Neil Young prepares a giant online archive for his music

Naturally, it'll tie into his streaming music service.

Scanpix Denmark/Nils Meilvang/via Reuters

Neil Young has come a long, long way since he dismissed streaming music services. The singer-songwriter has unveiled plans for a huge online archive of his work that, naturally, will tie into his streaming music service (Xstream Music). The focus is on a timeline that highlights his music from 1963 onward, complete with playback and a "Filing Cabinet" that offers video, memorabilia and other content attached to each song. Think of it as an album box set with very, very extensive liner notes.

It'll even indulge the audiophiles Young has courted for years. The archive will guide users when they're shopping for and setting up their streaming music equipment. Yes, Young is determined to help you experience "Piece of Crap" the way it was intended.

The artist doesn't say when you can expect the archive to launch. However, this might raise the bar for musicians' official pages when it does arrive. Many artists' pages tend to focus on promoting the album du jour, or else give you a top-level overview of their legacies. Here, Young is filling in at least some of the context normally supplied by fan sites and Wikipedia editors. It probably won't have the full story, but it could give you a reason to visit a musician's page beyond shopping for official merch.