My Music Library
I have a good bit of music I had acquired and ripped in the late 90s and had purchased from Amazon later. That all lives in a directory on my big computer. I never play anything from there, and it just sits there for safe keeping.
I continued to purchase DRM-free MP3 files from Amazon Music, and I eventually embraced their "free" streaming with Amazon Prime. I could add available music to my collection for free, and then stream it along with the stuff I bought, so it’s nice and blended. This allowed me to easily toss a new album or artist into rotation, and if I really want, I might purchase it to keep.
The Prime streaming service had some limitations with some music I wanted to sample being unavailable, and sometimes, I’d notice some of the free music disappeared from my collection. I decided to pay the little bit for the Unlimited Music plan, and that made almost everything available. I notice very few cases of music becoming unavailable, so now I don’t bother buying downloadable MP3s except in rare cases where I want to be able to use a song on another device outside the Amazon Music client.
I don’t really use the stations at all on Amazon Music. I don’t feel the need to hear large numbers of new songs all the time, so I have a smaller curated list of podcasts and DJs where I discover new music to add to my collection at Amazon:
I had uploaded all my music to Google Play Music years ago, but there had always been news of the service’s eventual demise. It’s finally migrated recently over to YouTube Music, and they seem to have reintroduced the ability to upload my own music. I’ve paid for YouTube Premium, so I have YouTube Music as well, and this could be a nice alternative. I have a few albums uploaded there which I can’t find on Amazon. I don’t think I can buy music there, though, and I’ve already purchased a good bit of (DRM-free) music on Amazon.