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I read a lot of other people's writing about streaming and music, in the press and in books and on Twitter (or its scattered mirror-shards), and I almost always end up annoyed that the story is most consistently told from the point of view of an outsider with speculative information and dour grudges. There are occasional exceptions, like Nick Seaver's Computing Taste, but that's a work of anthropological scholarship: a story about stories about our future, not the story itself.  

The story, I really believe, is that having all the world's music online together is one of the greatest cultural developments of the internet age. Somebody who both fully understands and emotionally believes in music streaming, I kept muttering, should write that book.  

I've been arguing this idea in scattered blog posts and comment threads and talks, already, but I had more spare time than usual during the pandemic, so I started trying to organize the whole story, not the specific business of Spotify or any one company, but the underlying argument for why streaming is good for music and streaming music is good for humanity. I both know and believe enough to explain how the fears it provokes are mostly less scary than they seem, although in some cases also more scary than you might realize, but that either way the joys are even more transformational. I haven't been talking about this during the process, because I wasn't sure how far I'd get, but I wrote it, and an agent found me, and the agent found a publisher, and today the book was announced to the UK trade press, so it's officially unsecret.  

It's called You Have Not Yet Heard Your Favorite Song: How Streaming Changes Music. It's not coming out until June 2024, because paper is a slow liquid. I have been blithely accustomed to writing about music online and hitting OK for my entire adult writing life, so this is a series of weird new old experiences for me: writing things and then scrutinizing them repeatedly; having an actual professional editor badger me (kindly) into taking out half of the adverbs and a 20,000-word digression about E.F. Codd; the idea that I still have to wait nine more months before people can read a thing I finished writing months ago.  

But, on the other hand, I still like reading books myself, and a 2024 publication date is a heartening gesture of faith that the AI apocalypse will hold off at least that long. So far that faith is scheduled to be expressed in English (complete with "Favourite" in the UK) by Canbury Press, translated into French by Hachette, and into Chinese by ECUS Publishing House. If you have, or are, contacts at publishers of books in other languages, or especially any US publisher interested in handling the American edition, get in touch.  

Otherwise, it is not necessary to take any action at this time. Continue with your lives. Listen to music. Read Jon Alexander's excellent Citizens, about the historical shifts in social narratives from subject/rule to consumer/vendor to citizen/community, which was also published by Canbury and isn't about music but isn't entirely unrelated to mine. If you think of ways to share or experience more joy, or less fear, you needn't wait to see if I covered them.  

But if you haven't thought of any by next June, maybe my book will be able to help.  

Some links as I spot them:
- The announcement was also covered on BookBrunch, but you can't read that without a subscription.
- Amazon UK lists both the ebook and the UK paperback.
- WHSmith lists the UK paperback.
- Amazon US and Barnes & Noble have only the ebook version so far.
- I see the (English) ebook in Austrian, Italian, Japanese, 1 2 Portuguese and 1 2 3 German shops.
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