On a basic level, I don’t have a music collection anymore because Apple made it too hard and frustrating to maintain one. And though I certainly deserve some of the blame myself, I can’t help but feel that iTunes has beaten out of me impulses I once cherished, like wanting to download every new mixtape by Lil’ Wayne as soon as it came out, or feeling compelled to own every Smashing Pumpkins album, even though it’s been years since I wanted to listen to them. By making it so difficult to manage my digital music library, iTunes has even closed me off to certain artists I’m confident I would have otherwise loved—for instance, Lil’ B, the ultraprolific rapper who has put out thousands of songs that aren’t available on any streaming service and can’t be bought from the iTunes store.
If owners of those APIs can use copyright law to control how programming is done, there will be a sea change in industry practices. For many developers, especially of open source software, this will be a change for the worse.
If you're a Leading Content Professional and you think that's what you want, more power (and money) to you. I understand and respect what you're doing. But the great thing about the free and decentralized web is that the aforementioned web platforms are optional and they're alternatives to an existing open field where independent makers can do whatever they want.
A few months later, my father gave me her laptop. I needed a new computer and was grateful to have it. But its contents – photos from trips, a draft of her thesis from divinity school, Van Morrison albums in her iTunes – kept pulling me down rabbit holes. Whenever I sat down to do some work, I’d find myself lost in her files, searching for ways to feel close to her again.
Her computer activity was like a breadcrumb trail through her inner life: her interests, her hopes and her plans for the future, even those that would never come true.
Not only have I stopped 'collecting', or buying, music, I have even stopped listening to my previously-purchased music. There are a few albums that I do like to listen to but which are not available on Apple Music -- but mixing them into the mix is too troublesome for me.
Thanks for reading.