Does YouTube Make My iTunes Library Obsolete?

This month, there’s a new PS3 YouTube app that’s worth checking out.  It’s even better coupled with an iPhone, because you can use the phone’s improved touch-screen interface as a remote control, resulting in an impressive synergy of technologies.  The PS3 controller seems ridiculously clumsy in comparison.

YouTube dominates video, but it’s increasingly popular as a primary music source, too.  Several articles have popped up of late indicating a switch from buying and maintaining iTunes libraries to the use of free services like Pandora, Spotify and YouTube.  It’s an interesting trend, and the low-cost aspect is attractive, but before I chuck my 60+ GB collection, let’s run a quick spot-check and test a few relatively obscure items unlikely to have been on YouTube years past:

Amon Düül II — Kanaan.

There are a few versions available with some nice photos and artwork.  Check.

Knife Party — Ride Little Pony

Not available.

Anthrax — The Devil You Know

Available.

NOFX — She’s Gone

Live version and lots of covers!  No studio version.

Juliana Hatfield — If Only We Were Dogs

Nope.  Lots of Juliana, but not this tune.

That’s a limited sample hit-rate of about one half.  Not yet a replacement for the iTunes library, but a solid augmentation at lower sound quality at least.  From a practical standpoint, YouTube has far more truly entertaining content than anyone could ever digest in a single lifetime, so I’m being picky, but even my pickiness will be satiated before too long.  Coupled with even more ubiquitous internet access, music-as-a-service will ultimately make iTunes library collections an antiquated concept, but just as vinyl is still around and fills a niche, MP3 hoards will probably never die.

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