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Caligastia
24-07-2007, 01:47:07
Do you try to be an ethical listener? If you regularly listen to, and enjoy someone's music, do you feel obligated to contribute to the costs they incurred to bring you that music?

Personally, I try to buy the CDs of bands that I like for 2 reasons

1 - I want to support people who make good music

2 - I like to have the "proper" CD, with the sleeve and everything

King_Ghidra
24-07-2007, 08:26:03
the fact that you now consider paying for music to be an ethical question rather than a matter of fact shows just how far things have come hmm?

Scabrous Birdseed
24-07-2007, 08:31:48
I used to think like that, but now I've stopped. I barely buy new CDs any more 'cause frankly I can't afford it.

I think either you accept that information and art are now free (and basically have been since the day of Walter Benjamin (http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm)) or you don't download anything illegally at all. Trying to create an ethical middle ground is full of potential pitfalls:

Vagueness, that you have a large gray area you don't know what to do with.

Logical inconsistency, that you can't quite bring together in your head why it's right to support bands you like but still okay to download, listen to and enjoy music you "don't like" without buying it. What's the logical difference? Why is one more right than the other?

Short term creeping hypocrisy, that you download music and "intend" to buy it later, maybe when it gets discounted (inevitably giving less money to the artists) and eventually, possibly forget about it altogether... Don't tell me that never happens.

-------

I think we do need some way to keep music afloat but I, personally, can't see a "shareware-style" pay-if-you-like system working out. Maybe we need some sort of generalised, but tax-financed, royalty system? After all providing culture for the masses is in the interest of the government.

Sweden is trying something along those lines with this (http://www.btj.se/musikwebb/FrontServlet) service from a set of public libraries, where you can "borrow" DRM-limited music for a period of seven days. I think it's an interesting experiment...

Caligastia
24-07-2007, 13:32:23
I'm not really talking about any kind of formal system, Scabby. Personally, I do have some music that I haven't paid for, but the vast majority of it was bought at the CD store. And without exception, if I REALLY like a band I will buy their CD. I haven't actually downloaded any music since the Napster days. These days I just copy music off friends.

maroule
24-07-2007, 13:54:09
vaguely on the topic, what about recording music on the radio? is that legal?

I suppose it is (would be quite hypocritical to say you can listen to the radio for free but can't record it)

So theoretically, a recorded compilation of musics played just once on any radio should be legal, no?

*End Is Forever*
24-07-2007, 14:38:50
Thinking back a few years to my callow youth, I probably spent a hell of a lot more money on CDs, gig tickets and merch because I'd downloaded stuff on Napster than I ever would have done otherwise.

I imagine that the overwhelming majority of artists are better off for the internet and filesharing. I'd go so far as to say that quite a few bands wouldn't have hit the mainstream without it.

Of course, that has no bearing on the legality of it all!

Lazarus and the Gimp
24-07-2007, 16:17:06
I don't download MP3's. My entire consumption of music comes from buying CD's.

I realise this makes me look like a Luddite, but there's just no romance in downloading some tawdry scrap of software.

Caligastia
24-07-2007, 17:02:12
Do you ever copy CDs off friends Laz?

Lazarus and the Gimp
24-07-2007, 17:51:19
No. I make sampler copies of bands I like and pass them on to others, but it's in the hope that they'll buy things as a result.

If I hear something I like, I buy it. That's not down to any carefully-considered ethical stance- I just want to own it. Cover art and all.

Caligastia
24-07-2007, 18:18:17
Same here, but you must at least view the buying as a good thing if you hope that the people who get your sample CDs do so. Surely that's an ethical stance - that it's good and right for bands to be monitarily supported by their fans.

Fergus & The Brazen Car
28-07-2007, 09:29:17
I have never downloaded music.


I find downloading music (even otherwise 'unavailable remixes') similar to the output of the Lighthouse Family- music for people who don't really like music.

I despise the idea of Apple IPODS- a ripoff of massive dimensions that proves you can sell people crap if you wrap it up nicely enough.


I'll happily settle for browsing through charity shops, church fetes and jumble sales in search of elusive pleasures such as the jazz opera 'King Kong' featuring a (very) young Miriam Makeba.

It may take more time but I love the smell of old vinyl, the feel of old record covers, the love that went into writing sleevenotes and the often inspired designs for the covers.

Immortal Wombat
28-07-2007, 13:43:38
I understand the desire to possess a physical thing which represents each album. I understand wanting to have the cover art and the sleevenotes, and all. I'm the same with books. However - I don't see how not caring for those things is equivalent to not really liking the music. Given a choice, I'd take a dead-tree book over an ebook any day, but I still collect the ebooks - because the text is the text. Similarly, the sound is the sound, whether it's on vinyl, CD, or (high quality) mp3*.

I'll happily spend hours browsing through link forums, ed2k, bittorrent search engines and Apache-generated directory listings in search of elusive pleasures such as the Cantigas De Santa Maria by Maciej Malenczuk.


* yes yes, sound quality. My ears are crap anyway.

Fergus & The Brazen Car
29-07-2007, 15:18:26
Originally posted by Immortal Wombat
, or (high quality) mp3*.

* yes yes, sound quality. My ears are crap anyway.

Sound quality is the nub for me.

I don't enjoy listening to god awful tinny mobile phone renditions of songs I love on the Tube or the bus.

And it's not just the reproduction issues of IPODS, it's also the blatancy of the marketing over value ripoff, not just the player, but the iTunes thing too.

It's my choice, and people might think I'm cutting my nose off to spite my face, but I really do love the feel of old record covers and the smell from the vinyl inside the paper sleeves, and the sumptuous art of well thought out record sleeves- 50s' jazz springs to mind straightaway.

Debaser
29-07-2007, 16:09:48
So if there's an album that I'm looking forward to so much that I download it before its release 'cos I can't wait to hear it, then that's "similar to the output of the Lighthouse Family- music for people who don't really like music"?

Huh?

Fergus & The Brazen Car
29-07-2007, 16:23:40
Originally posted by Debaser
So if there's an album that I'm looking forward to so much that I download it before its release 'cos I can't wait to hear it, then that's "similar to the output of the Lighthouse Family- music for people who don't really like music"?

Huh?

You could do what I do and buy the promo on c.d. .

Available at record fairs, specialist record shops and charity shops.

;)


As an aside, do you really find the sound quality of downloads approaches even that of c.d.s ? I don't.

(And yes, 'The Lighthouse Family' thing was a slight provocation/exaggeration, but I'd had a bus journey the day before ruined by tinny mobile phone renditions of music. I could have made a fairly legitimate defence out for justifiable homicide by the end of the trip)

Scabrous Birdseed
29-07-2007, 16:49:15
Yeah, huh?

And, I mean, it's not just the fact that you can get at music more easily or earlier. You can get hold of absolutely masses of music you simply can't get on CD - or at prohibitive cost. You get to hear so much more music than you ever would otherwise - it's an incredibly valuable research tool.

Examples:

South African Kwaito music, which I love, has no legit outlets in the west except a couple of ill-researched compilations CDs. There were when I first started downloading it no web shops selling the stuff either. So I got it, and masses of it, illegally off the net back in 2003.

My cousin is an enormous fan of Italo Disco and collects obscurist recordings. One of the few ways to get hold of these is through a series of spanish-released CDs containing 12" called "I Love Disco Diamonds". These cost £12.99 each. Now, he can obviously afford a few, but there are 32 of them. Is he really more of a music fan if he saves up and buys one or two a month than if he downloads all 32 at once? (Look for the torrent...)

I once put together a course introducing the history of popular music, and needed practically overnight illustrative examples for (I think in the end something like) 55 separate phenomena. I had maybe half on CD already, but it was intensenly usful to quickly and painlessly get the rest over the internet. Where else (and why else?) would I get hold of Harptones records?

---

As for the sound quality thing, it's not so much an issue anymore as it was in the beginning, as all serious stuff is now encoded correctly and at high bitrate. A lame-encoded, joint-stereo 256 kbps mp3 will pass most audiophile double blind tests...

Vincent
29-07-2007, 17:50:58
After all, it's just music!

Fergus & The Brazen Car
30-07-2007, 09:11:26
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
Yeah, huh?

And, I mean, it's not just the fact that you can get at music more easily or earlier. You can get hold of absolutely masses of music you simply can't get on CD - or at prohibitive cost.

Promotional cds by their very nature are released BEFORE the shop issue comes out. So, promo cds are available earlier than the standard issue.

'Easily' seems to be the main criterion here- along with 'cost'.

As for unavailable on cd- ever heard of vinyl or horror! cassette ?

It's been downhill since the passing of the wax cylinder in my opinion.

:lol:

Funko
30-07-2007, 09:51:34
But if it's not released in the west like the music Scabby was talking about, he couldn't get it unless he actually traveled to Africa.

Fergus & The Brazen Car
30-07-2007, 10:36:02
Originally posted by Funko
But if it's not released in the west like the music Scabby was talking about, he couldn't get it unless he actually traveled to Africa.

Stern's in London sold African vinyl:

By 1983 the name of Sterns was already synonymous with African music in London. For 30 years, a small electrical shop of that name had given over its back room to a modest display of African discs.

Situated near Warren Street underground station, the old Sterns Electrical had been the only place for African students and visitors to hunt down the popular music of their continent. Behind the short wave radios, electrical fans and kettles could be found, if not the latest, then fairly recent releases by the big names of the 1960s and 1970s, like Franco’s OK Jazz, Prince Nico Mbarga, Ebenezer Obey, the African Brothers and Les Bantous.


http://www.sternsmusic.com/about.php

Scabrous Birdseed
30-07-2007, 11:39:51
Molly, do you really not see any advantage at being able to get hold of practically any music you like, whenever you like, at home at your complete convenience?

Debaser
30-07-2007, 11:49:39
This promo nonsence is rubbish.

- For a start you would have to be pretty lucky to find a promo of an album you wanted ahead of its release in a record fair, especially these days when fewer and fewer promos are sent out to counter music appearing on the internet (record companies on the whole prefering press playbacks).

- Then, if you did find one somewhere, the quality would be awful. Not the actualy clarity of the sound - that would be fine, just the measures they implement these days to stop promos getting copied and widely distributed, ie: the intros and endings of soungs abruptly fading in/out (ie: the promo for that new Interpol album), or songs having little deliberate gaps in them (ie: the promo for Air's most recent album). This renders them virtually impossible to listen to for pleasure.

- And then there's the actual legality of buying an pre-release promo from a record fair. See, it's not usually the actual medium of the internet that record companies have a problem with, just the fact you're getting your hands on their 'property' in a way which cuts them out of the moneymaking loop. Sure actually buying the promo isn't illegal, and yeah, it's not going to be widely available as a result, but the person who put their trusted copy up for sale is still committing a 'crime', hence all the "strictly not for resale" stickers.

- And I thought you craved the oh so beautiful packaging etc.

Fergus & The Brazen Car
31-07-2007, 09:01:38
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
Molly, do you really not see any advantage at being able to get hold of practically any music you like, whenever you like, at home at your complete convenience?

Quality not quantity.

This promo nonsence is rubbish.

No, what you're saying is rubbish.

I have an extensive collection of promotional cds, including whole albums, selected album tracks, cdrs, remixes, et cetera.

The quality is just as good as that on the standard releases- with the added bonus in some cases of different artwork, press releases and photographs and occasionally different tracks or different mixes of tracks to those which are eventually going to be available publicly.

For a start you would have to be pretty lucky to find a promo of an album you wanted ahead of its release in a record fair

You can't have been to very many then. I haven't found that to be the case. Of course, unlike Scabby, I'm not looking for Faroese Flute Farting (Grunge Remixes) so that may be an advantage...

- And I thought you craved the oh so beautiful packaging etc.

I can't recall saying I 'craved' it. I said I appreciated the sleeves and artwork on vintage vinyl releases.

In any case, the artwork and beautiful packaging on the last few promos I bought at a London record fair were in no way 'impaired'. And 'promo' stickers do prove amenable to solvents, by the way... just like price stickers, in fact.

Scabrous Birdseed
31-07-2007, 09:43:00
Originally posted by Fergus & The Brazen Car
Quality not quantity.

How are you able to find quality except by sifting through quantity?

Fergus & The Brazen Car
31-07-2007, 09:46:53
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
How are you able to find quality except by sifting through quantity?

Which is exactly what I do at record fairs, jumble sales, in charity shops...

...yes, it takes longer and involves more physical effort than sitting in front of a computer, but there you are.

Scabrous Birdseed
31-07-2007, 11:22:55
I do all that too and see the clear advantages, mostly in finding stuff you've never heard of. But you have to admit that my approach has its advantages too.

Lazarus and the Gimp
31-07-2007, 16:27:49
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
Molly, do you really not see any advantage at being able to get hold of practically any music you like, whenever you like, at home at your complete convenience?


I'll answer that as well. It's convenient, if you're into that sort of thing. Very convenient.

But I grew up in an era when looking for good records was like hunting for pirate gold. The thrill of finding juuuuusst the obscure you're looking for, when you least expected it, is all part of the music-buying experience for me. It turns listening to music into an adventure.

It boils down to a choice between convenience and romance. I'm a shameless romantic.

Scabrous Birdseed
31-07-2007, 16:39:59
There's a point in which searching through record stores goes from being thrilling to being a necessary chore. When you're obsessively looking for only one thing, ignoring everything else, that's way past the limit I think.

Downloading frees you from that problem. It still allows you to make great finds at a record store, when you least expect them. I go to record stores now just as much as I did when I downloaded nothing – I'm just continually less frustrated and I don't have to order shit from Amazon anymore, unless I want to.

Immortal Wombat
31-07-2007, 17:25:43
And I maintain that hunting for obscure stuff online can be as entertaining as looking for it in a record shop.

Lazarus and the Gimp
31-07-2007, 20:55:21
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
There's a point in which searching through record stores goes from being thrilling to being a necessary chore.

25 years in, and I haven't reached that point. Record stores are a balm to my soul.

Lazarus and the Gimp
31-07-2007, 20:56:47
Originally posted by Immortal Wombat
And I maintain that hunting for obscure stuff online can be as entertaining as looking for it in a record shop.

You can't smell the vinyl, or get into an argument with the bloke behind the counter.

Immortal Wombat
31-07-2007, 23:52:14
there are analogues. but meh, different strokes.

Fergus & The Brazen Car
03-08-2007, 09:22:52
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
There's a point in which searching through record stores goes from being thrilling to being a necessary chore.

If it's a chore (necessary or otherwiser) then you need to do something more enjoyable instead.

The benefits of looking for vinyl and cds in charity and junk shops has been the accumulation of, as well countless books, some nifty clothes, some fascinating conversations with fellow shoppers (a great chat about Madeleine Bell, Winifred Atwell and early black stars of the British music scene in the 50s and 60s with a lovely Trinidad-born woman in the Help the Aged shop in Walthamstow) and a Dogon granary door, a Balinese mask, a Japanese print et cetera, et cetera.

All that and knowing that my money will ultimately benefit people in great need and I almost feel good about being a consumer... ;)

Just yesterday I picked up some roots reggae (7 12" singles and a 10" single) along with books for only £ 5.00 in a charity shop.

Not as easy as sitting in front of a p.c. and browsing ebay or Amazon, but for me much more enjoyable.

Deferred gratification brings me more enjoyment and yes, even a thrill when the heart's desire is found- case in point, a John Renbourn label catalogue sampler, only £ 2.00 in Bayswater...

Scabrous Birdseed
03-08-2007, 09:36:43
I maintain there's a difference between

"Wow, look here what I found! And for what price!" (Which is why I go to record stores and charity shops.)

and

"Fuck, I've been looking through every damned record store in town looking for So Alone by Johnny Thunders and I need it for my radio show on tuesday!" (which is why, when I actually really want something readily avaiable anyway, I get it online.)

I buy an average of maybe 15 records a week right now in charity shops, record stores and flea markets and spend hours looking for them, so don't expect me to be some sort of computer-only recluse. But for me it's just as thrilling finding that lovingly compiled pirate compilation of obscure eighties electro pop, or that Puerto Rican reggaeton track that sounds just like Ivorian Coupe Decale which a blog has suggested, or that Thai-Laotian psychedelic Morlam track on YouTube with metal guitars...

Scabrous Birdseed
03-08-2007, 09:39:47
Basically what I'm trying to say is that what I find most interesting is searching for new things to listen to. Once I know I want to listen to something, I see no point in waiting since there's so much more to be found and heard!