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    Shuffle Thee Not!

    I'm not an Adele fan, and I couldn't tell you the title of any of her songs, but as an old-school album listener who loathes the idea of playlists and random listening, I'm fully in favour of this:

    BBC News - Adele gets Spotify to take shuffle button off all album pages
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-59365019

    "We don't create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended"
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
    Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

    #2
    I usually listen to albums in order, and I do feel that that's the way to do it, but I also understand people who'd just like to mix things up a little bit. Sometimes hearing the songs in a different order makes different things stand out. Being told that I can't do that because that was not the artist's vision or whatever would bother me.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Orbert View Post
      I usually listen to albums in order, and I do feel that that's the way to do it, but I also understand people who'd just like to mix things up a little bit. Sometimes hearing the songs in a different order makes different things stand out. Being told that I can't do that because that was not the artist's vision or whatever would bother me.
      It's something one can do for oneself, like assembling a compilation cassette as we used to do in the 70s and 80s, pre-digital, and take the time to do so, making it a sort of creative act in itself, but when streaming platforms push THEIR playlists at me, or encourage me to allow an algorithm to shuffle music around for me, no I'm not for that.
      I listen to at least as much classical music, in its broadest sense from Renaissance polyphony to present-day stuff, as I do rock and popular music, and the notion of an algorithm playing random movements from a symphony or concerto, or missing up parts of a Baroque suite or parts of an opera or oratorio, into a playlist horrifies me. In the unlikely scenario where I'd want that, I can do it for myself, though I never would.
      No one is telling you that it's something you can't do. No freedoms are being threatened.
      Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
      Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

      Comment


        #4
        Interesting how cool concept albums are again. Lemonade by Beyonce. Kanye. Kendrick Lamar. Laura del Rey, even Taylor Swift are making serious suites of songs and wanting their fans to again immerse themselves in 40 to 50 minute explorations.

        Fun to drive with my son and cherry pick his spotify. It's fun but most excellent albums require the commitment from go to woah. Or as in the case of TQ, from fanfare to forevermore

        ELECTRIFY EVERYTHING

        Comment


          #5
          I like the ability to both shuffle songs from an individual album or from many albums together, as well as the ability to play individual albums in their intended order.

          For example, right now I am on Song 11 of a playlist of 7,630 tracks on shuffle. . I'm not going to get to the end of that, but it certainly provides for some variety (Granted, variety within the confines of both being in my own collection and being things I've marked as "classic rock" and not "hard rock", "alt rock and modern pop", or a few other genre categories I've settled on using.

          At the same time, as a Yes fan, obviously I listen to individual albums as units in their intended song order as well. I can also get something out of that, even when something isn't prog or a concept album, because artists and labels do often take some care in deciding which track order flows best and which songs to include on which albums (Sometimes holding over things that don't sound right with the other songs until the next album), etc.. That can true of any sub-genres.

          What that article seems to suggest that Spotify has actually done is not forbidden fans from shuffling Adele albums, but simply made playing her albums in their intended order the default and having users who want to shuffle having to proactively choose to, as opposed to making shuffle the default and forcing people who want to listen in album order to proactively choose to. That seems fine as long as both options are still there.

          However, what I mistakenly thought before I saw the details is that Spotify no longer allowed people to shuffle Adele songs or add them to playlists. I was wrong about that, but it's also true that in theory, a streaming service could do that, either on its own initiative, or at the insistence of an artist or a label who makes it a condition of a contract renewal to carry their catalog on the service and only offers the service not being able to host the songs at all as an alternative.

          That hypothetical shows what I view as a big flaw in the streaming model for users who value having control over how they organize or listen to their music collections. Basically, if all one's music comes through a streaming service, one only has the level of control the service allows them to, which is subject to change at any time in almost any fashion. Suddenly there are all these stakeholders involved in negotiating with each other about what you can do with what you may think of as your own music collection, and even in negotiating what is *in* your music collection (i.e. If a label or artist doesn't offer an album or an EP as part of it's catalog anymore, it's not going to be there [I hope Genesis fans solely reliant on streaming aren't overly attached to the 3x3 or Spot the Pigeon EPs] and if a label's negotiations with your streaming service breaks down, entire artists and label catalogs could temporarily or permanently disappear, like the way cable and satellite providers sometimes lose channels because of disputes with the owners of the channels over payment amounts or terms.).

          On the other hand, if one buys the paid download, one can basically use that on any software or hardware that supports the file format in question. If one bit of software or hardware stops letting the listener do something with paid downloads, the listener can in theory switch to software or hardware that let's the listener do what what he/she/they want. An alternative that does exactly what one wants may not always be available or affordable, but you have options.

          And as long as you back up your files regularly and several hard drives don't fail in quick succession, you should have your music for a lifetime. There's no question with paid downloads of some service losing a license to stream them to you later, you bought a lifetime license to use the songs forever (for personal use) if you bought the files instead of streamed.

          Some people have lost access to paid downloads in the past even though they still had the files, but only when they bought files with Digital Rights Management (DRM) on them that may impose restrictions on what can play a file and make it phone home.

          Fortunately. though, the notable music sellers abandoned that practice years ago. MP3 files have always been DRM-free. AAC audio (aka .m4a aka MP4) have the capacity to have DRM, and Apple had DRM in the earliest stuff they offered in that format, but stopped selling new music with it a decade or so ago.

          So, it's just a matter of finding something that supports MP3 and AAC and most listeners are good to go.

          I'm not saying streaming services are pure evil or anything. That's how I watch my television. I'm just pointing out that there are some non-obvious things that people give up by only doing streaming- like control.
          Last edited by downbyariver; 11-22-2021, 11:17 AM.
          "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by downbyariver View Post
            I like the ability to both shuffle songs from an individual album or from many albums together, as well as the ability to play individual albums in their intended order.

            For example, right now I am on Song 11 of a playlist of 7,630 tracks on shuffle. . I'm not going to get to the end of that, but it certainly provides for some variety (Granted, variety within the confines of both being in my own collection and being things I've marked as "classic rock" and not "hard rock", "alt rock and modern pop", or a few other genre categories I've settled on using.

            At the same time, as a Yes fan, obviously I listen to individual albums as units in their intended song order as well. I can also get something out of that, even when something isn't prog or a concept album, because artists and labels do often take some care in deciding which track order flows best and which songs to include on which albums (Sometimes holding over things that don't sound right with the other songs until the next album), etc.. That can true of any sub-genres.

            What that article seems to suggest that Spotify has actually done is not forbidden fans from shuffling Adele albums, but simply made playing her albums in their intended order the default and having users who want to shuffle having to proactively choose to, as opposed to making shuffle the default and forcing people who want to listen in album order to proactively choose to. That seems fine as long as both options are still there.

            However, what I mistakenly thought before I saw the details is that Spotify no longer allowed people to shuffle Adele songs or add them to playlists. I was wrong about that, but it's also true that in theory, a streaming service could do that, either on its own iniative, or at the insistence of an artist or a label who makes it a condition of a contract renewal to carry their catalog on the service and only offers the service not being able to host the songs at all as an alternative.

            That hypothetical shows what I view as a big flaw in the streaming model for users who value having control over how they organize or listen to their music collections. Basically, if all one's music comes through a streaming service, one only has the level of control the service allows them to, which is subject to change at any time in almost any fashion. Suddenly there are all these stakeholders involved in negotiating with each other about what you can do with what you may think of as your own music collection, and even in negotiating what is *in* your music collection (i.e. If a label or artist doesn't offer an album or an EP as part of it's catalog anymore, it's not going to be there [I hope Genesis fans solely reliant on streaming aren't overly attached to the 3x3 or Spot the Pigeon EPs] and if a label's negotiations with your streaming service breaks down, entire artists and label catalogs could temporarily or permanently disappear, like the way cable and satellite providers sometimes lose channels because of disputes with the owners of the channels over payment amounts or terms.).

            On the other hand, if one buys the paid download, one can basically use that on any software or hardware that supports the file format in question. If one bit of software or hardware stops letting the listener do something with paid downloads, the listener can in theory switch to software or hardware that let's the listener do what what he/she/they want. An alternative that does exactly what one wants may not always be available or affordable, but you have options.

            And as long as you back up your files regularly and several hard drives don't fail in quick succession, you should have your music for a lifetime. There's no question with paid downloads of some service losing a license to stream them to you later, you bought a lifetime license to use the songs forever (for personal use) if you bought the files instead of streamed.

            Some people have lost access to paid downloads in the past even though they still had the files, but only when they bought files with Digital Rights Management (DRM) on them that may impose restrictions on what can play a file and make it phone home.

            Fortunately. though, the notable music sellers abandoned that practice years ago. MP3 files have always been DRM-free. AAC audio (aka .m4a aka MP4) have the capacity to have DRM, and Apple out DRM in the earliest stuff they offered in that format, but stopped selling new music with it over a decade ago.

            So, it's just a matter of finding something that supporte MP3 and AAC and most listeners are good to go.

            I'm not saying streaming services are pure evil or anything. That's how I watch my television. I'm just pointing out that there are some non-obvious things that people give up by only doing streaming- like control.
            I download complete albums onto my phone for listening when I'm out and about, for a walk or shopping. I don't drive, never have.
            At home it's CDs, a large collection to which I'm still adding: rock, pop, jazz, psychedelia, folk, roots, reggae, improvisational/avant-garde, and classical music in its broadest sense, from early Renaissance polyphony to the present day.
            ​​​​​​The only music platform I use is Prime Music, which has expanded in recent years to include podcasts. I was signed up to Spotify for a while, but as it merely duplicates what I had access to on Prime, I terminated my subscription. I've never purchased an individual album as a download. I only buy CDs. Same with books; never had an ebook reader. I've noticed Prime Music promotes random play and playlists, and I have to bypass those options frequently to get to what I'm looking for and wish to listen to. I've probably got 5000 albums in my online library, many of which duplicate what I have on CD, though there's a lot more classical music since so many historical recordings either aren't available on CD or they're too expensive.

            As I only have a basic tablet and my phone as digital devices, but I do have a very good hi-fi system, physical media with its tactile quality is very much my preference.

            I also have a substantial collection of films and TV, and music, on DVD/BluRay, but I do watch a lot of things on various streaming platforms, and I have purchased, and rented, a few TV series and films on them, largely because they're unavailable as physical media, or they're too expensive. But again, where I can, I prefer to have physical media.
            Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
            Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

            Comment


            • Gilly Goodness
              Gilly Goodness commented
              Editing a comment
              You don't drive, never have? How very Noel Gallagher of you!



              ELECTRIFY EVERYTHING

            #7
            SHUFFLE YE NOT !

            https://www.theguardian.com/music/20...droidApp_Other
            Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
            Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

            Comment


              #8
              I see both sides of it, I suppose. Having grown up in the era of the album I want to listen to an album, at least at first. Later I might just concentrate on particular songs. But I think every album deserves the chance to be apprehended as an album. And in some cases you can tell when the sequencing has been carefully cultivated and other times when it hasn't. One thing I enjoy about streaming is that I can rearrange an album if I think they've got it wrong. But sometimes I just might want one or two songs, and maybe I want to listen to them repeatedly. So I can do that on my streaming platform of choice. But when I listen to something in an old school way then I go all the way into playing the whole thing. I appreciate that this era allows for the choice.
              Rabin-esque
              my labor of love (and obsessive research)
              rabinesque.blogspot.com

              Comment


                #9
                Slightly off-topic, but perhaps relevant:

                A memory just came to me from back in my CD listening days where I actually purchased a Moody Blues compilation with fewer songs for the same price as one with all of those songs and a few extra songs, just because my favorite song was "Your Wildest Dreams", and it was track #1 on the shorter compilation. I could just stick it in my CD player and press play and then eject it, which was a big selling point for me.

                It's not that I didn't think the rest of the Moody Blues tracks on the compilation were okay, I just often found myself only wanting to listen to that song, and that was the compilation that best facilitated that.

                I can also sometimes remember flipping through my large CD wallets for CDs that caught my fancy at that second, and knowing the track numbers of my favorite songs, flipping to each, listening to them, ejecting the CD, and finding another, rinse and repeat ad nauseum. Though I was a late comer to switching over to computer files instead of CD (2008), it was a really big deal for someone like me. It changed the whole game and made me a lot more interested in music in the long run.

                It also helped me with my car listening, where typically I'd have between 12-18 FM presets (Depending on how many FM presets the radio that came with the car supported) and just flip through them constantly until finding a song I both liked and was in the mood to listen to. Though I like a lot of music, my favorites are not typically the same songs, albums, or even artists as the majority of what stations devoted to any given genre play, so I would be hitting buttons in sequence constantly. Then I'd finally find a "good" song, and it seemed like invariably, I would only have found it in time to catch the last few seconds of it and then begin my search anew.

                I didn't realize how bad my radio shuffling attempt was until someone drove with me for a couple hours and pointed out that we'd barely listened to any music despite the radio having been on the entire time, and it was irritating the hell out of him.

                Even just the early years of switching over to connecting an ipod classic via a cassette and a wire or a very short range FM transmitter powered by a cigarettes lighter was a big change for the better. Even when I didn't take advantage of the ability to preselect all the songs I wanted to play and put them on a playlist, I was at least picking from songs I had purchased or been legally offered for free at some point in my life, and though I might hit the "next" button a lot, I'd at least be guaranteed the entire song each time I settled on one. Of course, these days I haven't messed with anything Apple in many years and while driving typically have my Android phone connected via Bluebooth to my car's monocolor touchscreen display, so it's even better, but even the early more kludgy moves were a big improvement.

                I suppose at some level I am always a tad nervous that various corporations and others in the music industry might use technology to inch back the gains that have been made via technology. It seems like with other things, we've sometimes had a generation where technology opens a gate, and then in the next generation or two of tech, newer technology closes the gate, because some powerful corporations or other groups benefit from the gate even though it is a hinderance to many consumers.

                One example is that for a brief moment in time, there was DVD burning software that allowed you to turn your legally purchased DVDs of television and movies into DRM-free files for your own use. Laws and technology, at least in the US, quickly closed that window. Now not only would it be hard to find a DVD ripping software that didn't look like it might be at least a little bit questionable in terms of potentially containing viruses or malware because it's all gray or black market, it's also less likely that any given consumer has a laptop or other PC hardware with a DVD ripper included with it. Television and film studios saw what had happened to music due to piracy and moved very fast to contain use or rippers before they became widespread.

                At some level, I see fewer music downloads on offer and the push toward streaming and vinyl, though driven by other factors, as creating the potential for a similar sunset in the world of music. I basically refuse to buy anything music wise that isn't sold as a download these days. I view keeping that format alive as very important- and it's the only way I care to listen to music regularly, so nothing else would really allow me to get full use out of my potential purchase.
                "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

                Comment

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