Which do you prefer: streaming or downloading audio? Why?

Which do you prefer: streaming or downloading audio? Why?
17% (19 votes)
38% (43 votes)
18% (20 votes)
27% (31 votes)
Total votes: 113

Streaming allows you to start hearing an audio track within seconds of selecting it from a website, but when you stop listening, it's gone. Downloading a track allows you to store audio on your computer for use now or later, but it can take a while to complete. Which method of getting audio from the Internet do you prefer?

Yo!'s picture

I don't download music. It's too slow, and both formats are lo-fi.

David L.  Ure's picture

If just the first two choices were given, I would chose downloading. I have found that streaming is suseptible to cutting out due to "Net congestion." I find this to be totally unacceptable! On the other hand, downloading takes time before you can enjoy your selection, and uses valuable hard-drive space. I would like to see improvements in streaming so that there are none of the interruptions commonly found today.

John Doe's picture

I run an ADSL connection so time is not an issue

Anonymous's picture

mp3 all the way

John Carlson's picture

I don't honestly care, since I never download audio tracks off of the internet. However, it seems to me that the ideal would be technology that could allow for the best of both options--sort of like being able to "monitor" what is being recorded on a three-head tape deck.

David Rivera's picture

Choppy connections inhibit streaming dl's. The internet is getting crowded!

Barry Krakovsky's picture

Until the sonics improve, I'll continue to listen to music the old-fashioned way.

Hans-Peter Schmid's picture

I listen to audio tracks on the likes of Amazon.com only; I don't need to store the tracks because I can always go back to the site. Of course, once intelligent distributed caching has become the norm on the Net, there won't be much discernible difference between streaming or downloading (provided you have a fast connection to the Net).

Brad, Atlanta's picture

I want a downloadable stream so I can hear it immediately and play it again later. Then, I'll hire a nerd to tell me if it was good music or not.

Andrew Johnson's picture

If buffers worked, then streaming . . . but since the Internet is as unpredictable as DVD-Audio, I'll download all I can.

Stereofool's picture

You couldn't think of a better topic than this? How about Neither. Whatever.

Mauri Eronen's picture

Especially with low-bandwidth connections, streaming is not the right way to transfer data. The quality is often too low, and clicks occur when streaming.

Kris Carnmarker's picture

I might want to keep the file. However, what's more important is that the playback will not be interrupted, which happens sometimes even with broadband connections.

A.J.  Smith's picture

You mean some of you guys actually store that dreck to "listen" to later? And you call yourselves audiophiles?!

Brian H.'s picture

Streaming audio needs some work. Sites like Netradio, etc., frequently get interrupted, even if the user is on a T1 line.

Wood's picture

Everyone knows that music off of the Internet, no matter what format, sounds terrible, so what's the point? When the Internet starts to put out great music that actually sounds reasonably good (when? who knows?) is when this will be a relevant question.

Arvind Kohli's picture

Bandwidth will get better, so waits will not be much of a concern for much longer. I would love to be able to download my favorite radio shows (even with ads) and listen to them at my leisure off a CD+RW or MP3 player or hard drive. Downloading or streaming music does not have too much appeal till I find out how the quality of MP3 compares to a CD on a good audio system.

Richard H.  Araujo's picture

The two methods serve different purposes. Streaming would work well for sampling music, and would allow you to decide whether or not the song or album is worth downloading.

Jim Lee's picture

I can hardly operate this PC. Why would I want to hear some pop culture trash on a computer? Jim

Anonymous's picture

Streaming audio sucks big time, you take away a chance for error when you download it.

tony coughlin's picture

cable needs and other basics should always prevail for system perforance...you don't know what it is until you have it. stick to basics, the rest will follow.