I try to stream music, I really do. Streaming is cheaper than purchasing music and I get to listen to music I never would have heard otherwise. Pandora works on old devices, Spotify works on new devices, and Google Play Music is now part of Android out of the box. But the more I stream, the more I am annoyed.
I don’t mind the ads, but I do hate the fact that I cannot listen to a song more than once without paying for a monthly subscription. I would actually listen to Spotify and Pandora more, if I cloud move around without paying by the month for the privilege to do so. I am going to play the same song 30 times; insert 5 ads in that listening session if you want to, but allow me to repeat songs at will.
Streaming services have a strange way of allowing me to listen to music offline. Spotify wants me to create playlists . Google automatically saves songs to external memory, anticipating what you’ll listen to. Pandora loads songs ahead of schedule, but if you’re offline for more than a few songs you’re or of luck. The quality of downloads vary wildly as well.
3G is not fast enough for streaming. WiFi does the trick but it is not as though America is blanketed in municipal WiFi . Internet connectivity in this country is woefully inadequate.
If I copy music into the memory of a smartphone I can avoid a lot of the issues mentioned above. I can also listen to music in formats other than MP3. Obtaining music can be tricky, but it is doable.
The biggest advantage streaming has over downloading is in video. Just like digital delivery took over analog in the form of high definition 5 years ago streaming may one day take over television. It isn’t possible with 3G, high definition is not really practical with 4G either but the next generation will be the undoing of television as we know it.
Streaming just is not there yet, because cellular infrastructure is not there yet. In my children’s generation, downloading will become a distant memory. In the interim we will need some method to cache data or intentionally store media offline.