dowloading whore

This past week, I’ve downloaded six new albums. There’s a good chance that the number will go up to nine by the end of the weekend.

What surprises me about this is not my immoderate music consumption but the fact that, as a self-proclaimed sucker for packaging, I’ve fallen so completely for the mp3 format. Downloads are so anonymous. There is no cover art. There are no liner notes. There are no carefully chosen fonts. I have always liked these things and the tone they set when you sit down and listen to an album for the first time.

But when I started buying a lot of new music again this summer, the Lure of the Download began working its magic upon me. They provide you with instant gratification. They’re cheaper than CDs, and they’re better for the environment. And, in a way, it’s kind of nice not being primed to approach an album a certain way because of the way it looks. (That whole book and cover thing, I guess.)

And did I mention the instant gratification part?

Yeah. There’s that.

Cranky disclaimer: I am still not a fan of downloading “a” song off an album. I did it a couple times when I was making my summer mix, and it made me feel dirty. Albums–real ones made by real artists–are still meant to be listened to as such. And some of the best songs are the ones that lack the immediate appeal of a single. </rant>

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11 responses to “dowloading whore

  1. What’s a whole album?

    Sincerely,

    Everyone Under 25

  2. Seriously–
    That is depressing, right? On several levels, I think–depressing because most kids don’t appreciate the art that goes into crafting a cohesive album, and also depressing because most popular musicians don’t even bother trying to craft them anymore.

    Grrr, and also sigh.

  3. On the other hand… Gotta keep moving on. Nobody wants to be the guy complaining about 8-tracks not coming back.

  4. I hear 8 track is the best way to listen to ZZ Top.

    Ok, maybe I haven’t heard that.

    I think the obsolescence of the 8-track is a more cut and dry example of technology being replaced with better technology. While the mp3 revolution should in theory be the same deal, the way that they’re being marketed and consumed is endangering the album as an art form.

    It’s sort of like how TV news led lots of people to stop reading the newspaper. Except that no more albums won’t make us dumber as a populous.

  5. What’s a “newspaper”?

  6. Yeah, that’s why I don’t feel TOO bad for the newspaper industry’s decline… They themselves have been a huge part of the problem.

    Just like the record industry.

  7. You know, I download them off the internets too (especially live bootlegs — I love those) but burn them to CD cause I like the whole putting the CD on the tray, closing the tray, then listening for the skuss skuss skuss sound routine.

    I’m old now, aren’t I?

  8. I think you were already old.

    I do the disc-burning thing sometimes, too. Mostly cause my computer speakers are crappy.

    But the skuss skuss sound is nice, too.

  9. Be sure to check for the vinyl version my dear. You get something rad for a few bucks more (or you can just give the records to me) and nearly all vinyl comes with download cards as well. Yay! Everyone wins! Even the oil industry!

  10. I keep forgetting about that–
    Though that eliminates the whole “instant gratification” thing.

    Now! Now! Now!

    ~Veruca

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