Streaming killed the download star

Do you remember the iPod Nano with touch capabilities? The sixth generation iPod Nano caused quite a stir — thanks to its touch interface and beautiful screen. And it also set Apple on the path to the Apple Watch. I have always been a bit of an iPod fanboy and bought pretty much every single model.


I found the iPod Nano (6th Generation) yesterday along with an old cable to resuscitate the device, though I had to find a USB-C-to-USB adapter. And when it was charged up, I was left scratching my head, wondering how to side-load music onto the iPod? To my horror, I didn’t remember how to do it. In fact, I had to search on the Internet to get some music on the device. 

To be honest, the biggest challenge was the Music app, which is something I don’t use, either on my MacOS or my iOS devices. I find the Apple Music interface daunting. It is one of the most un-Apple products from Cupertino. Once I got the superfast broadband from WebPass, I switched to streaming music via Spotify. I would create playlists, but never really have any music locally. Over the years the physical files and downloaded music became a faint memory.

In a different life, I used to listen to vinyl, then cassette tapes, followed by compact discs and then MP3/FLAC/AAC download files. Along came Spotify and things changed forever.
51+6gforGlLI still have an Olive Music Media Server, which I have not turned on for two years. There is also a Naim pre-amp and amplifier which hasn’t seen a CD in over a year. My Faber Audio speakers are silent. I just listen to music only on my Sonos or on my growing collection of headphones. Streaming and subscription has become a behavior that has totally changed how I listen to music. I guess, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Though I wonder if I will live long enough to see the next evolution of the music experience. I am curious to know how kids of today will listen to music in the future. Will it be on the Alexa-like speakers or will it be next generation of headphones? Or will it be a music experience that is less sonic and more visual and immersive — a blend of Snapchat, Musically, YouTube and some streaming service.

July 13, 2017. San Francisco

A letter from Om

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