Like Tom, I grew weary of administering my CD collection years ago. I ripped all of my CDs to my music server back in the late nineties. Actually I did it twice. First just the “good songs” when hard drive space actually cost something and later all of the songs once it didn’t. And while my music server works great when I’m at home, it’s certainly true that I can’t (easily) access my music from the road (I can get song files using FolderShare if I really need to, but getting a file or two is not the same thing as having access to my entire library).
Tom likes the way Yahoo Music lets you explore for new music via its recommendation engine. Yeah, that’s pretty cool and all, but here’s a suggestion for Tom: go try Pandora. Fill in just one band you really like and you’ll discover more good new music than you thought existed. I have over 25,000 songs (all paid for; none stolen) on my music server and within 3 minutes of firing up Pandora I was hearing great music from artists I’d never heard of.
Tom also likes Yahoo Music because it’s not the dying on the vine, ad-infested over the air radio. I certainly agree with that. Between Pandora, MusicMatch (my service of choice, which is owned by Yahoo) and XM, I haven’t listened to a second of over the air radio in years.
I’ve never owned an iPod and I’ve never used iTunes. Both seem too proprietary for my open source tastes.
I guess my thing is that you have to do both. If you have an older and/or extensive music collection, the services are simply not going to have all of your music in their online libraries. Plus, I like to load my legally acquired, DRM-free MP3s onto CD-Rs or DVD-Rs to take on the road, and I’m just not willing to capitulate to the DRM extortions of the record label cartel. But I do like to listen to ad free radio and to access at least some music I enjoy on the road. So I have a networked music server at home and a MusicMatch subscription for the road.
That’s my recipe for musical happiness.