Will local files come to be regarded as being as obsolete as turntables?

Certainly not all see this as true.

Vinyl was 21.8M. Compared to 6.5B for streaming, that’s about 0.3%.

(Growth is somewhat misleading. If one thing was sold last year and two this year, that would be a 100% growth of a virtually non-existent market.)


I did say, “come to be seen as”. So, at some point in the future.

But vinyl is retro-nostalgia, a fad. It seems clear that a properly mastered hi-res digital recording is SQ-superior to any needle scraping against the bumps in some pressed piece of vinyl. Look at the whole Mo-Fi scandal. Their engineers knew that.

The speculation I referred to above is at

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A properly mastered Red Book recording will also do.


Growth numbers… sheesh… I often see that vinyl outsells CDs, but that only tells me CDs are utterly dead, not that vinyl is resurging.


It makes no sense to compare streaming and physical media if not for pure economic speculation. With a subscription to a streaming platform for 10 $/€ per month you have access to a multitude of albums that, comparing the value of their physical editions, would be worth hundreds of thousands (or even a few million) of $/€
Yet, as the previous article on vinyl demonstrates or this one on the increase in sales of the cd

4 reasons CD sales are on the rise

many are willing to spend the equivalent of two or more months of subscription to a streaming platform to purchase a single physical album.
These are the music lovers and not the casual listeners.
Is it a small slice of the market? Definitely (and the reasons are those listed above).
But it is thanks to these people that the world of music can still afford to have so many non-mainstream artists or bands that with the mere payment of streaming they could not continue.

end of off-topic


That doesn’t mean physical media is not obsolete. If people want to buy albums, they can get digital downloads.

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People buying physical media is just about the equivalent of same people buying the “high end” audio gear to play it on.

These people are not deeply concerned or interested in those who are happy with a phone and a pair of iems to playback files.

And vice versa.

A novelty or a niche market yes but it’s real and likely will remain at a steady pace to satisfy those who can/ want to go this route.


The tactile nature of vinyl is important to many.

There is also the age-old conundrum of service availability and no guarantee of long term survival for your chosen streaming service and all of your configurations {favourites etc).

Qobuz could go into receivership tomorrow, or my local Internet PoP could suffer a high-order failure (very apposite in my locale with the current flooding in rural Victoria, Australia right now)… Record labels, artists and services constantly fall-out and pull material from a particular platform (looking at His Lordship of Stroppiness, Neil Young right now :joy:). But I can always reach for my vinyl or other physical media even if the record company goes bust.

I always liken it to my days as a contractor prior to the millennium. When permanent employees used to talk about the uncertainty of contracting, I turned it around: “Well I know the date that the company no longer requires me. You just don’t know when that date is for you yet.” Hilarity ensued at the looks of confusion followed by the horror of realisation… Same when raising the prospect of non availability of streaming services or material thereon.


You can say the same thing about a digital download, right? It doesn’t have to be physical, just playable offline.


Yeah - that’s implied by the thread title itself. I just highlighted physical media and not downloads because I’m a fossil :wink:

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Yes to all this, but the real factor is convenience. Convenience rules. Internet streaming that is 99% available (or maybe even 95% or 90% is enough) with no local artifacts to take care of is simply more convenient. Maybe convenient enough to outweigh the occasional outage.

I see a future where Roon is all about metadata and discovery, and all the music comes from streaming services. After all, you can’t listen to your records or CDs or reel-to-reel tapes or cassette tapes or 8-track tapes with Roon, even before 2.0. Why should local files, an increasingly rare and outmoded form of music, be different?

They may be so, but local files are the only non-physical form of music you can actually own. I guess you could argue that ownership is increasingly rare and outmoded.

Nothing to fundamentally disagree with there. Streaming is very convenient and the drawbacks, whilst still there, are in the background… until they’re not.

I stream normally over 90% of the time (with my turntable packed away during house renovations, that’s 100% at present), and the irony is that streaming outages in the last 2 weeks have amounted to 6 hours for me, but not because of the streaming platform or internet outages. We’ve had an extremely wet October so far with flooding over vast areas of rural Victoria, so I have had power outages. I wouldn’t have been able to play vinyl in any case :rofl:

The key difference is architecture. Roon (pre and post 2.0) can play both local files and streaming services with software that is very similar, and hardware that is identical. This isn’t the case for the other media you mentioned. One of the unique selling points of Roon is that it integrates local library and streaming services.

Talking of Roon’s streaming services, we shouldn’t forget that the future of both Qobuz and Tidal is uncertain. Profitability for Amazon and Apple comes from exclusive hardware integration and Spotify is clearly eyeing up original content when it comes to turning a profit in the future. Roon without local library could end up being Roon with no audio source what so ever.

Local files may be rare and outmoded, but Roon is hardly a mass-consumer product itself. If streaming is the total future, that future might have no room for the likes of Roon.

This comes back to Roon supporting only Tidal and Qobuz. For me, the power of Roon is in DSP, not search. Without DSP, there are other multi-room solutions with wider streaming support. I think Roon should open up to services, not the other way around.

Then we wouldn’t have the discovery and curation of Roon. It would lose value for most users if that happened. If Roon embraces the likes of Spotify, for example, without more than just an API, then the UI itself would be pretty broken.

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Not when Tidal keeps deleting files, probably this happens a lot of times because of contract issues with the owner of the music-rights.
I bought a couple of cd’s because Tidal took them out of “my” library.


Yeah, I understand I am a minority. I never had much use for discovery and curation, with so much music I own that I haven’t gotten to yet.

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I’m kind of hoping Roon understands this and has a plan for it.