All Music is Not Online Yet, Probably Never Will Be

You hear a recurring thing from music people these days.

That on streaming services, all music — the history of recorded music, for crying out loud — is available at your fingertips.

It’s such an odd bit of sensationalism, a way to get people to sign up for streaming services, convert non-paying listeners to paying.

Which is obviously a thing the music industry needs if it were to survive. Or maybe not, considering the fact that streaming pays artists so little, and there is nothing to stream if the artists can’t afford to make it.

But let me not digress too much, because I like and pay for many streaming services, and my point is that, frankly, the idea that all music is online and available to you at the click of a finger is a fallacy.

Maybe most popular music, and a whole lot of not popular music too — but not all music. Serious record collectors, music aficionados, people who are knee deep in music culture know, there are tons of records that are not available online, and most certainly not through streaming services.

Like out of print books, music is the same. Some of the best stuff can still only be found by diggin' in the crates.

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Wrote for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vice, Fader, Vibe, XXL, MTV News, many other places.

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