There’s a lot of chatter this weekend about a New York Times piece written by Dan Brooks titled “Streaming music has left me adrift”, which outlines a very specific fear about the impact of streaming services. “We have lost what was once a robust system for identifying kindred spirits. Now that we all share the same record collection, music snobs have no means to recognise one another,” he wrote. “We cannot flip through a binder of CDs and see a new friend, a potential date. By making it perfectly easy to find new music, we’ve made it a little more difficult to find new people.” He’s certainly unashamed about the snobbery: “To care about obscure bands was to reject the perceived conformity of popular culture, to demand a more nuanced reading of the human experience than Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby” and therefore to assert a certain kind of life,” he writes. But the piece is more self-aware than these extracts sound. “When getting into a band became as easy as typing its name into a search box, particular musical tastes lost their function as signifiers of commitment. What you listened to ceased to be a measure of how much you cared and became a mere list of what you liked.” But isn’t this what making playlists is all about? Curation to show how much you care…

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