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Is Streaming Music Convenient or too Disposable?

photo credit: TIME

Unless you live in a musical void, you have listened to Adele’s fabulous album 25, or at least heard Hello enough to be burned in your memory from now until eternity. In December’s TIME cover story, Adele mentioned her decision to not offer the album on streaming services, citing that she thinks streaming music is too disposable.

She says, “I know that streaming music is the future, but it’s not the only way to consume music… I buy a physical [copy of albums] just to make up for the fact that someone else somewhere isn’t.”

Personally, I have loved the physical freedom of disposing of all of our CDs (years ago), and I subscribe to a streaming service (Spotify). But, her comment had me thinking…

Do I value the music I stream on a playlist like I did the first album I ever bought? Are the songs I click dear to me like the CDs or tapes or records that I grew up putting in the stereo or residing in the console of the family car (Graceland by Paul Simon the most prominent)? 

Once I remember humming a Beach Boys tune and my daughter asking what song that was. I brought it up in under a minute and it was playing in our van. Another time, after mentioning Stevie Wonder and receiving blank stares, I was able to take us on a retrospective through his career (after I recovered from the shock of my gross parental failure).

This kind of access is remarkable! But, I do wonder if these musical encounters make any lasting impression; on my kids, or on me, for that matter. I never know names of songs, albums, or artists anymore; I figured it was because I was getting old, but maybe it is because I stream pre-designed playlists with no care for who is actually creating the music, only for my enjoyment of it in the moment.

Do you agree with Adele that streaming music is too disposable? Are you ready to rebel and start a record collection? What is an album that you have treasured over the years? Share your answers below:


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