🎵 Here’s an interesting perspective on one of the benefits of streaming music from Ben Ratliff’s Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty:
Infinite access, unused or misused, can lead to an atrophy of the desire to seek out new songs ourselves, and a hardening of taste, such that all you want to do is confirm what you already know. But there is possibly something very good, too, about the constant broadcast and the powers of the shuffle and recommendation effects. There is a possibility that hearing so much music without specifically asking for it develops in the listener a fresh kind of aural perception, an ability to size up a song and contextualize it in a new or personal way, rather than immediately rejecting it based on an external idea of genre or style. It’s what happens in the moment of contextualization that matters: what you can connect it to, how you make it relate to what you know.
I think there’s some merit to the idea that streaming is freeing us from the rigid genres we usually identify with.