Of Music and Men
The New York Times has an op-ed piece by a couple of people who owned a record shop in
Slashdot got wind of it, and most of the posts there have been of the “people don’t care about CDs anymore. They just want a song or two.”
Call me weird, but I actually *like* having the physical media. Maybe it’s the collector and DJ in me (and yes, I have, on occasion, been a DJ). Part of it, I think, is that I get a CD for a couple of songs and then end up finding other songs on the album that I like.
That’s not really something that you can do with iTunes.
At the same time, I want to smack the owners of music shops who say that illegal downloading has killed their sales. There are a few reasons for this.
First, not everyone who downloaded a song would have bought the album in the first place. Second, some people download a song or two in order to decide if they want to get the album. Third, have you seen the price of a new album lately?
I’m not blaming the record stores for reason three because they don’t make a whole lot per CD sold. Most of the money goes to the label and middle men. However, it’s a real part of the problem that needs to be solved.
I’m speaking as a music lover and someone whose collection is rapidly approaching 400 CDS – all of which I listen to on occasion if you can believe it. However, most of those were bought used because of the price of new albums (since I can usually get the used albums for $3-$7 each as opposed to $18 for a new one).
The major exception to the above are CDs from the local bands that I go to see. If I like the band, I will usually pick up one (or all) of their CDs at the show. I have a small stack of CDs that basically can’t be replaced because the bands in question just don’t exist anymore.
Another great thing about getting those albums is that going to the shows is a great way to meet people, including the band members. I am now friends with far too many bands because I was at their shows and we started chatting (Part of that is due to my outgoing nature. Your mileage may vary).
You could ask Karyl about the time she went to the blues show with me and the band came to my table to hang out *smirk*
As for the rest of my collection, some of it was acquired through Amazon. However, a whole lot of it was gotten while hanging out in record shops that had large used collections. The major one of those was Haffa’s just off campus of my alma mater,
It’s no wonder that Haffa’s has been in business for so long. Their prices are good, their staff is cool, and the town has an actual indie music scene that consistently seems to produce some good bands. In fact, prior to the university president before this one, the place used to be a rite of passage for a lot of bands. The town even sports one of the top ten dive bars in the country – The Union (which is covered inside with the stickers of bands who have played there. It is a very cool place despite being a bit crowded.)
I’d love to see albums which are full of more quality and less filler, artists which are compensated for their efforts instead of being gouged by the labels, and prices that are sane.
Maybe that makes me spoiled. Personally, I think that makes me sane. Then again, I also think that sustainability should be a top priority for any business.
Current mood: recovering from the flu
Current music: AC/DC – Money Talks (it seemed appropriate)