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Apple Music, and JPop and KPop in streaming music services It is super important that you reply to this topic 17 replies to this topic Started by sadude , Jul 01 2015 11:51 PM · 

#1 sadude

sadude
  • ~<3

Posted 01 July 2015 - 11:51 PM

Has anyone tried Apple Music yet? Or do you prefer Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Tidal, Google Play Music, Amazon Prime Music, or other? Most importantly, how's the JPop and KPop selection in your preferred streaming music service?

 
I've tried these services out on occasion, but I get annoyed at the JPop and KPop selection and the crappy romanization for the songs that are there. So I tend to not use them for very long. But they keep getting more and more press, culminating in yesterday's hyped release of Apple Music. Has anything changed in the quality of streaming music recently, especially with JPop and KPop? What has been your experience?
 
Music is something that's near and dear to my heart and yours, given the history of the board and the topics that have brought us together. I'm looking forward to reading the replies of people here specifically because of this.  ;/


#2 Mizura

Mizura
  • ANGERME

Posted 02 July 2015 - 12:55 AM

I don't use Music streaming services for that precise reason. I haven't used Apple Music yet (I don't know if I will), but I did try iTunes radio when it first came out. The J-Pop radio part was really sad. They pretty much only had Utada Hikaru, and some other ones that I had never heard of (they weren't that awesome). They eventually got NMB48, but I lost interest, I skipped way too many songs for it to be worth it.

 

K-Pop radio was a bit better. They had a lot more stuff on there, and I actually discovered some music I liked. It still wasn't really that great honestly.



#3 Shoujo Q

Shoujo Q
  • ( ื▿ ืʃƪ) #1 Sakura Fangirl

Posted 02 July 2015 - 01:12 AM

oh god. I tried Apple Music today at work and I didn't know what to do with myself. It's 3 months for free so why not try it?

Listen to any album in full? Yes sign me up! I loooove music so this was like, the best and worst thing ever. I didn't know what to listen to first.

Near the end of the day I tried to find some sort of Jpop section. It's.... there if you know where to look. It's got some stuff but not a lot. You can search for Jpop as a subject and it'll give you a ton of playlists to chose from and from there you can find some artists. Like they have Perfume, GReeeeN, and few others but then other artist are there but you can't listen to their music. They have radio stations though with the standard misc. artists. It's really hit or miss.

I haven't tried Kpop yet, but I have a feeling it'll be full more than the Jpop. As of a few days ago the iTunes radio was playing very recent 2015 music so I suspect South Korea just gave Apple the rights to everything or something.

I DID get a pretty decent Ho-Kago Tea Time section though. It's weird what they have and don't have. They have 1 single AKB48 song and it's the Sugar Rush one. I noticed that the AKB48 album was taken out of the iTunes store as a purchase.

Oh! And the best part of the free trial? NO ADS!!! Not a single pause in music or box floating up in my screen. It's so glorious.

I highly recommend checking out Apple Music for the 1st three month trial just because.

Edit: yeah the kpop section is pretty healthy.

And just found out they play music videos too.

#4 aine

aine
  • 名無しさん‮

Posted 02 July 2015 - 10:04 AM

I will never take part in making digital music distribution a viable business model. :pirate: Unless I can have the album or single sitting on the shelf, I don't care. Digital copies for listening on the go I can make myself or download from wherever more convenient.

The only digital distribution platform I somewhat begrudgingly use is Steam, but those are two different markets and there are too many games that come out digital only. Luckily, this is not the case with at least Asian music, and I hope it will never go this direction.

#5 Shoujo Q

Shoujo Q
  • ( ื▿ ืʃƪ) #1 Sakura Fangirl

Posted 02 July 2015 - 10:30 AM

I'll have you know I buy albums if I like an album enough. But I'm not going to buy an album if I only like one or two songs. That is a waste of product and money. It's just how I've been since I was a little kid. And it's basically worthless after I buy it so it's not like I can return it. This is especially true of Japanese music. It's all worthless after you buy it, complete junk and if you don't like it, what are you going to do? This is why I like digital music as it is.

I found a lot of new English speaking artist through it that I normally would have overlooked before.

#6 JPope

JPope
  • Dick

Posted 03 July 2015 - 07:00 AM

I listen to stations on my TuneIn or RadiOn apps. I don't like any of the streaming services.



#7 sadude

sadude
  • ~<3

Posted 03 July 2015 - 09:41 PM

A few months after I first joined the board (12+ years ago, hah), I bought my first Japanese CD from CDJapan. I went on to build a sizable collection, but I've embraced digital files (for all media: music, movies, and books) more and more since then. The quality has gotten a lot better, and the convenience factor is through the roof. I move apartments every year or two, and moving physical media collections sucks.

 

Part of the convenience of digital media isn't just the obvious of being able to take thousands of CDs in your pocket and being able to sample/buy/download pretty much any music whenever you want. There's also the convenience of keeping track of statistics (like playcounts and ratings) and being able to add to the music with lyrics and associated bios, performances, and music videos. Music recommendation and discovery is something that should be included on this list of additional conveniences, but it's just not good yet. It's really disappointing. I like the idea of streaming services and the promise they hold, so I'll continue to check them out from time to time to see if they've gotten better.

 



#8 Farrah

Farrah
  • ANGERME

Posted 05 July 2015 - 11:00 PM

As someone living on a very, very, VERY modest budget - I love streaming services like this.  It's true that you get higher quality when you buy the album, but I'm willing to sacrifice that for the sake of being able to listen to a wide variety of music.  My current headphones are mid-range anyway so that minute difference in quality may as well not be there.  I have so many songs on my Spotify library, it would have cost me thousands upon thousands of dollars to have bought all of the albums - some of which are out of print.  I just don't have that kind of money.  That said, I try to listen to as much of my music legally as possible.  I know 99.9% of an album purchase or a stream goes to the label in most cases, but too much pirating just makes me feel icky.  I reserve buying physical copies for my absolute MOST adored artists so for the past few years, I only buy around one album per year - with the occasional $5 album I find on sale that I can't pass up.

 

I've been using Spotify since 2010 and just now signed up for the Apple Music free trial.  I like that they have more Japanese music than Spotify (who have quite a bit of Korean music but very little Japanese) but so far I'm not a fan of the interface at all.  It doesn't feel very user friendly.  I'm going to give myself time to get used to it but I'll probably end up sticking to Spotify since I already have my playlists and everything set up the way I like them, something that took years of song collecting. The whole process of sorting and adding songs to playlists is just kind of a pain in the ass on iTunes.  One plus is that iTunes appears to use less memory than Spotify which is nice - I'm a huge fan but with every Spotify update it seems to get a little laggier.



#9 aine

aine
  • 名無しさん‮

Posted 06 July 2015 - 10:49 AM

I'll have you know I buy albums if I like an album enough. But I'm not going to buy an album if I only like one or two songs. That is a waste of product and money. It's just how I've been since I was a little kid. And it's basically worthless after I buy it so it's not like I can return it. This is especially true of Japanese music. It's all worthless after you buy it, complete junk and if you don't like it, what are you going to do? This is why I like digital music as it is.

I found a lot of new English speaking artist through it that I normally would have overlooked before.

Did not mean to imply you were not buying physical releases. As for at which point it becomes worth it to buy a whole album is for everyone to decide for themselves. I'd say two very good songs make it worth it for me - though it depends on the kind of music too, in J-pop you rarely get album-only tracks that are on par or better than the singles that make up half of the album already.

 

But I don't get the logic of calling an album worthless. It's the physical thing, you own it, you can enjoy looking at the booklet or disc artwork and just having it sitting proudly on your shelf. It's not just about monetary value, I'm equally happy about owning some albums or singles I pre-ordered at full price, and some that I picked from 100 yen bargain bins at Book Off. And I can hardly think of any releases I have in my collection that I actually regret buying.

 

By this logic it's even more of a waste paying for digital releases. Not only you don't get a physical thing, but often you don't even own that copy of the music, but, according to the terms, are merely renting it.

 

Anyway, what I'm getting at, first of all I like collecting music, and second I think selling digital is just a way to screw the consumers in more way than they realize. And I will take no part in making the publishers think that it's the way to go and slowly phasing out physical releases.



#10 Zaeleus

Zaeleus
  • ANGERME

Posted 07 July 2015 - 07:45 AM

Speaking of streaming services and Asian music, AOA's Jimin, Iron's "Puss (Prod. by Rhymer, 9999)" is currently at the top of Spotify's Viral Hits playlist. This is one of the primary playlists shown when you open the application.

T4nKOJZm.jpg

I actually do quite like streaming music services, especially for Western music. It's a great way to sample an entire album in full rather than listening through thirty second clips. Note that I will be writing mostly about Spotify and Amazon Music, as those are the two I primarily use.

If you're looking for a legit streaming service that has a decent collection of Japanese music, look no further; it doesn't exist. Japan overall has abysmal digital music sales compared to physical sales. It's rather obvious that record labels would rather continue pushing price fixed media and compulsory licensing from rental shops than abiding to the lower pricing of digital media. The music streaming market in Japan is essentially dead, where revenue "totaled just ¥5 million ($40,660) in 2014."

Line Corp., maker the the popular Japanese messaging application LINE, recently launched Line Music, a music service only for Japanese users. I thought, 'Surely, a native Japanese streaming service will have a great selection of J-pop.'

I spoke with a friend who currently lives in Japan about his thoughts on Line Music. He complained about the weak selection, and even though Line Music secured a couple of major labels (Sony Music Entertainment and Avex Digital), the featured artists are mostly Western. J-pop is confined to its own section, and the J-pop Girls category contains a rather desolate 49 songs. Line claims it will be able to grow to 30 million songs by the end of next year, but it is unknown if that will be Japanese or more Western music.

Line entered the Japanese streaming music market before both Spotify and Apple. Spotify and Rdio have been trying to enter since 2013 without success. Even then, they would have to find a way to enroll new users. Line Music has the major advantage of having an extremely large active user base.

Even though it's an incredibly risky market, perhaps Line Music and Apple will be able to disrupt the music industry. This will have a potentially positive effect where record labels may be more willing to license music to these streaming services, and thus, we'll see an increasing international catalog of Japanese music.
 

[Spotify has] quite a bit of Korean music but very little Japanese


Spotify isn't available in Japan, but there are a few J-pop artists. Unfortunately, they're not made available to US users. For example, YUI has a blank artist page, but doing a bit of searching, you'll be able to find links to albums: GREEN GARDEN POP, ORANGE GARDEN POP, etc. Due to region restrictions, they're hidden. Spotify could have a wealth of Asian music, and we wouldn't even know! (This is unlikely.)

As noted, the K-pop selection seems to be quickly evolving with newer releases. For example, you'll find AOA's Heart Attack, CLC's Question, Crayon Pop's FM, and MAMAMOO's Pink Funky, all which have been released in the past couple of months.

I expect this to become a welcomed trend due to the emphasis on the globalization of Korean media, i.e., Korean music companies quickly having international releases. We already see this with 1theK and KBS subbing their videos in English.

Given the vast number of total tracks in Spotify's catalog, one would expect the occasional error. While searching for MAMAMOO, I discovered they were split between MAMAMOO and their Korean name 마마무. I'm quite convinced Spotify supports aliases given they now own Echo Nest, but it's just another thing to keep in mind when searching on Spotify.

Interestingly, while K-pop on Spotify tend to use translations or transliterations, Mandopop artists like G.E.M. and Jolin Tsai are in Chinese.

There's not much to say about Amazon Music for Asian music; the selection is pretty much nonexistent. I did find EXID's newer albums there though (and come to think of it, I just realized I bought both the digital and physical releases). You'll occasionally find US resellers with cheap K-pop albums in searches, which is nice since they're usually Prime eligible for free shipping.
 

By this logic it's even more of a waste paying for digital releases. Not only you don't get a physical thing, but often you don't even own that copy of the music, but, according to the terms, are merely renting it.


What digital music store still forces DRM? Both Amazon Music and iTunes Plus are DRM-free, as are nearly all the other online music stores.

Audio files will, however, have extra metadata to track ownership. For MP3s, your account ID is typically stored in a PRIV frame of the ID3v2 tag. iTunes does something similar. Although MP4 (the container) has no defined metadata format, the "iTunes-style" format has been reversed engineered. Tags of either can easily be scrubbed of user information.

I do wish digital media stores would offer lossless tracks and not charge extra. If anything, this is where you're technically paying for an inferior product, barring the packaging. The problem is that a good encoder is transparent to the average person; therefore, no one cares for anything better. :( (And they need to realize that 320 kbps CBR MP3 is a complete waste of storage space.) This is likely why Pono and Tidal will not gain traction.
 

I will never take part in making digital music distribution a viable business model. :pirate: Unless I can have the album or single sitting on the shelf, I don't care. Digital copies for listening on the go I can make myself or download from wherever more convenient.


This is where Amazon's AutoRip service works really well, and it's one of the main reasons why Amazon is my digital media store of choice. With AutoRip eligible albums, you can buy the physical release and immediately be given the digital album complimentary. This is the best of both worlds. Oddly, sometimes the physical album even turns out to be cheaper than the digital one!

Take Walk the Moon's self-titled album, for example. At the time of this writing, the audio CD is $6.50, whereas the MP3 album is $7.99. Because this album is eligible for AutoRip, you can buy the audio CD and get the MP3s for free, saving ~$1.50! You get the digital album to listen to instantly, and in two days, the physical release. (I do subscribe to Amazon Prime, which allows for free two day shipping.)

#11 aine

aine
  • 名無しさん‮

Posted 10 July 2015 - 03:38 PM

What digital music store still forces DRM? Both Amazon Music and iTunes Plus are DRM-free, as are nearly all the other online music stores.

Audio files will, however, have extra metadata to track ownership. For MP3s, your account ID is typically stored in a PRIV frame of the ID3v2 tag. iTunes does something similar. Although MP4 (the container) has no defined metadata format, the "iTunes-style" format has been reversed engineered. Tags of either can easily be scrubbed of user information.


I didn't mean actual software DRM that was initially used, but the legal clauses in T&Cs which say that you're not actually buying a product (a digital copy of the song), but a subscription that allows you to download and listen to it. In other words, you're not buying and owning a product, you're subscribing to a service and a service can be discontinued, effectively leaving your digital files unlicensed and illegal to own.

I don't know if that's still the case, I might be wrong. That's just the impression I got from reading about it a while ago.

The bottom line of what I'm trying to say is, I like physical releases and I don't want to see them go. Even if they don't disappear entirely, I still don't want to wake up in a world where the only physical version worth buying is a Collector's Edition costing $50 and upwards, and regular editions are worthless pieces of plastic with a digital download code, as is the sad case with games now. The less digital sales and the less streaming service subscriptions, the less reason publishers have to go that route. I'm just doing my little part here.

 

This is where Amazon's AutoRip service works really well, and it's one of the main reasons why Amazon is my digital media store of choice. With AutoRip eligible albums, you can buy the physical release and immediately be given the digital album complimentary. This is the best of both worlds. Oddly, sometimes the physical album even turns out to be cheaper than the digital one!

Take Walk the Moon's self-titled album, for example. At the time of this writing, the audio CD is $6.50, whereas the MP3 album is $7.99. Because this album is eligible for AutoRip, you can buy the audio CD and get the MP3s for free, saving ~$1.50! You get the digital album to listen to instantly, and in two days, the physical release. (I do subscribe to Amazon Prime, which allows for free two day shipping.)


I'm fine with AutoRip if it's just added value to buying a physical copy. But I only see it as a convenience thing. It just saves me some time ripping the album myself, or downloading it from somewhere. And if someone wants to tell me I'm not allowed to rip or download an album which I own in physical form, then they can come and kiss my pirate ass. :pirate:

(Actually I never got to use AutoRip because I usually buy from Amazon UK and "this service is not available to customers in Republic of Ireland". :noway: But as I said, it's just a minor inconvenience and I would be making my digital copy from the CD anyway.)

#12 JoshuaJSlone

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  • カントリー・ガールズ

Posted 24 July 2015 - 08:20 PM

All digital becomes incredibly more appealing once it feels like your shelves are starting to crush you from all sides. Stuff like movies I still prefer physical since that takes a crazy amount of bandwidth (plus who's selling 3D movies digitally?), but music it's an easy choice to go digital. Especially when this is music that otherwise must be shipped halfway across the world with either crazy shipping times or crazy shipping prices. I still find myself getting more used overseas CDs on eBay than I probably should, though.



#13 showraniy

showraniy
  • ANGERME

Posted 25 July 2015 - 04:50 PM

Yeah, I only go for physical copies when it's s release I've just gotta have (rare, happens maybe once every five years), or if it's on sale somewhere (happens way too often, so I'm avoiding eBay and Half Price Bookstore where I accumulate cheap CDs and books).

I prefer all digital because I hate having a lot of stuff. I grew up with a mother who just couldn't stop shopping, so our house was overcrowded and floor space in my room was often limited to a line from the door to my bed. This is the main reason I prefer a spartan lifestyle when it comes to most things, CDs and entertainment in particular. The weird thing is that I really dislike the idea of buying on iTunes just because I feel like they are less permanent and can disappear mysteriously if my computer crashes. I don't think that's how it works, but I don't buy from iTunes because of this weird feeling of evanescence with its media.

#14 JoshuaJSlone

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 05:38 PM

Is there a different one you use? I previously bought MP3s from Amazon, but set up an iTunes account once I saw they actually had H!P stuff available in America.



#15 showraniy

showraniy
  • ANGERME

Posted 25 July 2015 - 10:37 PM

Not any one in particular, honestly. I've bought sporadically from Amazon, iTunes (free downloads because I got promotional credit for something), and some MP3s from others' ripped CDs.

When it comes to H!P for me, it's really weird. I don't buy or download their music; I just watch the videos on YouTube. I never crave to hear the songs by themselves as much as I crave the whole music video package, so I've honestly just never needed to have their music myself. The only exception has been Toki wo Koe, which I think I'll just buy on iTunes in Lossless quality if I can't find it anywhere else with higher quality than 320kps.

#16 Mizura

Mizura
  • ANGERME

Posted 26 July 2015 - 02:49 AM

Most J-Pop songs I'm perfectly happy to listening off of YouTube. If I do get a physical copy of something, it usually because American iTunes (and sometimes Japanese) doesn't have it or if its an artist with only a couple of albums that I can get cheaply. I don't really like using iTunes much, but they do have more music I like than alternative digital sites.



#17 Zaeleus

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  • ANGERME

Posted 02 October 2015 - 05:41 PM

Spotify recently added a K-Pop category under Genres and Moods.

mGyXehom.jpg wiSyzkzm.jpg

With the exception of K-Pop Wakeup!, the playlists are by Spotify. The selection is still rather sparse, and some tracks are region locked.

#18 Shoujo Q

Shoujo Q
  • ( ื▿ ืʃƪ) #1 Sakura Fangirl

Posted 23 October 2017 - 03:30 PM

Mega bump~

H!P Music in all its hot mess glory is now available in the US Apple Music service.
I haven’t really went in deep yet, I’ve been binging Morning Musume.