This Old House Magazine
Streaming Music Amazon Apple Music Image Credit: This Old House Magazine
Streaming Music Amazon Apple Music Image Credit: This Old House Magazine

Play It Again, Alexa

Streaming services have taken the music industry by storm. If you’re just wading in, here’s how to choose the perfect setup for your home

Nathaniel Wice

If you love music in your life, you owe it to yourself to try one of the streaming services if you haven’t already. Sales of vinyl managed to grow last year and could soon exceed CD sales, but it’s a retro exception that proves the rule: The convenience of streaming any song from anywhere with an Internet connection—“Alexa, play Motown hits”—has largely killed sales worldwide of records, CDs, and even music downloads. Last year, threequarters of the music industry’s income in the United States came from Apple Music, Spotify, and other streaming services like Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and Pandora.

Even the $50 Echo Dot from Amazon, plugged into your stereo’s line in and connected to your home Wi-Fi, will enable you to tell your enhanced hi-fi system, “Alexa, play WQXR radio” to pick up the New York City classical station from the Internet, or ask, “Alexa, what’s the latest news from NPR?” (Consider the $49 Google Home Mini instead of the Echo Dot if you are already using Google media services like YouTube Music, or are accustomed to “Ok, Google” voice commands.) Sign up for one of the free trials of a streaming service, and experience the Internet-delivered convenience that has virtually destroyed music sales. Yes, there’s nothing like the ritual of anticipation when the turntable needle drops into the groove, but wait until you can listen to anything yo


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