Neil Young and the quality of streaming music

When I posted earlier today about Neil Young pulling his music catalog from streaming services because of poor quality, I kept wondering why he would do that. Neil is right, quality does matter, but not at all costs.

I’ve talked to a lot of musicians, producers and engineers over the years and they all care about the quality of the music. Without exception, they all want the music to sound the very best it can.

However, consumers don’t really care. There are those that really, really do, but the vast majority of consumers don’t. They want good quality music that they can listen to whenever and wherever they want.

As far as I can tell, that’s what the streaming services available today provide for us. Convenient, good quality music.

Most streaming services even offer the option to boost the quality of your music, but there’s a cost to that too. I’ve tried this a number of times to see if I noticed a big difference—I didn’t. What I did notice is that my cellular data package went way up because I’m downloading high quality music that I don’t really need when I’m on the go.

I’m sorry, but that’s not worth it to me. I want to listen to Neil Young—and many other bands—but I don’t want to pay more to do it just because the artist wants it that way. I pay enough already.

Apple Music’s way of automatically increasing or decreasing the quality based on my connection suits me just fine.

There are more things for Neil and other artists to consider when talking about the quality of streaming services. I support the artists right to get paid for their work, but trying to dictate what quality the music is delivered seems a bit over the top to me.

I love you Neil, but you’re wrong on this one.