This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Why iTunes Libraries Look Like CD Collections

The only other way U.S. consumers were buying music didn't give them ownership of anything. Streaming services like Pandora P, Rdio and Spotify, which saw streams jump 32% in 2013 to 118 billion. Why would you stop stockpiling soundfiles at $1 or less for LPs that sell for $15 to $20 a pop or streaming services that take a monthly subscription fee? Because digital libraries and the services used to access them have become unwieldy and, in some cases, unnecessary.

As Apple, Amazon, Google and others tout the merits of cloud-based storage of sound files, there's been some question about how much of that storage space would go to good use. Back in 2011, the music management service Music With Me took a look at anonymous user data and found that their iTunes-based users had an average of 5,409 songs in their libraries, only 19% of which were ever played.

That same year, iTunes library cleanup app TidySongs found that their users' libraries had an average of 7,100 songs, but about 4,230 songs were missing artwork, 490 didn't have an artist name, 1,984 lacked track or year information and 814 were just duplicate versions of other songs. Competitors including TuneUp once charged $40 a year just to fix those shortcomings.

That's how little anyone cares about their vast libraries anymore: They're willing to pay others just to navigate and fix them so they don't have to spend even more time curating than they already have. Unless you're a fastidious fan who's stayed on top filling in missing data, building folders, maintaining playlists, clearing out playlist and unwanted songs or countless other bits of minutiae, just the extremely simple process of moving music over to a device can yield sighs and an overwhelming sense of dread.

As users realize, however, this isn't all their fault. Longtime iTunes users have watched their service morph from a nice, tidy music list to a multi-layered clearinghouse for sound files, podcasts, videos and iOS apps. The user interface has become an unnecessarily complex labyrinth of artist pages, album pages and genre tabs. Updates wipe playlists clean, mess with synchronization and reduce sound quality to that of a middle-school classroom PA system. The Shuffle and Genius features, meanwhile, have become so reductive that they almost guarantee it'll be years before you hear entire pockets of your collection.

Amazon users, meanwhile, are doomed to have nearly every bit of music they purchase immediately added to their cloud account. Did you buy an album of Celtic folk songs for your quilt-clubbing aunt? It's yours now. Did you pick up a copy of Denis Leary's No Cure For Cancer for your abrasive 40-something uncle? Smoke 'em if you've got 'em. That copy of the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack your mom wanted another copy of? It's putting The Heat Is On into your gym mix as we speak.

2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $124.43 0.00%
AMZN $372.10 0.00%
GOOG $548.00 0.00%
FB $82.22 0.00%
TSLA $188.77 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,776.12 -200.19 -1.11%
S&P 500 2,067.89 -18.35 -0.88%
NASDAQ 4,900.8850 -46.5560 -0.94%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs