Streaming is here, and almost certainly here to stay. And depending on your chosen product path, you have just about every streaming platform available in one form or other. It’s usually via laptops, tablets, or phones, but as Denon DJ has shown with the release of the Prime 4 v1.4 public beta firmware update bringing Tidal streaming, it can be entirely standalone too. 

Access to the majority of music ever made is as easy as entering your account details into a screen, and then you have the entire libraries of the assorted streaming services at your fingertips. Technology has brought us to the point where there will be little excuse for even the most obscure of niche tracks to be played within moments. 

BUT WHAT IF?

A month or so ago, we were discussing this progression of streaming in the DJWORX Slack channel, when Jared dropped this into the conversation: 

And four weeks later, I’m still pondering the reasons why this can’t happen. If you can log into Tidal on the Prime 4, then why not Dropbox, iCloud, or your own web server? Why can’t we have access to our entire library from anywhere in the world? 

DJs have sort of been doing this for a long time via services like Dropbox, where files can be dragged and dropped into playlists in laptops. But this isn’t quite so easy on mobile devices and the emerging wave of Denon DJ standalone. 

Extending this a little further, why couldn’t you as an artist set up a server and allow users to subscribe to your super exclusive tracks and remixes? This would allow artists to get paid directly rather than the micro-pennies that the streaming services pay out. 

DISCLAIMER: This is a mockup. You cannot do this in real life. Well not yet.

NEEDS WORK

Obviously, this is isn’t a fully thought out idea, and there’s a lot of detail to fill in. So I’m keen to hear from people more in the know about such things about barriers to making this work. 

At a base level, logging on to a server and having access to audio files should allow you analyse the files and store the analysis data locally, which is how existing streaming works. The step beyond would be recognising the type of library and loading in waveforms, hot cues, and loops — perhaps pushing your whole library or just some crates/playlists to the cloud, maybe as a background task that does it over time.

But wouldn’t it be nice to see a list of webservers in your library along existing streaming services? Perhaps this could be your own stash available wherever you are in the world, or your favourite artist’s super exclusives that you’ve paid good money to access.

So… if we can stream from Spotify, Tidal, Soundcloud etc, why not from our own cloud files? Over to you.