The Impact Of MP3

shanks

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 22, 2003
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I remember a time when it feelt like something special when you had just bought a new album/cd/record and took it out of the plastic. You took it out and played it over, and over, and over for about a week not listening to anything else except that cd. Today if you want a song or a album you can just dl it from p2p or whatever (or you can choose not to) and no one frowns upon that. I can only speak for myself but I kinda have gotten stuck in that spiral. You download the album, listen thru it once maybe twice then move on to download the next. Has the option of musicpiracy and spreading over the net underminded the mystiscism it once had?

Granted on the plus side of this you get to hear music you never would if you only went thru the crates of oddball cd's in your local store but at what cost?

Has music become like fastfood, briefly enjoyed and then discarded? This being something that someone has put down alot of time putting down to disc is consumed and throwed away far too easily.

What's your thought on this? And try and keep it with the topic and thread. If you start talking economics ill scream. :D
 

Doh_boy

Resident Freddy
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Dec 22, 2003
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Not for me, at the moment I'm listening to

The best of James, RATM by RATM, <some album by theD12> and Jolification (or whatever :s) by the lightning seeds. For me mp3's are for the pc only. I have cd's for when I'm playing music elsewhere. Two examples being in the shower and doing the washing up.
 

Inso

One of Freddy's beloved
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Dec 23, 2003
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/shrug, I still buy alot of CDs, and somehow the 'magic' of it is still there. Granted, I'm on modem and therefor I don't download that much music. ;)

Anyway, if I hear something good on mp3 I'll go and buy the CD. So for me mp3's is just a way to test before buying. :)
 

Clown

Part of the furniture
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Dec 22, 2003
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I think that it has lost it's magic because I'm earning more money and I can buy more CDs and stuff.
 

Scooba da Bass

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 23, 2003
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The only difference mp3s have really made to myself is that I buy music from a far greater spectrum of artists than I ever would have done. As an example, I downloaded The Mars Volta demo EP last year, on the strength of that both myself, and at least 10 other people purchased the album (twice in my case), we all went to see them play at the Astoria a while back, and a couple of us have bought merchandise. None of that would have happened without access to the mp3s.

Downloading albums still isn't "as good" as buying music, nor will it ever replace buying music if only for the cover art. I guess the other major change is that most of my purchases are of vinyl now, if it's available, since I know I can download an --aps rips if I want an album on CD without the hassle of copying it over from a TT.

As for the 'fast food' example, I'm really not sure how music has changed in that respect. I know I'm less tolerant of 'bad' music now, and won't waste my time on songs that are obviously poor. However on the flipside a lot of albums have grown on me simply due to being on my playlist and coming up in the 'right' situation. Random play is something I realistically didn't have access to prior to mp3s, and songs have popped up whilst my player is chugging away that have seemed almost perfect; chord progressions/lyrics have been so appropriate that the song becomes charged with positive emotions.

I'd suggest that all the benefits outweigh the negatives, at least from my viewpoint along with that of artists who aren't 'mainstream'.
 

Gurnox

One of Freddy's beloved
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Dec 28, 2003
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I think the music industry is in a 'last days of Rome' situation at the moment.

Record companies are becoming more and more insidious in their marketing of shit-bland acts to younger and younger audiences. You, literally, can't move out of your front door now without having the latest 'big' thing rammed mercilessly down your gullet.

This does two things. It perpetuates the creation of yet more shit-bland music, because it makes money, and also serves to take attention away from anything else. It's a horrible spiral. The radio stations won't play it because it doesn't sell, it doesn't sell because the radio stations won't play it. And it's getting worse.

People, naturally, are turning to different ways of getting their music. The days of being able to walk into a decent record shop and being able to buy something which is not in, or has never been in, the charts are over. Which is where MP3s come in.

The sheer variety of what you can download, either legitimately or not, so outweighs what you can find on the high street. The other main consideration is cost. A non-chart CD in an average chain store will cost you £15.00 upwards, I'm sorry? £15.00 for an album? Taking bleep.com as an example, by downloading an album you will pay £6.99.

So, the magic has not so much gone from music. It's just, well, different....
 

Munkey

Can't get enough of FH
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Dec 22, 2003
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I still buy alot of CD's, though i just mainly get cassettes nowadays. I do download mp3's but only for bands that I cant get out here, mainly ones nobody else has ever heard of e.g. squarepusher, and when they do have a CD of the band but not the songs i want on it e.g. Creedance Clearwater Revival, one cd, 6 songs, none of them i wanted.

Even though I have ADSL now, i still dont download albums. Mainly because i never get the desire to do so.
 

Skyler

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 23, 2003
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688
I don't think I could live without the simplicity of using mp3s... I have a library of thousands and thousands of songs on my PC, many ripped from CD's I own, many downloaded etc. I've catalogued them perfectly and now I can enjoy playlists of great variety and unique styles as well as the stuff I'm used to... mp3s for me give me the chance to change the songs I listen to instantly and effectively... I no longer have to touch CD's except to rip them to mp3... mp3s have revolutionised the way I listen to music and I listen to music far more because of mp3s...
 

RedVenom

Banned
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Jan 22, 2004
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.mp3's make everyone an armchair audiophile, and even more pretentious about music than they were before.
 

Shovel

Part of the furniture
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Disclaimer: Right, I've written quite a lot. It's not wonderfully focused, but it covers lots of what I think, so here's the deal: You read, or you skip to the next post. I'm making no promises about quantity/quality right now ;)
---


For me MP3 has been a revolution really.

My PC has every piece of music that I own contained within it. Everything ID3 tagged and it's an empowering way to listen to music - credit to the smart playlists implementations in iTunes and WMP too.

I don't download very much any more. I was late getting into Napster, and was never very impressed anyway (ahem, 33k modem for you). P2P is sometimes useful to hunt out long lost tracks, missed B-sides or trialing a new artist, but I don't really like it. I think it's because there's no talent in the user-interface design and it makes them a dog to use. I like to enjoy using software.
That said, there've certainly been albums I wouldn't have bought if it wasn't for MP3. Whether it's just downloading a track pre-release, or album sampling it's a massively powerful tool. And the access to live recordings is especially impressive.

With regards to the future, I'm disillusioned. Apple have written the RIAA into the 21st century music industry. I was always hopeful of there coming the moment on terminal velocity when artists realised that record companies in their current form are on the verge of irrelevance and force reform. I've always though of it like this: There is always a need for an RC - advances are needed to record those first albums (do they have to pay interest? I've always assumed not...), then there's the distribution.
The thing is, the net offers worldwide distribution on a level geographical playing field. Cuts out more middle men than we are aware exist and should have allowed artists to take a larger cut of their sales while still discounting the music from existing prices for consumers. I'm genuinely concerned that, at the very least, that has been delayed by the RIAA's ability to join in on the party.

I don't think that the legal services will prove profitable. Apple certainly will hit a point when they sell too many iPods and the loss absorbtion of iTunes/iPods will cease. If they have a fixed rate deal with they cartel then they'll be able to raise prices - but at the same time price themselves above CDs, making the exercise pointless. If they've got a % based deal then they'll have to pack it in or add an additional subscription or something. The rest must either have better deals or wont last the year.

My preference is toward 'all you can eat' music - you pay an annual or monthly subscription and download what you like. Maybe you have cheaper versions with track limits, I don't know. It changes the way that the industry makes money - they cease to sell music by the unit, instead they work like every other subscription service in the world. Profits will go down, but so will costs. As I say though, it's my preference, not necesarilly theirs.

One final thing: My flatmate's band have 2 demos out. It's being handed out on CD, but also streamed from their website and downloadable as direct MP3s. The idea that MP3 is killing the roots of music is rubbish - the only possible realism in that statement is the way it may affect an RC openning their chequebook. That remains to be seen.
 

stubbyrulz

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 23, 2003
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i sometimes dl albums if im not that sure bout em. but then i go out and buy em if i like them. lot nicer having the proper album rather than havin it on some copyed cd
 

mank!

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As Scooba already mentioned mp3 has opened up a wide range of music that I would never had even got hold of, let alone listened to without it. I download a fair amount of albums and if I like them, I will buy them - if I don't I delete it. In that respect I probably don't listen to new albums as much as I would if I only bought one album a week or so and perhaps yes, the "NEW ALBUM!!!" effect people used to enjoy has been greatly reduced but only as a sacrifice to more music being available to me.

The other beauty of mp3 is that you can pick and choose songs to listen to so much easier. I tend to have everything in one big playlist and gradually add new albums and individual tracks to end and they'll get played heavily until I finally sort them and they disappear into the rest of the playlist. This results in getting a huge range of music if I have it on shuffle or stuff I'm currently enjoying if I play what's near the end of my playlist. Trying to do that on a normal CD player would be infuriating.
 

echo

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 22, 2003
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I don't listen to mp3s except of a few tracks off V/A CDs I ripped ages ago and then lost the CD. Vastly prefer buying records the olde fashioned way. Sorry :)
 

Sharma

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MP3s have had a very very large impact on the way i go about getting music now, i used to very rarely actually buy music, i remember at one point a few years ago i had 2 singles in my music collection, then my friends introduced me to Napster, i thought "Hello whats this then" So proceeded to build up a fairly large collection i though, roughly 200MP3s over the periods of a few months, only 56k back then and i also started to invest in huge amounts of music CDs.

I was pratically buying albums weekly so it was great because i knew that if i like 1/2 songs from an album i would generally like the whole album and i have worked on that basis for ages and wil do for a while to come, then Napster was shut down i was pissed because it cut off my main way of getting MP3s and so bought a few albums due to reviews and they were pretty much shit.

This really really riled me because i had no way to get a taster of the albums i wanted so it stunted my music buying for a bit, then along came Kazaa which heralded a new way to get music, and i was on 128k broadband there and i quickly built up another MP3 collection and started buying albums again.

MP3s are just excellent to get tasters of albums you are thinking of buying because you can download a song or two for free to get a taste of how the album will be and you can decide whether you will buy it or not instead of setting yourself back £15 and finding "Oh this album is a total piece of shit and ive fucking lost £15", i think more that just myself do this, so if the record companies stopped MP3s completely and only bumped up album prices AGAIN they would probably lose a fucking lot more money than they would while MP3s are freely distributed.

I now have a massive MP3 collection which is nearing 200hours very quickly, MP3s have allowed me to try out albums and help me find new music tastes because of this, if they stopped MP3s being distributed i feel there would be a rather huge impact on album sales.

Record companies fail to see this and try to stop MP3s being distributed and bumping up prices, if anything they are shooting themselves in the foot.
 

Sar

Resident Freddy
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Dec 22, 2003
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The only MP3s I have are ripped off my own CDs, or they're ones I wouldn't have a hope of getting on CD (Jon the Dentist anyone?).

Fantastic format, but getting on a bit imo.
 

Doomy

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 22, 2003
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I do exactly what you are supposed to do with them. Listen to the artist that you like in mp3 format and if it is of decent quality ill rush down the shops and buy it for the full cd quality sound. I have a decent seperates system that really shows off how mp3's dont sound as 'full' and decent as a standard audio cd. Ive had Airs latest album for a 1 month now and i felt bad getting it in norty form (even tho i knew i was buying the DVD/Audio double cd set on day of release), i love this album even more now and feel all warm and glowy for supporting one of my favourite artists. Just ordered two tickets (£50) to see them on March the 13th at the brixton academy so there you have it.

People who just stick to mp3's are clearly not doing the industry any good but they are also not getting the full quality sound that a CD has even if it is encoded in 312kbps with the latest LAME whotnot.

Nothing beats an original.
 

Gurnox

One of Freddy's beloved
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Doomy said:
I do exactly what you are supposed to do with them. Listen to the artist that you like in mp3 format and if it is of decent quality ill rush down the shops and buy it for the full cd quality sound. I have a decent seperates system that really shows off how mp3's dont sound as 'full' and decent as a standard audio cd. Ive had Airs latest album for a 1 month now and i felt bad getting it in norty form (even tho i knew i was buying the DVD/Audio double cd set on day of release), i love this album even more now and feel all warm and glowy for supporting one of my favourite artists. Just ordered two tickets (£50) to see them on March the 13th at the brixton academy so there you have it.

People who just stick to mp3's are clearly not doing the industry any good but they are also not getting the full quality sound that a CD has even if it is encoded in 312kbps with the latest LAME whotnot.

Nothing beats an original.
That's what I tend to do myself. If you have a decent seperates system, or even a decent all-in-one from a good manufacturer (Linn, Denon et al), the sound quality of an MP3 will not even come close. However, by the same argument, vinyl still sounds better than CD and just try getting hold anything but dance releases on that now.......

A fledgling band needs a record company for covering the cost of pressing their stuff and for publicity. Publicity wise, it can be argued that record companies have not been doing their job properly for some years. Why should they bother flogging a decent band when they can make money by trudging out the same vacant 'Pop Idol' dross time and time again?

'Huggy Bear' were a great example of what can be done without pandering to the industry and that was before we had the internet. All it will take is an established band, say Blur or Radiohead, to drop their record company (Now how will that be for an 'Ironic Statement' (tm)?) and go it alone. Once somebody makes the first step and proves it is possible, others will follow. This is the last thing the recording industry wants to happen.

Apple, contrary to any opinion, are not doing the consumer any favours. By inviting the RIAA to the party and enforcing DRM they are creating a situation where the record companies are still in control rather than the artist. My feeling on this is that the recording industry had their hands badly burnt by the advent of tape and are keen not to repeat the experience. Hell, they've got used to their free ride and are not going to give it up without a fight.

The independent record companies (what's left of them) are the only ones who I have any time for. These are the companies that actively seek out new talent and do what they are supposed to do. As opposed to the majors, who cherry pick the best of what the independents have to offer and perpetuate the cycle of anodine, market-oriented rubbish.

RedVenom said:
.mp3's make everyone an armchair audiophile, and even more pretentious about music than they were before.
I can't even begin to explain how incorrect and, quite frankly, offensive you are on this one. The audiophile argument just does not make sense. As for being pretentious, please explain. Do you think that people get emotional about music because they want to be part of some sort of crowd? Because it makes them look good? If this is the case, you are almost certainly in the wrong thread.

Ah, nothing like a good rant :)
 

PLightstar

Resident Freddy
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Dec 29, 2003
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Seeing as my Town only has a woolworths and tesco to buy CD's I tend to DL tracks first then when I get a chance to go to Bristol, I buy the Whole CD, I tend to listen to House and Alternative Electronic which is very hard to find as the stuff I mostly listen to is not Mainstream at all, I don't know what that says about me. Mind you im enjoying a rather amazing Amon Tobin CD at the Moment.

Also I just bought the New Ninja tunes cd a restropective which kicks ass.
 

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