What is a Stem Player?

Image+via+NationalWorld

Image via NationalWorld

David Bien-Aime, Copy Editor

Since Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) announced his new album, Donda 2, would be released on the Stem Player and no streaming platforms, it left many fans with mixed feelings about his decision. This means Donda 2 won’t be officially released on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Tidal, Youtube, or other streaming platforms. Despite all the mixed feelings, over 10k Stem Players were sold, making a profit of over $2,000,000 in the first 48 hours of its announcement. The $200 device garnered more popularity. 

What is the Stem Player, and what does it do? 

Debuting in August of 2021, Kanye West released his invention with Kano Computing, the Stem Player, a unique music device that allows the user to stream, remix and customize any song they want. There are multiple effects like removing the background music of a song, keeping just the vocals, speed control looping, and more. With this device, you can adjust and change the vocals, samples, and instrumentals. There are only four range dynamics.  You can download and upload any music to the device and play songs; the songs can be downloaded through your PC.   

What are people saying about the Stem Player, and is it worth it? 

There are some mixed reviews about this device; while some believe it’s overpriced, others think it’s worth every penny. Some outlets such as Slate.com expressed their criticisms with the device headlining, “Kanye West’s Music Player Asks You to Pay $200 to Make Worse.” One of their main problems with the device was they felt it was “too limited,” only allowing four levels in the dynamic range. Regardless of the harsh criticisms of the device, other outlets feel the opposite. Outlets such as Engadget.com headlined “I wish anyone other than Kanye had made the stem player,” praising his device for its uniqueness and fascination.  At the end of the day, it’s likely your experience with the Stem Player depends on how well you understand the functions of the device. It has the power to shift your music listening experience for the good or the bad. You won’t truly know if it’s worth it until you get yourself one. Stem players can be purchased at stemplayer.com.