Of course, the answer to this question is a seemingly obvious and resounding "no." How could there ever be "too much" of something so wonderful and amazing as music?
"If you don't want to listen to it, just don't." "The more music there is, the more broad its reach." "Just shut up, moron." I can already hear responses to this question in my head.
And, look, I get it. It is a fairly stupid question. It's not actually about the amount of music available, per se; rather, this is more aptly seen as an examination of the consumption of music as a whole, of streaming.
Streaming from places like Spotify and Apple Music puts, quite literally, hundreds of millions of hours of music at our fingertips, all ready to explore. Again, on the surface, this sounds great. And it does have its benefits: (relative) affordability, accessibility, try-and-test abilities, etc.
But that is also just an absolutely insane amount of content. Literally impossible to digest; and plenty has been written about the paralysis associated with an excess of choices.
I know I've sometimes felt it daunting to seek out new music or try new things on Spotify because, well, where do I start? I have one friend with a playlist of "new" music with literally hundreds of hours of unlistened content.
Gone are the days of creating mixtapes or CDs for friends or potential lovers; instead, we create massive playlists and only add to our ever-piling mass of content to digest.
Gone are the days of finding a new album or record at a local store; instead, when I "discover" a new artist I am immediately struck with both the excitement and dread associated with the prospect of listening through their entire discography--several times if I want to really know which tracks are the best.
Much has been written about the drawbacks of streaming--from the "rise of the playlist" to its fiscal negatives for the vast majority of artists--but this accessibility itself has never been questioned.
And, you know, maybe it shouldn't. Sure, sometimes I am paralyzed by the sheer volume of options, but I've also stumbled across some absolutely amazing music that I wouldn't have otherwise found, all for the relatively low price of $5/month as a student.
Maybe, as with any medium, this will just take time. Maybe we'll adapt and figure out the best ways to digest streamable music without becoming overwhelmed. Maybe this is the absolute best way to progress in the industry. But maybe it isn't.