Stop streaming and start buying music

Instead of shopping around for a streaming service, why not cut out the middleman and start using a music library you can own?

There are advantages to owning your digital music including; uninterrupted music, increased portability, and increased longevity of the hardware you use. If you were caught up in Spotify’s recent cancellation of certain ‘Spotify-connected devices’ you’ll have even more reason to own rather than stream music.

The fragmentation of music availability between streaming services means you have to join at least two services to get access to all the music you like. You may also need a number of different devices to listen to the services, particularly if you don’t wish to outlay thousands of dollars on hyper-connected speakers.

Instead of being dependent on a selected streaming company and its support of your particular speaker, you can build a network-accessible library that works with nearly any speaker that supports standards like DLNA. This standard is used by a variety of manufacturers for streaming content. You can easily build your own music (and movie) server in your home using a network attached storage device and a hard drive. Some routers with USB inputs also support iTunes media servers stored on connected external hard drives.

Another benefit of storing your music offline means no interruptions, no matter your reception. Spotify and other music services do have offline functionality and will download songs to your smartphone, but only when explicitly instructed.

If you still want to stream your music to devices that don’t support the streaming of local files, you can sign up for a music streaming service that caters to those with their own libraries. Google Play Music allows you to upload up to 50,000 songs to your personal music library. Most people wouldn’t have 1,000 songs in their library, so you have plenty of storage capacity. You can listen to your songs using Google Play Music and stream them to Google Cast devices.

If you’re an Apple fan, you can use Apple’s AirPlay functionality to stream your local music (or Apple Music service) from iTunes or your iOS device to AirPlay-compatible speakers, or an AirPlay receiver.

You could also join the growing trend of owning vinyl, you can read about it here.