The Streamification of Music Culture

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This paper suggests the term streamification as a conceptualisation of the influence of streaming media on music culture, its artefacts and related practices. The concept and metaphor of stream is propagated by IT-companies like Spotify and business conglomerates like Tencent venture into the music business.The theoretical framework for this conceptualisation builds on concepts and approaches from cultural studies (Gay et al., 2013), and necessarily software studies (Manovich, 2001, 2013). Different ways of perceiving and using the music files will be analysed in the form of articulation and transcoding. Articulations (Gay et al., 2013) are the coming together of similarities and differences that inform meaning-making regarding a cultural artefact in relation to other cultural artefacts e.g. the music file related to the CD, the vinyl or the stream. The concept of transcoding (Manovich, 2001) covers aspects of the translation of user behaviour and cultural artefacts by way of computer terminology and ideologies e.g. bitrates for quality and usability for product performance.I argue that the contemporary streamification of music culture builds on a tangle of transcodes. I exemplify the tangle of transcodes with three cases:1.A listener searches for ‘clean music videos’ on YouTube that are best for subsequent ripping, e.g. no annoying film sounds.2.A musician appropriates YouTube listening participation by uploading his own music in a better sound quality than that which other users have uploaded to YouTube without his consent.3.A distributor must regulate his assets, which entails both transcoding music files at different bitrates and ordering complexities of metadata.The three cases show the tangle of transcodes that underlie the participatory online digital music cultures as presenting a continuum from the messiest, through the less messy, to the more orderly transcodings.References:Chun, W. H. K. (2011). Programmed visions : software and memory. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Fuller, M. (Ed.) (2008). Software Studies : A Lexicon. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.Gay, P. D., Hall, S., Janes, L., Koed Madsen, A., MacKay, H., & Negus, K. (Eds.). (2013). Doing cultural studies : The story of the Sony Walkman (2. ed.). London: SAGE.Manovich, L. (2001). The language of new media. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.Manovich, L. (2013). Software Takes Command: Extending the Language of New Media. New York ; London: Bloomsbury.Sterne, J. (2012). MP3: the Meaning of a Format. Durham og London: Duke University Press.
StatusUdgivet - 2019
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedCultural Typhoon 2019: [Alt]+[CS]=? Towards Alternative Cultural Studies - Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
Varighed: 1 jun. 20192 jun. 2019


KonferenceCultural Typhoon 2019
LokationKeio University