Skip to main content
Buy TET Life art on Skateboards and more. etourist Skateboards Store.

Online Distribution Killed Music and Other Dying Pleasures

A 12-inch (30 cm) 3313 rpm record (left),
a 7-inch 45 rpm record (right), and a 5-inch
(120 mm) Compact Disc (above)
Source: Wikimedia Commons
I'm of the generation whose first experience of buying the latest music was to purchase 45 rpm 'singles' - having been born at the very beginning of the 1970's. Other formats were around of course, LP's, 12 inch singles and audio cassettes but 45s were the cheapest to buy for someone whose main source of income was parental pocket money.

All of these formats were popular up until the mid to late nineteen eighties where music distribution transitioned onto Compact Discs.

As clunky as it all was, buying your favorite singles and then eventually recording them onto a compilation audio tape was quite an enjoyable pass time.

Not only that but if you had a favorite musical artist you'd buy all their singles, not just for the featured song but also for the possible gem of a 'B-side' that didn't appear on their LP Album (which you also bought). The real fans even bought the extended 12 inch singles in which the artist usually took a great song and ruined it by dragging it out longer into some kind of dance mix.

Then there was the album art to be enjoyed. Especially the art of a 'concept album' which usually went above and beyond the regular photo of the band - unless you were a Pink Floyd fan, in which case nearly every album cover was a work of genius (or an Iron Maiden fan who didn't care for their music but thought their album cover art was something special).

CD's kind of kept the album alive along with not just cover art but cover book inserts. However the smaller size diminished the appeal some what.

All through the nineteen eighties and nineties collecting and listening to music was a pass time that was quite important to me. Particularly in the nineties where I really started to search out newer, less mainstream music.. usually music labeled 'alternative'. So much of it was by bands that have become mainstream as they progressed.

I have a collection of LPs, 45s and CDs that people used to enjoy looking through to see what I had. A collection that I could browse and select an album of music that suited my frame of mind when creating art in my studio or just looking to sit back and relax.

As the music industry transitioned its self kicking and screaming into the online distribution of singles, thanks to online music stores like iTunes (and my entire music collection can now fit on my smart phone), I've stopped buying music.

Not only that but I've almost stopped listening to it as well (save for the fact that you can't completely isolate yourself from music if you watch TV or go to the movies).

It's not a purposeful thing. I didn't just decide not to buy music or try to avoid listening to it. Part of the fun of collecting music for me was the album. Even though artists still release albums digitally online it's just not the same as going out and buying music from a record store. Then bringing the disc home and listening to every song because it's on the CD. Hearing the tracks that never get any radio play because those songs are for the true fans.

When you buy a single online, that's all you get. There is no 'B-side' featuring a completely new song or even an alternate version of the single you might not have heard otherwise.

I know you can buy albums online but I don't feel compelled to do so if all I'm getting is the songs. I want the cover art, the book insert, the experience of learning to appreciate songs that would never work as singles but work within the context of an album. An album that I can hold in my hand and say 'yes I bought this'.

That's the real problem with online distribution and downloading music. You're not actually paying for anything tangible. You're just buying a code. Your MP3 player already has the ability to play every digital song released. All you're doing is buying the codes that make it play those songs you want to hear.

Collecting movies is going the same way with movies on demand services. You can still buy movies on DVD and Blu-ray but for how much longer? Will these download on demand services kill the one reason apart from the film to buy a movie on DVD... the DVD extras? Are they going to disappear like the 'B-side'.

Computer Software purchases are just about all digital downloads now. I haven't bought software in an actual box from a computer store in nearly 10 years, if not more. That's not really a bad thing but I do miss not having a printed manual. I can't begin to tell you how much easier and quicker it is to learn software with a printed manual as opposed to one displayed onscreen as a PDF file.

I'm actually not bemoaning these changes - well perhaps with music I am just a little. Being able to buy things online as digital products is a great thing. Particularly in terms of cost. I'm sure I would've embraced paying 99 cents for a single in a heart beat considering we paid somewhere between $5 and $7 for a 45 single back when I was a kid.

I just miss being able to buy the tangible, hold in your hand item. Maybe I need to start collecting something much more tangible... like action figures perhaps!

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Jo's new Art Studio/Conservatory. Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog,  Creating My Oddessey . Y ou should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse. We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against -

Batman v Superman: Dawn of the Onesie #Sadbatman

Although we haven't seen it clearly for sure, film director Kevin Smith (who has seen a well lit, color photo of the suit), says Ben Affleck's Bat costume is pretty much identical to the Frank Miller, Dark Knight Returns suit. If that's true then Ben's world weary Batman will be going 'old school' and be wearing his underpants on the outside (as he should).

Course Review: YouTube for Bosses - Sunny Lenarduzzi. How to grow your YouTube Channel into a Business

YouTube for Bosses Free Mug...  or the most expensive mug  you'll ever buy? I've been subscribed to  Sunny Lenarduzzi's YouTube channel for a few years, learning a lot on how to grow a following on sites like YouTube and Instagram. If you have any interest in growing your own YouTube channel I'd highly recommend watching some of Sunny's videos on the subject.  Definitely explore her 2019 back catalogue for the most useful information. This year she's been on a bit of a 'being authentic' pivot that, personally, doesn't resonate all that much with me (but probably speaks volumes to anyone with similar experience). I'm not saying she shouldn't or isn't being authentic, it's just I didn't subscribe to hear stories about her life journey. To get back on track, Sunny runs a successful online business with her flagship course, YouTube for Bosses , a stand alone paid course that does act as something of a gateway to further paid (but opt

One Week on Light n' Easy #lightneasy

My partner, Enigma, and I recently decided to try Light n' Easy to replace all our daily meals in an effort to eat healthier (and not have to think at all about cooking evening meals). Enigma is about to embark on her third week of their full menu but I caved after one and opted just to get the dinners.

Book Review: Time Rich by Steve Glaveski

I remember listening to a podcast interview with Steve Glaveski where he talked about 'being in flow' and how artists and other creative people struggled with time management because they needed to be in the 'flow state' to do their most creative work. The 'flow state' is basically being on such a roll with whatever you're doing you don't want to stop just because your diary says you've scheduled something else for the next 30 minutes. I don't remember too much from the podcast but it really resonated with me so much that I immediately ordered a copy of Steve's second book, Time Rich - Do Your Best Work, Live Your Best Life  that he was promoting at the time. To cut straight to the bottom line, probably one of the most disappointing books I've read in quite a while. Which is not to say the content is bad, it's just the title and blurb information, in my opinion, completely misrepresents what the book is about. There is a strong sugges

Movie Review: Long Story Short (2021) *Very minor spoilers*

Written and directed by Australian actor, Josh Lawson, Long Story Short is a fun rom-com about putting things off until the 'right' time and maybe how that isn't a good strategy for life. Rafe Spall plays Teddy, a guy who has a reputation for putting things off, and waiting too long to act on important decisions like setting a wedding date to his fiance, Leanne (Zahra Newman). It's not that he's lazy or unmotivated, it's just that he likes to wait for the perfect time to act. One day while visiting his father's grave he meets a strange woman (Noni Hazlehurst) who promises to give him a gift on his wedding day. Teddy doesn't think too much of it but then, on his wedding day, he jumps forward a year in time, where Leanne is celebrating their one year wedding anniversary. Teddy barely has time to comprehend his predicament before he flashes forward to their two year anniversary. Long Story Short inevitably will be compared to the Bill Murray movie, Ground

Random Face Sketches to Robot Warrior Character Design

Future Soldier design by TET. Continuing on from my last post about the value of drawing without purpose , my latest video unintentionally demonstrates the point again. I set out to try and come up with something to draw for my next skateboarding/art video but didn't have any ideas in mind so I just started drawing faces. By the end of the session I had six very different faces drawn on a page in my sketch book.