So there's all this big companies now scrambling to get into this changing market. Apple moving to subscriptions and attempting to sell speaker hardware, Sonos selling speakers and doing subscriptions, Spotify -the new kid on the block- selling subscriptions, Tidal going for the wealthier high-end audio crowd, Amazon convinced that being able to talk to your speakers is the best thing since sliced bread. But also more niche market players like Qobuz and Bandcamp...

After having used Apple (Itunes/Airplay multiroom) for almost 15 years I decided to move to the Squeeze universe only a few months ago. My main reason was that Apple stopped supporting the airport devices - I had 6 running- and had been aggressively pushing their subscription based music services (Oh, and continued messing up my Itunes library along the way..). It's been a bit of a journey though, but I made it my COVID project and managed to enjoy my music Apple free since last week. What I love about the LMS platform so far is that it seems to enable us to make our own choices: I can own my hardware, I can own my music, and there's an amazing community of open source developers providing the software to make it work.

In the course of this project I also discovered Qobuz, which allows me to stream, but also buy the music I love. And they seem to have pretty much everything I enjoy listening to. But I also appreciated the fact that Qobuz supported the artists during COVID, and my general impression is that buying albums (through Qobuz or somewhere else) is a much better deal for the artists. I found it (surprisingly) hard to find any reliable information though about which service is best for supporting artists.

Especially now, when COVID is hitting hard in the cultural sector, I wonder if anybody here has any ideas or suggestions on this. Should I buy albums on Qobuz? Or are there other similar services? What can we do to make sure we pay a fair price and enable artists to continue doing what we love them to do? Where do I go to make sure a fair share of the price I pay goes to those artists and not to some hedge fund platform operator?

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(4 of the 6 decommissioned airplay devices)