Music today

Posted by under *mixed, Music, Technology | Join The Discussion |

It’s no secret that record stores have disappeared and the ones that are left probably don’t have much time. While digital distribution and music downloading (legally of course) is something I’m a big proponent of, it’s just not always the right solution for me. If I want to buy a song, or preview an album, or even just get information on a band, iTunes is the only place I turn at this point. However, if I want to buy an album (the whole thing, not just one or two songs), I’m still buying the CD. I need to have something tangible if I’m going to commit to music on that level. I want to see the way the artwork and packaging are designed, I want to see what the CD actually looks like. Of course, it only comes out of the packaging once, goes into my computer and becomes a series of ethereal ones and zeroes like everything else, but that doesn’t mean I want to simply download it.

The disappearance of music stores creates another type of problem for me in that most of what I listen to seems to fall through the cracks. It’s primarily bands that are not big enough to be carried by a big chain store and not special enough for a speciality shop. The most recent example is the new Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine album. After calling half a dozen music stores in the city, I found one store that had it – Main Street Music in Manayunk. Upon going there to pick it up, I was told they had one copy – used. Meaning that someone bought it, ripped it, and sold it within 2 weeks of its release. This may happen a lot, but I don’t know that it helps stores stay in business. I’m fairly certain I don’t agree with it. Sure, there’s a chance that someone just didn’t like the album and had a chance to divest themselves of it, but I’ll never know.

All I do know is that I intend to keep supporting the CD format until the bitter end, in approximately 3 years 5 days and 11 minutes.