Music Streaming as a First World Problem

Every few years my CD player stops working properly and I need to go buy another one. After all, I have a library of about 300 CDs that I have paid good money for and should listen to more often.

However, this is 2020, not 1990. I bought myself this iMac almost 18 months ago and it is mostly all I now need, supposedly – a replacement for my TV and CD player combined, and all the world’s music is at my finger tips.

And when I go looking at JB HiFi, just about the only place where I can find a CD player to buy these days, the range is, well, a little more limited than I remember. I am not into stereos etc – I just want something which will play the music I like, in a modestly enjoyable way.

Hence, I have not bothered yet to replace my CD player and the CD case in the lounge will just continue to gather dust.

Because, of course, I have a music streaming service, and that means that I should be able to get everything that I owned on CD.

Not only that, but I have two now. I resubscribed to Apple Music at some point last year, and recently I added Amazon Prime (not for the music or the home delivery, but for the video).

Today, it occurred to me that as I am working from home, perhaps I should listen to some music. So I felt that I might, in between my frequent Skype meetings, play as much of the Suzanne Vega back catalogue as I can fit into a day filled with constant interruptions.

I wanted to play it in publication order, from the self-titled debut album in 1985 which I have been listening to since 1986, right up til time to log out from the laptop and start thinking about dinner.

I got through the first three albums – Suzanne Vega, Solitude Standing, and Days Of Open Hand. Then, as the day prepared to draw to a close and I had a few minutes before my next Skype with two of my staff members, I thought it was time for album number 4 – 99.9 Fahrenheit Degrees (which, by the way, is the last of her albums which I really like – after 1993, she seemed to lose her way a bit and aside from a couple of songs on her greatest hits album, there’s nothing more recent that matches her early glories).

Except… 99.9 Fahrenheit Degrees is the one album of hers not listed on Apple Music. Rather than go onto her fifth album, Nine Objects Of Desire, it occurred to me that I am an Amazon Prime member now, and perhaps the $20 I pay per month might get me access to the album there.

What I found was rather displeasing. Amazon Prime’s music section is not just very user unfriendly, and mostly directed at trying to channel you into signing up for yet another more premium subscription to give you more music for a further fee (talk about bait and switch), but it does not seem to allow you to even play an album (not that one, but another one which was represented to me as available via Prime) continuously.

I have had a gradually building resentment towards and distrust of Amazon for several years. So today that ratcheted up several notches in the one go.

Two paid music streaming services, and neither has what I wanted to listen to – and one was making it impossible for me to just set it to the singer I wanted to hear and leave it alone.

That, my friends, is a first world problem. Let’s be grateful for that.

Published by Ernest Zanatta

Narrow minded Italian Catholic Conservative Peasant from Footscray.

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