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Suddenly, I Don't Think I Want To Own Music Anymore

This guest post is by Brenden Mulligan, founder of ArtistData. ArtistData was acquired earlier this year by Sonicbids, where Brenden is now the VP Strategic Development. Follow him on Twitter @bmull.

image from www.oreillynet.comSomething weird happened last week. I realized that I no longer want to own music. 

I've always loved my music collection. It helps define me. I was one of those people with an abnormally large CD collection, mostly filled with non-major label music that none of my friends had heard of.

I've also always loved technology. When CDs were on the way out and MP3s were on the way in, I quickly digitized all my CDs into MP3s and then gave away my CDs. I still owned all the music, but didn't have the clutter. Giving up the album artwork was tough, but the positives outweighed the negatives.

I hate clutter.

My digital music collection has served me well for years. I've been able to load it onto computers, portable music players, and game consoles. We even have two Apple TVs so we can access it in different parts of the house and through high end speakers.

But now, years later, I'm starting to experience a similar feeling as before: my MP3s feel like unnecessary clutter. As I move from device to device, and set up home audio equipment, I'm finding that my iTunes library is one of the more annoying pieces of the puzzle. Everything can connect with internet radio and services like Pandora, Last.fm, MOG, and Rdio, and they have 95% of the music I want to hear.

It's weird.

I'm still a bit far away from erasing my MP3s, but I'm just finding more and more that when I want to listen to music, I fire up Pandora or Rdio (each service has unique qualities which I love). When we have people over, we don't want the music limited to what we've purchased, and instead put on a Pandora station.

Of course, there's the feeling that I'm not supporting the artists by not buying the music, and I hate that. I'll still buy CDs at shows, but at home, it's mostly streaming. That's just where my usage is going, and as it becomes easier to use and understand cloud-based music services, I bet the mass market isn't too far behind.

What are your thoughts? What percentage of your time is spent listening to local MP3s vs cloud based services?

This post originally appeared Brenden's blog.

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