Sorry if this has come up before and I missed it, but I'm curious about your opinions on MP3 blogs. This world is pretty new to me, and I am fascinated by what I have seen.
I have found some incredibly rare and/or seriously out of print music that only heavy-duty collectors would probably ever get to hear. I really appreciate being able to enjoy this kind of stuff myself, and on a couple of occasions I went out of my way to track down and buy physical copies of what I heard through eBay or GEMM.
However, I've also seen MP3 blogs that offer up current, easily accessible releases. If you can find the vinyl or CD version of a record without any trouble, then the only reason I can see for downloading it from a site like this is because you want to hear it but don't want to pay for it.
So what do you folks think? Is this kind of thing:
(1) Sometimes OK, as long as the music is out of print or otherwise unavailable to the masses (old 7"s, live bootlegs, etc.)?
(2) Never OK, since whatever it may be, you didn't pay for it?
(3) Always OK, since "music wants to be free" and you're rebelling against The System or something?
I'm also curious about how attitudes may differ among generations. If you respond, would you mind giving your approximate age? For the record, I'm 41 and fall into the first group. Thanks!
I go for option 1 regarding music that's almost impossible to get. It is and can not be the intention of music that such goes unheard to the masses. I discovered a lot of things this way!
As for new releases, I opt for the 'Other' option, that is with permission of the artist/label or it's representative. Especially for not so established bands this is a great way to showcase their music, which will pay itself of by more people attending a gig and buying your merch there. A lot of bands already offer releases to blogs because they know they will reach their audience this way.
There's a few things to consider anyway.
everyone has a budget, you just can't buy whatever you like, so back in the days this usually meant passing on some releases (and never know if you missed out on something cool, or find out years later). Not having the funds doesn't mean you can just go out and get it, but even then we had our ways and this hasn't changed, it just became digital. This is something you can never change as long as there is a demand and a price that doesn't match.
But at least now you can actually make a better informed decision by hearing the album (instead of a few songs on myspace or whatever) before you buy it. Okay it maybe tempting to save it to your drive but in my opinion those are mostly the albums that are okay to listen to for a short time but not worth buying, so eventually you'll end up deleting them anyway. I guess no harm done since there was never any intention to actually own such an album.
For promotional purposes I think services like Soundcloud are actually a better idea to showcase a release and that kind of promotion will help a record sell better without it being available for download (geeks excluded, they always know how to download things noone else can ;-)
I, for one, prefer buying vinyl and I also by any chance from the band itself at a concert. Still I'm downloading the same album so it saves me a lot of effort transfering it because I also want to listen to it when I travel or driving my car. Don't think that's a problem since I already bought it :-) Also more and more vinyl releases come with a download code which is a good thing to keep vinyl releases up and going!
I don't think there will be an end to this discussion, you can't prevent downloads or anything else for that matter by having laws and bountyhunters chasing the bad guys. It's an issue of economics and the best way to deal with it is that the illusion of value-for-money is met because yes you will want to have the real deal with all its artwork if it's worthy to you and in a competative price!
I'm 38 if it helps your survey :-)
Age - 49.
New stuff - definitely a no-no. Give the bands a chance to sell some first ferchrissakes! If you have a blog and think you are doing this to help promote a band, maybe you should consider giving a link to their myspace or facebook instead. Most bands have enough full length songs on there to make a judgement call on whether their album is worth buying.
Downloading for a "taste" - nice theory and I'm sure some people do that and then go out and buy, but my gut feeling is that percentage is low. If blog owners really want that to happen, then why supply the mp3s in quality that's good enough to burn to CD? If the mp3s were provided in, say, 64kbps quality, people could still hear the album but wouldn't be tempted to burn and keep it 'cause the quality would be poor.
Really old music - jazz from the 30s for instance, stuff that would be out of copyright anyway I don't have so much of a problem with.
This is all good stuff, keep it comin'!
In the "It's A Small World" department, it turns out it was actually Andy's blog that got me thinking about this stuff again, although I didn't know that at the time. Andy, I'm the same Sam that left a comment about the Rodriguez record. I thought it might be a lost '60s Spanish garage stomp or something, so I downloaded it and gave it a (virtual) spin. I could tell immediately that it was modern, and that sent me off on the hunt for more information. I do like the music, but am having trouble finding a copy to purchase in the USA.
Thanks to all who have replied so far, looking forward to more!
Is this Rodriguez record you speak of "Cold Fact"? If so, it's from the early 70s and quite easily obtained through Amazon, on CD and vinyl.
The album was a big hit here in Australia at the time and still turns up second hand on vinyl quite often.
Hi Fuzzmeister. Nope, this is a much more current release, 2008 I think. It is self-titled, which makes Googling a lot harder. Apparently there are about a billion artists that have the word "Rodriguez" in the their name or album title... :-/ This is band I was talking about: http://www.myspace.com/rodriguezrock
But whoa, that other Rodriguez just blew my mind a little. The Monkeywrench cover "Sugar Man" on their album "Electric Children" (2000), always wondered where that came from. I absolutely love The Monkeywrench, a super-group worthy of the prefix "super". Thanks for the info!
Ok, I had heard of your mob, they are from Austria the one song I heard of theirs was as good as the New Bomb Turks, if not better. I had a look on their myspace, they list 2 record labels, both of which have websites. German label Flight 13 has their first album still available.http://www.flight13.com/details/45783/rodriguez-s-t
Also their French label Relaxomatic Vibrator Records has a few songs for download on this page, if you scroll down to the bottom:
I'm 25, I have a blog, though I haven't done much with it for a while
I don't post in-print stuff, in fact I try not to post stuff other blogs have posted (which is why things are very slow). There have been a few posts where I might have one or two demo songs for a band and those have been very popular, with some people writing back trying to find out where they can buy. Never a whole album.
The worst are the ones with ads. No two ways about it, profiting off a band's work
Wow, Henry Rollins just weighed in on this topic. He has a column over at LA Weekly, and the latest one is "Henry's Thoughts on When It's Alright to Download Music (Yes, Even ...". He seems to advocate approach #1, too. Give it a read, it's pretty interesting.
He also drops this interesting tidbit:
On the other hand, musicians have been kept from their earnings by everyone from venue owners to managers, agents, other band members and record labels, to the point where it's an almost built-in expectation.
Here's a for-instance: You've perhaps heard of the band Black Flag. The label the band's music is on is called SST. The label is owned and operated by Greg Ginn. He doesn't pay royalties. No royalties, no statements, nothing. At least not to me and several of my old bandmates.
Whoa. Good thing Greg Ginn was never in a band with East Bay Ray; based on the whole DKs/Alternative Tentacles ugliness, I can only guess what Ray would do in a situation like this...
I'm 34, and I didn't even know how to use the internet until about 6 years ago, when I moved to Poland with my wife. Until then, I never downloaded anything. If I liked something/wanted something, I bought it at the record store. Sadly because I moved to Europe, I had to sell my record collection (as it was just too big and would have been too expensive to ship overseas), I managed to bring the CDs that I had. Ever since living in Poland I've had nothing but problems with acquiring music. For one, there are not really any decent record shops. The few places to buy music are all along the lines of Borders, or Barnes & Noble, etc...
The other problem is that there just isn't the type of music I like readily available. I'm stuck with Gemm and other things, but then again, the price is usually higher, and I always run the risk of having to pay an import tax just getting it delivered into Poland. I ordered something off Amazon once, just an average cd, and the import tax I had to pay was more than the cd and shipping combined!!!
So unfortunately, I've been relegated to the dung heap of downloading on the internet. I'm going back to the States in June for 2 weeks, and have budgeted a LOT of money for some new music at the record stores!!!
Just my 2 cents...
I'll just echo what most other people have said; to have a quick listen to the tracks it's entirely reasonable to download an MP3 from somewhere but nothing quite rivals having a hard copy like a CD or better yet a vinyl.
The idea of collectors uploading out-of-press and highly rare tracks might seem like watering down the rarity to some people but anyone that's into the music will know that having a finite bitrate copy of the track on your hard drive is a completely different kettle of fish to actually owning the track and being able to listen to it on a decent hifi setup.
Plus, giving those of us who aren't strictly collectors a taste of what lies within the world of record collecting can only really benefit in the long run because it means more people will want to go out and look for physical copies of these records and will have a rough idea what sort of names and keywords to look out for.
Overall, MP3 blogs - good, resulting lethargy and sense of ownership because of a little MP3 file on a computer in some people - bad