Hopefully the millionaire musician owners of Tidal have been listening to the criticism from their fansand peers. I outlined a couple weeks ago how their insulting launch totally neglected the one group of musicians who actually need a theoretical payment structure improvement: the indies. Instead, millionaires stood on stage lecturing the public on why they should pay them more money. But I guess when your entire think tank consists of millionaires and yes-men, you’re not going to get the perspective you actually need to launch a successful music service in 2015.
Apple is mere weeks away from launching their Beats-powered streaming service to (finally) attempt to compete with Spotify. But rumor has it they aren’t looking to do anything different in the space – save for a few lackluster exclusives.
Spotify was the first to scale with streaming, but even they aren’t providing the experience fans (or musicians) crave.
A few nights ago I was listening to the Daft Punk album Random Access Memories on Spotify. I never gave it a proper listen when it came out two years ago. Yeah “Get Lucky” was funky, but I didn’t realize the depth of this! And the musicianship! Ok, I’ll give you a moment to scroll down to chastise me in the comments for missing this boat.
Anyway, I was funking out and I couldn’t get over the rhythm section. So tight. The drummer’s pocket was locked down. Such an interesting, almost mechanical (yet still human) groove. I needed to know who this was! And those guitar tones! Gahhh.
But how do I do this? Impossible on Spotify. Impossible even if I downloaded it on iTunes. Impossible in Rdio, Deezer, Tidal or anywhere else.
So I went to the one place where this information clearly exists. No, not Wikipedia. Allmusic.com. But, for some sadistic reason, Allmusic.com on Safari on my iPhone takes over audio control from Spotify and shuts off the funk!
Tidal includes the most track info for (major label) artists (fucking the indies seems to be a common theme with Tidal across the board), but still has major holes. I just tried finding this info in Tidal on my phone and it includes Producer, Lyricist, Composer and Featured Artist information for the Daft Punk album. But no players!
Rdio on the desktop displays the featured artists, but not on mobile. Allmusic.com links to Rdio to stream any song from their site, but ironically Rdio contains no Allmusic information in their app! How difficult is it to integrate all of the information from Allmusic.com TO Spotify? TO Rdio. TO Tidal. TO iTunes…
And what about lyrics?
None of the streaming services (except Deezer – which isn’t available in the US) include lyrics (on mobile)! So what are we supposed to do? Head on over to Google and search for them – which inevitably brings up an ad-laden, “illegal” lyric hosting site. Which isn’t mobile friendly so I have to manually pinch in.
What a horrible experience. All around.
Doesn’t anybody understand it’s not JUST about the music?
There needs to be a platform that is THE destination for true music fandom. A beautiful, all-encompassing, music listening experience. Why is listening to vinyl so enjoyable? In part, it’s the ritual of taking the record out of the package, placing it on the turntable, but also exploring the liner notes, lyrics and artwork.