours that I spent perusing used record store bins makes up for any diabolical searching by finger typing. Don’t get me wrong…I loved the time I spent, but we do have to realize our full potential, and I am very positive I could be more productive back doing something more productive. The ability to listen to an entire record first, in the comfort of my own non-head-liced headphones surely is worth the subscription! You know you’ve put them on, wondering if you were going to have that unwashed nail salon-like experience. The obscure record releases are there most of the time.  And, in record stores of now, they would probably not even be considered for bulk or expensive singular purchase in distribution, which is both sad and understandable. It’s not every local record store that has an eclectic, buy it on impulse, junkie like me weekly. Then there’s the one absolute that the streaming services have that is unmatched! The “related” artists! This is wicked fun with a mysterious algorithm with a tormenting god-like complex, which has led me and countless other music infatuation junkies on a clicking–listening spree in hopes of discovering that hidden musical artifact amongst hundreds of musical acts that have some relationship that can only be in a broad correlation coefficient. Still, I have a riot taking it on, and will continue to do so, as long as they allow!

Like the radio and internet stores and retail store—you’re going to see/hear what you’ve been told—marketed. Sorry. That’s the same truth with the services for the most part. Sure, you’ve got your styles and what not that have a certain way of leading you to other interesting, unknown artists, but when it comes to new releases and genre visibility, things have not changed.

I can’t wait for the week that I click the “New Releases” and see them listed in genre, alphabetically, or better yet—why don’t they pay me to have an “Unknown” developed section, where we suggest that which is Beyond Your Marketing: Royal Wood, Markus Stockhausen, Melanie DeBiasio, Mirosalv Vitous, Holly McNarland, and go back and find those gems like Dusty Trails, Copyright, Carmen Rizzo, Snake River Conspiracy, and Love in Reverse.

Streaming? Hell yes! Looking through my private collection? Still! Never a better time to be–then now–to be traversing the music multi-verse…”Unknown” the future is.

 

SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

Side Note:  The music service I purchased monthly eventually was sold to YouTube, and I was grandfathered in as a Premium Subscription, which was very nice.  The service is good.  Is it the best.  I will never know, truly, as I have no plans of exploring any others.  I have a heavy addiction, which you all are aware of.  I still love my music store, and I still purchase physical copy.

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back on July 18, 2016, and while there was a time when I thought it to be nearly the end of the record store (many many lost), we can thank Taylor Swift and a few others that have really revitalized the popularity of vinyl, as well as a slight return to CD(s) [yes they know we’re out there].  My disposable income is nowhere near where it once was, and I am very thankful for the streaming service, as it allows me to work it into Beyond Your Radio, while I’m waiting for opportunity of affordable copy.  I still search endlessly, and the service does spark my curiosities and allows me to communicate with my panelists so they can utilize a service to participate in the many shows.  Since 2016, I have listened to over 3,200 albums, some more than once.  I’ve spent over 1000 hours searching, investigating, and making notes.  I’ve discovered over 500 bands of which I had no idea existed in just these few years, and in actuality, this year, the count is already above the average thanks to some great connections on Twitter and YouTube.  It was a great investment.  It was the worst investment for my addiction.  It was a great investment…oh…found another we can talk about on a show…   – Mark Kuligowski  [August 27th 2023]

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