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Is streaming music harmful to the planet ?

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raghupb

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I feel the math in the article doesn't add up right.
Data center storage where the maximum energy is required, is the sum total of all the content stored.
Add the streaming servers, routers and the fiber to this and you have an ecosystem that can serve millions of folks.
We also need to add the energy usage carbon footprint at users location (electricity)
My guess is that if we do a weighted average over number of users, the energy footprint will be smaller per capita.

Disclosure: I work in the data center HW space ;)
Cheers,
Raghu
 

sandeepmohan

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I could not be all that bothered with the environment impact bit. In fact; the DC at my office is cooled using natural air during winter months which leads to a significant savings on power bills. 80% of New Zealand's energy is derived from renewable sources. India is also getting there albeit at a very slow pace. Still; its some progress.

We are now looking at ways to pump heat generated by our DC in to the homes that are close to the neighborhood we reside.

More than causing minimal harm to the environment, the most hurt are the artists themselves. The almost peanuts revenue earnings using the streaming platform. I am a Apple Music subscriber but I also support the artists if I like their album. I go out and buy their CD's (No record player at the moment).

The convenience streaming offers far outweighs the negative about it. Be is low artist revenues, the iffy/suspect quality or environment impact. Gone are the days you had to wait for months or years to hear some new music, by an upcoming new artist.

I stood in a line at Paico, Ernakulam to buy Metallica's Black album somewhere around the mid 90's. A few years after its initial launch. Today, I heard Hardwired via streaming, was so blown away by it and ordered the CD.
 

sound1

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If we are really talking about saving the planet, I think there are a lot of low hanging fruits -- for example reduce burning fossil fuels, reduce dumping plastic into landfill/ocean, reduce chemicals & pesticide usage, enforce existing environment protection laws, spend a lot of resources on educating people about 'saving earth', and finally restrict humans from breeding like rabbits.
 

zeta148

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Downloading tracks from sites like hdtracks, sotrin g them locally and then playing them, even repeatedly, seems to me greener than any physical media. Any thoughts?
 
M

mpw

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Downloading tracks from sites like hdtracks, sotrin g them locally and then playing them, even repeatedly, seems to me greener than any physical media. Any thoughts?

That's what this article is all about.

Doesn't matter what each of individually think.

Sometimes when data challenges established beliefs... disbelief occurs :)

As far as the environment goes.. Select the playback source depending on frequency of use of each track or album.

Looks logical to me... the gist of the article.
 

smedhavi

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Everything is moving to the cloud. Music would be a very small piece there. By Everything, I mean really everything! It is inevitable now.

There is a lot happening in the world of data centers.

The system requires just under a quarter of a megawatt of power when operating at full capacity, which comes from renewable energy generated onshore.

Most data centers are already in cold desserts that need no cooling. The big cloud companies are more keen on saving their money on power, than we are on saving the planet :)

Regards,
Sharad
 

drkrack

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In my experience, Streaming is getting more and more optimized over the period of time. I couldn't make out a significant difference between Spotify (compressed format) vs Tidal (allegedly Lose less format) in my setup. So, predominantly streaming is going to be the mode of media consumption in upcoming years.

I think, if all audiophiles move to Class D amplifiers (preferably integrated) with highly sensitive speakers (headphones is even better) ; we May be doing a great service to environment. But then audiophiles are seriously small percentage of population, so the impact may be less.
 
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