Boldly venturing where none have gone before. Or somewhere at least...

Muesliman? There was a time when my breakfast habits made me that. Recently it's morphed into musulman if my love of Amr Diab's Mn Asmaa Allah al Hosna and Wael Jassar's Fi Hadret Al Mahboub are anything to go by. Hitting up Spotify for a recent safari—in my genres, they tend to have a lot more than Tidal and Qobuz—I chanced upon Wael Jassar's second Fi Hadret volume. Luckily Qobuz listed it for purchase though mismatched cover art had me nearly miss it. Inspired, that fishing expedition evolved into quite the catch including the latest Dhafer Youssef, Juan Carmona and Vangelis. I also came across Marcel Khalife's Andalusia of Love, Louis Winsberg's tribute album For Paco (de Lucia) and the wonderful group Ashkabad playing behind Thanasis Papakonstantinou and Melinda Kana on an album called Lafyra. I found new Miguel Poveda and Mine Geçili albums, discovered Suavi and Nouna, came across Diego El Cigala's Indestructible and listened to Sükriye Tutkun and The New York Gipsy All Stars. Kari Bremnes popped up as did Yulduz Usmanova and Sevda Alekperzadeh, Joscho Stephan,Yorgui Loeffler and Michel Camino with Tomatito on their already third Spain outing. Even the Taksim Trio's third release rose unexpectedly like a rainbow.

In Ireland, when it rains, it really does.

I copied some of my rain to a small iPad brain and spent a few evenings getting drenched over dapper cans from Romania. It's all too easy to become inured to the incredibly convenient access we enjoy to music today if we have Internet. Without leaving home to fire up that Volkswagen camper, we can circumnavigate the musical globe, set down wherever we please and go native, even on endless repeat should the mood strike. Whatever our style or favourite access point—Deezer, Pandora, BandCamp?—instant gratification has pretty much become the norm. If you come across something you dislike, you didn't find out until after you'd already purchased it. Should you still prefer to own your favourite tunes, using streaming to presample potential acquisitions is a real boon. It's this decade's friendly CD shoppe with a listen-first policy; except that its inventory is immeasurably vaster than even a Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard or Amoeba in Berkeley ever were.

If you're enjoying the tunes, it doesn't matter whether its 320kbps or 1411kbps, MQA or 24/96. Goosebumps don't care. Of course being a proper audiophile, I download Flac or Aiff and, in the case of Dhafer Youssef's Diwan of Beauty and Odd, even splurged on the leathered-up 24/96 version to gain cred with the hi-rez tribe. And over the big rig or even COS Engineering's H1 driving Final Sonorous VI in fully balanced mode on the bedside system, it actually goes a bit faster - I mean, sounds better. Not that the iPad could play it. On that, Redbook rez is plenty good enough. Plus, the warmer Meze 99 Classics sound better iPad direct than the Finals. Still, better, different and all that guff about sound quality pale by comparison to the sheer fact that we're swimming in an endless sea of musical possibilities. How the artists are supposed to survive if the public at large thinks nothing of paying nothing for the privilege, I have no idea. But today isn't about that.

Today is simply about acknowledging that, musically speaking, we're living in a Golden Age. It's good to notice and say thanks every once in a while!