One thing that appeared quickly was the recurring mention of the ability for people to download the songs they own. (The topic arose around a discussion about what should happen to songs that are taken down from the platform, either for legal reasons or more simply because a label took down its catalogue)
To our surprise, we got news that, as of now, owning a song under the current version of the Resonate player does NOT equate anymore to “access to a download link or any download capacity of some sort for that song”.
@Hakanto explained to us that this is rooted in technical issues and that it’s not a trivial thing to add to the current player, which is a fair and valid aspect to consider.
This being said, here are my thoughts on the matter, and if yesterday’s discussion was any indication, I think they might be widely shared :
Access to download links for your catalogue (and even to some extent easy ways for batch download even if that might be even more complicated) once you’ve paid for it on Resonate should not be a question or a possibility, it should be an absolute requirement and a top most priority for the player platform before reaching 1.0
In my view, not having this possibility undermines everything the current business model of Stream 2 Own stands for, because precisely : if you can’t download it you do not own anything. It means that once you’ve paid for a song, you’re still tied to Resonate to listen to it, tied to an internet connection, then tied to a specific account on a specific website etc. This is not owning, this is having a permanent right to listen to the song on that platform as long as the platform exists, as long as there’s no technical malfunction on their end that you can’t control, and as long as the artist didn’t take down its catalogue from it, which means if either of those things happen, you’re left with nothing, which is precisely what owning a song should prevent you from and what it’s all about.
To make it short :
1/ As of now, people can’t download the songs the own.
2/ Is it currently considered a priority by the dev team and board members for implementation on the platform ?
2a/ if it is considered a priority, are people working on it right now and could give us some info on how things are moving along so that we don’t bug them with questions all the time and let them do their work peacefully?
2b/ if it’s NOT considered a priority, could the people who took that decision get involved with the community to discuss why or make an easily accessible document that precises the techinical/legal/ethical hurdles to overcome that caused them to make that decision?
3/ We should have a discussion and make sure that everyone knows about this, and then we should have a vote determining what’s the desire of the community regarding this aspect of the platform as it stands, so that we’re sure the dev team and the community of listeners and creators are moving in the same directions, with the same sets of principles.
As a final aside, I should precise that, knowing that, I decided to put all my songs on “free to listen to” on Resonate, because I just can’t deal with the idea that someone paid 1€/track and then doesn’t have any hability to own the files and keep them on their own devices / listening system, independantly of the Resonate platform. I still want to support Resonate both as a business and as a global community of ethically concerned artists and listeners, download link or not, because I’ve mentionned it several times but in my view, the current version of S2O is not the best aspect of the platform at all so I’m not invested in this particular idea so much as I am in the community, the co-op’s structures and goals, and the global discussion around the platform.
This being said until listeners get complete control of their paid-for catalogue, I’d rather make my music free there (it’ll still be a substantial difference/support from me since none of my work is on any major streaming platform as of now) as a way to promote the platform so that listeners are respected and considered as well, rather than have them pay for something that I think will get them less control over the things they own than on a regular music store or through direct payment at live venues.
Thanks for reading this and I hope we can move this discussion forward.