Monday, July 16, 2007

Sound Off

I keep hearing more and more how people are getting their music from download services and not buying cds anymore. I am not one of this crowd. Even though I can admit to the amount of clutter in my life due to cds and albums (yes I'm that old) stacked up in multiple places throughout the house. I just can't seem to let go of the feeling of the "get". Bringing the record home like when I was 14 and bought Zep's In Through The Out Door (see, told you I was old) or wouldn't allow myself to listen to the New York Phil's recording of The Planets (Bernstein, 73) until I had read the liner notes.

Somehow the experience seems inauthentic to me if not accompanied by something I can hold. Am I alone in this feeling? There is a pride of ownership not to mention a question of fidelity of sound. The mp3's that I download-primarily from emusic-are a thumbnail to me and live happily on my mp3 player. I do find myself hooking the mp3 player up to my stereo when I want someone to hear a track I haven't gone out to buy yet.

I know as a performer that having music on your website or myspace page is helpful for people to check out what you do but I wouldn't dream of putting entire tracks online given all of the blood sweat and tears that went into the production of a quality recording, not to mention the cost.

I know that artists today are still spending time putting together track lists for flow etc. to make the listening experience the best that they can. I remember being a bit miffed at Prince's decision to make the entirety of Lovesexy one track until I heard it. I for one am completely content with the old paradigm of hearing singles on the radio or my own mix tape, cd, mp3, etc. However most mix tapes I make come about after having listened to all of the music on that particular offering. I will admit that the radio is on at home far less than when I was a boy and part of me misses that. I can see the internet possibly replacing radio but sometimes it's still nice to have someone program the listening experience for you rather than just randomly poking around listening to lower quality sound bytes.