Streamlining media, are we ready for it?

metllicamilitia

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The world is going streamline, Pandora, Slacker, Spotify, Netflix and iTunes as well among many others. Everything is about streaming videos, music, books and the whole world. You can stream it and/or download it. Some streaming services require a fee, other services are free but with a charge to download. Fewer still are free all around. And if you want high definition it will cost you a few extra dollars per download. I think the world is getting ahead of itself again here.

There are many people who care about quality picture and sound and will still always buy physical copies to play straight from there or rip into a high quality file themselves because there is no guarantee that the content provider has done that properly. Yeah, you can convert an mp3 into a FLAC file, but it will still have the mp3 quality instead of the FLAC file. FLAC is a lossless audio file, it has the same quality as the physical CD has, whereas an mp3 is a compressed file. Think of it like crushing a can, the uncrushed can is your disc and lossless files and the crushed can is your mp3 and lower bit rate files. You can still take that can and put it into an uncrushed can but it will still remain a crushed can. The same is true for video files as well.

People will try to take advantage of people and claim that have true quality files but in reality many of them are actually lower quality low bit rate files. And while no extra effort and not a lot of extra time is taken to initially rip a disc into a lossless high quality file, content providers will still charge you more for the tag of high quality. And then comes the matter of storage because lossless files take up a lot more space than a compressed file. There are many people that don?t realize this and more still don?t care what kind of file they have. The world may be built to revolve around the average, you can?t ignore the smaller groups that prefer different things.

There are entire forums built around high quality products to complement high quality things. I am a member of one such forum. It revolves around music and how you listen to it. Buying the quality music player that support lossless files and the headphones or earphones and amps necessary to truly hear and appreciate said quality is always being discussed. That?s not a mainstream market and is mostly ignored by the world. Most of the popular ?great quality? headphones are shunned by this minority market of true quality because they have a price tag that another product of the same price, and in many cases cheaper, you can get a much better product.

Yet here we are, in a world progressing into streaming. We are watching videos on screens built for quality but watching a file that isn?t quality. We have devices that can handle high quality audio files and listening to files that aren?t quality. And to get that quality, content providers expect us to pay a premium price for something that we can do ourselves at home in just a few minutes. The question is, is the accessibility of these files at our fingertips worth the damage to our wallets? For less hurt to our wallets, we can go to store and buy the physical copies. With the physical copies we can then do as we please with them. Most will rip music and put them onto their music players, the minority can get their high quality files and the rest can have their lesser quality files. Same for video, you can rip movies and put them onto your devices, those who want quality can rip it into a quality file themselves and the rest can rip it into a standard definition file if they want. So again, in this world of people claiming to want quality, is it worth the price of convenience to get poor quality or you can spare your wallets some hurt and wait as long as it takes to go to store to choose for yourself what quality you want?
 

anon(4698833)

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I'm personally hoping for some premium games to come soon and some legitimate online multiplayer...i mean the games available now extend ALMOST to this line, but I'm talking some major licensed ports, maybe even some Nintendo ports (i know, wishful thinking). Imagine the possibilities of the major licensed games with the tech available to the smart phones...they'd put the DS and Vita in the grave.

The downside to all of this though is the data usage...most people are in a limited plan now, and it's so easy to run over, to get streaming in the mainstream (and gaming), they're going to have to fix this.
 

jclisenby

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I agree that the streaming revolution is here. It's also possible to stream the HQ versions of things, but this requires a fast connection and lots of data. That's an issue when we have the current data caps. Home streaming you can get high quality on devices like Apple TV and even on iOS devices with wifi.

Netflix is a great example; if you have a fast connection, you'll get a higher quality. If in out on 3G, I get lower quality. When I have LTE, it's really good quality, but it's a much larger data usage.

As we get faster connections and larger data availability, things will get even higher in streaming quality.


Tappin and Talkin from my iPhone 5
 

KaterinaM

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But the development of streaming services requires the high level of development of other services, including mobile Internet and its speed. Especially it concerns the less developed countries.
 

Laura Knotek

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Isn't Neil Young working on some project involving high quality music format? I seem to recall reading about it awhile ago.
 

Speedygi

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I stream everything now, music, videos, and with 4G connection speeds, its become more of daily reality for me.

As for quality, I always believe in streaming my own music tracks, and they are always encoded with the highest bitrate, that's how I ensure quality.
 

metllicamilitia

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I stream everything now, music, videos, and with 4G connection speeds, its become more of daily reality for me.

As for quality, I always believe in streaming my own music tracks, and they are always encoded with the highest bitrate, that's how I ensure quality.

I don't have that faith, my music that takes up 19.4GB on my phone, takes up about 40-50GB (I don't remember specifically) on my laptop and a DMP. And that's not even all my music, the size difference is only from what I have physical cd's for. I rip them into FLAC, a lossless file, and I can't trust that someone lossless streaming file is lossless. Conversation only goes down, once a song is an mp3, even at 320bps, is less than lossless and can't be lossless again without re ripping the file. I really wish Apple would at least put a 5 band equalizer in the music app so I could put my music in Apple lossless format and use my good earphones. That's where Apple is lacking. Audiophiles won't touch iPods unless it's one they can image with RockBox and override Apple's software.


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sting7k

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All that quality music is useless to the 80% of mobile users who are using the headsets that are included with their devices. So there isn't incentive for content creators to put the effort into supplying high bit rate files. It's a niche market.
 

metllicamilitia

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All that quality music is useless to the 80% of mobile users who are using the headsets that are included with their devices. So there isn't incentive for content creators to put the effort into supplying high bit rate files. It's a niche market.

Yeah, but that's also why there will always be a market for DMP and physical copies.


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metllicamilitia

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You just basically explained your own solution there. Nothing beats the physical copy when it comes to pure sound quality and bitrate.

Yeah, that's why I posed the question of whether or not we're ready for streamlining media. There are places you can download high quality audio, but it's not as mainstream and expected as HD video, I wouldn't expect it to be though since not everyone can hear the difference between 128bps mp3 and a lossless file. I would just like to see the option for true lossless audio options, until then I do, and will continue to buy physical cd's. I just can't enjoy lossless unless I get a new DMP or find a way to replace the screen on the one I have and get a 120GB SDHC card.


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Laura Knotek

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I think the main issue with high quality digital recordings is the file size. FLAC files are huge, which would pose problems with bandwidth usage if streamed.

Sent from my Lumia 900 using Tapatalk
 

mulasien

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1. I can't stream my music when on a plane.
2. I refuse to have to rely on a good wifi connection just to access my music (iPad is wifi only and I refuse to use carrier data on my phone just to play music).
3. Streaming services will be worthless when you're trying to jam out during the zombie apocalypse - OK, I'm being silly with that last one, but the point remains that you're reliant on a data connection ALWAYS being available to access your own content.

Stream services have a place, but they will NEVER 100% replace having local content that's available to me without an Internet connection.
 

Tre Lawrence

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Some allow caching of music locally for situations just like that (planes).

Having said that, having music locally leaves little to chance.
 

Trees

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1. I can't stream my music when on a plane.
2. I refuse to have to rely on a good wifi connection just to access my music (iPad is wifi only and I refuse to use carrier data on my phone just to play music).
3. Streaming services will be worthless when you're trying to jam out during the zombie apocalypse - OK, I'm being silly with that last one, but the point remains that you're reliant on a data connection ALWAYS being available to access your own content.
4. Don't want to pay even more to the carrier so that I can stream.

Stream services have a place, but they will NEVER 100% replace having local content that's available to me without an Internet connection.

Added a fourth consideration/requirement.

Cool that we have the option to stream content. Just don't see it as cost effective when away from WiFi.