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matyas
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#1
25th January 2013
Old 25th January 2013
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But I don't want to download my music!

I just had a very heated argument with a fellow musician friend of mine. He is very enthusiastic about modern downloadable and streaming distribution methods. To say that I am not is an understatement.
I love physical media. I like to collect things. What's wrong with that?
I also dislike compressed audio files. I will concede that the difference is not enormous with bandwidth-limited, dynamic-range limited pop music, but I also record and listen to classical and avant-garde music, much of which has an enormous dynamic range and subtle tonal contrasts and is not (I feel) well-served by compressed audio formats. For pop and rock, I tend to prefer vinyl.
But even the much-maligned CD has a special place for me, and I'd far rather buy a CD of anything than even an uncompressed downloadable file.
I previously worked in an archival facility, and that experience taught me not to always trust data backups, which further makes me wary of audio files which exist outside of the physical medium.
I hate the fact that record stores are not as widespread as they used to be, and although there are a few good ones in my hometown as far as pop and rock go, none have a decent classical section.
It bugs me that in the future, we may not have an option for physical product, except for possibly vinyl (which, as I mentioned, I like for pop and rock, but not always for classical). I also lament that high-res digital never really caught on. I know that some companies are providing high-res downloads, and that might become more common in the future, but I like discs!
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25th January 2013
Old 25th January 2013
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I agree with everything you just said. Why has the newer generation become content with lo res music? I don't understand it.
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25th January 2013
Old 25th January 2013
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I don't know, but it might be because the lo-res music can sound more or less OK on mass-market solid state amps with an 'enhanced' frequency response. I have played MP3s on my tube amp (single ended EL84) and it makes a great difference in the bass. Normally the lower end is beefed up and rounds out nicely, but with an MP3 it doesn't sound good. It's fine with 44.1khz CD audio but not MP3s. So the answer might be connected with the playback medium.
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25th January 2013
Old 25th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealatosis View Post
I agree with everything you just said. Why has the newer generation become content with lo res music? I don't understand it.
Because the newer generations has become content with lo resolution devices upon that they use to listen to (cellphones, laptops, desktop PC, crap Hi(lo)Fi systems, multimedia systems (logitech anyone?)), etc.....
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25th January 2013
Old 25th January 2013
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Music has become for many wallpaper or the Muzak for their lives. I live in a college town and the students multitask all the time. I see them walking down the streets with an earbud in one ear, their cell phone covering their other ear and talking to friends as they walk. What they could possibility hear from the music is questionable. It is just there as another noise source so it does not have to be high quality since they are really not listening to it.

AS to downloading music. My niece had all her Itunes on her computer, the computer crashed and all her music was temporarily lost. She got her computer fixed but the music was all gone so, after a long sqabble with Itunes she was able to down load all her music again (the new computer was not authorized).

On the other side I have all my music on CDs or vinyl so I don't have to "download it" to enjoy it. I think whoever invented the cloud concept was a genius at making money and frustrating the end user but maybe it is what this generation wants and needs to feel fulfilled.

Thank you NO! but I will keep my music where I can get to it when I want to and not have to be on line or download it off a "cloud" to enjoy it.

MTCW and YMMV
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25th January 2013
Old 25th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matyas View Post
I just had a very heated argument with a fellow musician friend of mine. He is very enthusiastic about modern downloadable and streaming distribution methods. To say that I am not is an understatement.
...
It bugs me that in the future, we may not have an option for physical product, except for possibly vinyl (which, as I mentioned, I like for pop and rock, but not always for classical). I also lament that high-res digital never really caught on. I know that some companies are providing high-res downloads, and that might become more common in the future, but I like discs!
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Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Music has become for many wallpaper or the Muzak for their lives. I live in a college town and the students multitask all the time.
...
I think whoever invented the cloud concept was a genius at making money and frustrating the end user but maybe it is what this generation wants and needs to feel fulfilled.

Thank you NO! but I will keep my music where I can get to it when I want to and not have to be on line or download it off a "cloud" to enjoy it.

MTCW and YMMV
Couldn't agree more!
Nice to see there's some resistance
A.
PS: I think there's an "immediateness" syndrome going on nowadays, the inner fact of consuming is transcending the product itself
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25th January 2013
Old 25th January 2013
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Originally Posted by Andy_bt View Post
I think there's an "immediateness" syndrome going on nowadays, the inner fact of consuming is transcending the product itself
I think you hit the nail on the head. The immediateness and availability argument is the one my friend kept stressing.
Personally, I don't find that having immediate access to something outweighs what I see as advantages of sound quality, and having a physical object to collect.
I told him a story about a CD I saw on the shelf at a record store as 14-year-old. (CDs were still pretty new at that point.) I saved and saved until I could afford it, went out and bought it, and still have it to this day. Can you imagine having that kind of a relationship with a soundfile you downloaded for $0.99?
It's funny, though not really all that surprising, that people are talking about the "younger generation" here. I'm 36 and my friend is around 30. Maybe that's enough of an age divide.
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25th January 2013
Old 25th January 2013
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Originally Posted by ZutaoElectronic View Post
So the answer might be connected with the playback medium.
That's definitely a big part of it. MP3s don't sound so good on my home system either (not tube, but the amp is discrete solid state and I've got some nice old speakers.)
If you're just listening on crappy earbuds or stock computer speakers, I suppose the quality is acceptable.
Similarly, if you listen to over-limited modern pop with no bandwidth, I suppose you aren't going to notice much of a dynamic range.
If that's what you like, that's your business.
I like full-frequency mixes with a nice dynamic range. And I like to listen to music in my living room, on my nice system. Shouldn't I have that option?
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#9
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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bandcamp and hdtracks make higher res stuff available. Younger people care more about content.
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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Perhaps we should lobby to make vinyl the only legal way of distributing music. $100,000 fine and 5 years in jail for anyone caught with an iPod (they probably pirated all of the songs on it anyway).
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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Originally Posted by ROBOCOPROBOT View Post
Perhaps we should lobby to make vinyl the only legal way of distributing music. $100,000 fine and 5 years in jail for anyone caught with an iPod (they probably pirated all of the songs on it anyway).
What do I listen to in my car? What about that awesome moment when I remember an older song and immediately get it on itunes and listen. What about the costs of pressing vinyl? Look at the waste of space? Materials wasted?
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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Originally Posted by jordanvoth View Post
What do I listen to in my car? What about that awesome moment when I remember an older song and immediately get it on itunes and listen. What about the costs of pressing vinyl? Look at the waste of space? Materials wasted?
The only thing that's truly wasted is you being a Maple Leafs fan. Shame on you!
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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The only thing that's truly wasted is you being a Maple Leafs fan. Shame on you!
Beat your Habs good and proper first game of the season.
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matyas View Post
I just had a very heated argument with a fellow musician friend of mine. He is very enthusiastic about modern downloadable and streaming distribution methods. To say that I am not is an understatement.
I love physical media. I like to collect things. What's wrong with that?
I also dislike compressed audio files. I will concede that the difference is not enormous with bandwidth-limited, dynamic-range limited pop music, but I also record and listen to classical and avant-garde music, much of which has an enormous dynamic range and subtle tonal contrasts and is not (I feel) well-served by compressed audio formats. For pop and rock, I tend to prefer vinyl.
But even the much-maligned CD has a special place for me, and I'd far rather buy a CD of anything than even an uncompressed downloadable file.
I previously worked in an archival facility, and that experience taught me not to always trust data backups, which further makes me wary of audio files which exist outside of the physical medium.
I hate the fact that record stores are not as widespread as they used to be, and although there are a few good ones in my hometown as far as pop and rock go, none have a decent classical section.
It bugs me that in the future, we may not have an option for physical product, except for possibly vinyl (which, as I mentioned, I like for pop and rock, but not always for classical). I also lament that high-res digital never really caught on. I know that some companies are providing high-res downloads, and that might become more common in the future, but I like discs!
TL;DR - "get off my lawn!"

Musicians are the only people who claim to "hear" the difference between high bit rate MP3s and CD/analog audio. And I've fooled self proclaimed audiophiles with 320kb MP3s into thinking they were listening to .wav files.

90% of listeners only care about a monophonic melody that can be hummed along a hooky beat and little else. If anything.

Asking "but why do most people not like listening to freshly cut vinyl on an analog tube amplifier?!" Is like asking why do most people eat take-out hamburgers instead of artisanal, hand made tapas.

1: it's stupidly expensive
2: it's full of relentless snobbery
3: it's near impossible to tell the difference for most people.

Like... I have yet to see a double-blind experiment where music nerds are scientifically tested on their ability to "tell the difference" between digital and physical audio that did not resolve down to blind, dumb chance.

A lot of it is perception, too. Ask anyone in their 40's as to what they'd play on a "high quality" sound system and you'll get a list that has Sgt.Peppers on it: an album that was made by constantly overdubbing a 4-track console piped into an 8th inch tape reel.

My opinion on the matter is a non-opinion: people are pulling it out of their asses until a man in a lab coat at MIT can verify through testing that a claim exists. IE: the "physical media just sounds better" argument is 100% bullshit until a real scientist can demonstrate otherwise.
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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My opinion on the matter is a non-opinion: people are pulling it out of their asses until a man in a lab coat at MIT can verify through testing that a claim exists. IE: the "physical media just sounds better" argument is 100% bullshit until a real scientist can demonstrate otherwise.
Actually I find most of today's commercial CD sound terrible and I suspect mastering is the main culprit here.
To get back to your analogy, I think usually good things in life take a bit of time and effort before you can really appreciate them, downloading a badly encoded youtube video sounds a lot like eating fast food to me indeed

@ Jordanvoth: internet is great but what's the problem if you cannot download it immediately and need to go to a shop and talk with a guy who shares your passion first?

A.
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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Originally Posted by jordanvoth View Post
Beat your Habs good and proper first game of the season.
It's the only game they've lost this year! They're doing quite well.
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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I only eat unprocessed food cooked over flame. People who eat fast food can't ever know how good my dinners taste.
I only look at the original paintings; anyone who claims they can feel the power of a Matisse through a photo is deluded and shouldn't bother unless they can get on a plane and fly to every museum worldwide.
I only have real life conversations with people, I never post on the internet, vastly inferior in quality and emotion.
Only I truly appreciate things in life, everyone else has an inferior understanding to my sophisticated palate.

I'm fairly certain I've heard every variation of these from old fogey's at one point or another. I mean Elvis and The Beatles did ruin music after all. So did metal, and rap, and electronica, and...
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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For convenience, I have been getting various old jazz tracks/albums, as well as some classical, through iTunes. The audio quality is really disappointing, but since I'm gonna be listening on my iPod on the subway anyway, that's just how it goes.

I'm just waiting for Amoeba to go national! Any California folks know what I'm talking about?

Sent from my Droid
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#19
31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Originally Posted by jeremy.c. View Post
I only eat unprocessed food cooked over flame. People who eat fast food can't ever know how good my dinners taste.
I only look at the original paintings; anyone who claims they can feel the power of a Matisse through a photo is deluded and shouldn't bother unless they can get on a plane and fly to every museum worldwide.
I only have real life conversations with people, I never post on the internet, vastly inferior in quality and emotion.
Only I truly appreciate things in life, everyone else has an inferior understanding to my sophisticated palate.

I'm fairly certain I've heard every variation of these from old fogey's at one point or another. I mean Elvis and The Beatles did ruin music after all. So did metal, and rap, and electronica, and...
Fair enough!
A.
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31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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It's the only game they've lost this year! They're doing quite well.
Don't get used to it, picking up the Leafs Leftover's only gets you so far.
#21
31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Originally Posted by skinnypete View Post
For convenience, I have been getting various old jazz tracks/albums, as well as some classical, through iTunes. The audio quality is really disappointing, but since I'm gonna be listening on my iPod on the subway anyway, that's just how it goes.

I'm just waiting for Amoeba to go national! Any California folks know what I'm talking about?

Sent from my Droid
ahh amoeba, one of the only things I like of California. Wish I could shop there every week.
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31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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I actually have no issues with MP3's and have been using MP3 players way before they were popular. I still hate downloading music. Being from the Bay Area, I still have many options in almost any part of the Bay to buy new and used music.

If something isn't available on CD, I often will put it to CD or else it just gets lost in my mp3 player.
#23
31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Originally Posted by Andy_bt View Post
Actually I find most of today's commercial CD sound terrible and I suspect mastering is the main culprit here.
To get back to your analogy, I think usually good things in life take a bit of time and effort before you can really appreciate them, downloading a badly encoded youtube video sounds a lot like eating fast food to me indeed

@ Jordanvoth: internet is great but what's the problem if you cannot download it immediately and need to go to a shop and talk with a guy who shares your passion first?

A.

Yeah. YouTube sounds like shit. Also, FYI: YouTube is the #1 sharing medium people use to expose eachother to new music.

You're missing the Forrest for the trees.

Yeah, the quality is crap... But that's beside the point: People listen to music there. If you want to remove yourself from that index for pretentious, snobby, music nerd reasons? Then fine. Have fun never being listened to by anyone other than the people on this forum.

Your call, either way. I really do not give a single shit what you decide to do... But I thought I'd point out that fighting against the public is an exercise in futility: you can state all the stats and numbers on all the different recording mediums you want... It doesn't make a difference.

People are going to share content via the path of least resistance that still resembles music. Period. End of discussion.

If you want to tell them they're wrong, I can lend you a cane and a wheelchair and an oxygen tank and you can tell them to get off your lawn yourself.. And I will sit back and laugh proceed to still not care about your opinion.

Because, if you're going to ignore the thousands of people sharing music on YouTube? GOOD! That leaves more for me.
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31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Originally Posted by dizavin View Post
People listen to music there. If you want to remove yourself from that index for pretentious, snobby, music nerd reasons? Then fine. Have fun never being listened to by anyone other than the people on this forum.
Yep, if everybody does it, it has to be the way to go!
A.
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#25
31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Heh, I hope my previous post didn't come off too harsh, it was supposed to be mostly funny.
I think here on GS we should be concerned with quality, but really compression or not doesn't make something less enjoyable to the consumer, they get to decide that for themselves. I mean there is a threshold where if it sounds terrible it is terrible, but if its a matter of inches who cares?
I was at Amoeba tonight, bought some vinyl, bought a couple of CDs and I'm canceling spotify tomorrow (different issue there). I also listen to my iPhone on a $50 stereo bar and I'm totally happy, because at the end of the day I'm in it for the experience, not the ultimate quality. I also bought a nice turntable, decent receiver, good speakers, etc because I wanted to have a different experience with the vinyl. I don't enjoy the music more, in fact it's a pain in the ass to flip a disc over after 20 minutes while trying to cook dinner.... but it's about emotion and shared experience and I'll take that however I can get it.
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31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Heh, I hope my previous post didn't come off too harsh, it was supposed to be mostly funny.
Both funny and healthy IMO
A.
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1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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Originally Posted by dizavin View Post
90% of listeners only care about a monophonic melody that can be hummed along a hooky beat and little else. If anything.

Asking "but why do most people not like listening to freshly cut vinyl on an analog tube amplifier?!" Is like asking why do most people eat take-out hamburgers instead of artisanal, hand made tapas.

1: it's stupidly expensive
2: it's full of relentless snobbery
3: it's near impossible to tell the difference for most people.
But that's my point. I'm not 90% of all listeners. They can listen to whatever they want. I don't care. I want other options. I don't (usually) listen to top 40 pop with a monophonic melody and a hooky beat. (That's not the kind of music I record or produce, for the most part, either.)
I'll concede that that repertoire is probably not that badly served by compressed audio files.

Your food analogy is more apt than you realize. I don't eat take-out hamburgers: I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I try to eat healthy, I do most of my own cooking and when I eat out it's usually in small family-run places. I like good beer and I brew my own. Those are obviously not the preferences of most people, and that's fine. But at least I have the option of eating and drinking whatever I want, and any decently-sized city in the industrialized world can accommodate those preferences.

I don't listen to music in the car (I find myself analyzing it instead of driving). I do understand that for most people, convenience trumps everything else. But what about the rest of us?
And I'm at least as concerned about the lack of a physical object to collect and store as I am about sound quality. I realize high-res downloads already exist (with some outfits even offering DSD) and will become more common. That only solves part of the problem.

Last edited by matyas; 1st February 2013 at 03:20 PM.. Reason: Minor correction of grammar.
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1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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Don't get used to it, picking up the Leafs Leftover's only gets you so far.
Go Pens.
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#29
1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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For me:
MP3 SUCK
Downloading anything ROCKs
CD's STOLE THE COOL FROM THE DAYS OF MY YOUTH
Vinyl is OVERPRICED
Transistors are MISUNDERSTOOD
Tubes are OVERVALUED
Audiobooks ROCK
My library of over 20000 digitalised books from Shakespeare to obscure scientific publications ROCK AND EVER SO MORE EVERY YEAR
My small and declining library of actually printed materials is LOOKING WORST AND WORST EVERY YEAR AS THE PRINT DEGENERATES

Stories about how itunes did this or how someone lost that, annoy me because it is 100% user error. All it is.
It's like the stories about people being scammed by obvious shit on the internet and sending money to the nigerian prince.

Then again I am constantly annoyed by peoples trivial computer problems and are a bit of a curmudgeon in that regard.
It's hi tech guys, it's as complex as going to the moon and yet so many expect it to work like a classic car or in our case point to point soldered tube amplifier.
Same situation with gear.
People spend 5k on some tube EQ and never mention a single word of moan about paying for servicing, paying for new tubes, paying for delivery to the service guy, from the seller to them and so on.
Yet you can't look in any direction without having to deal with people going apeshit over the fact that a home brewed mac is 50 dollars cheaper in their nonsensical calculations or how spending a few grand on a workstation is such a waste of money and blah blah blah.

Being able to distribute music over the internet is the best thing since sliced bread since it takes away power from those who ****ed over the music industry in the first place and allows the whole world to access your store front.

It's not the same as with physical reality like the one in which traditional coffee shops got ****ed over.
Starbucks can't open 4 exactly the same shops around your own on the internet just to close down most of them after you go out of business.

Check youtube, most of the officials channels from the major TV networks or popular TV shows have a mere fraction of views compared to what would otherwise be considered crap by TV standards.
Internet is already ****ed up compared to the wild west it used to be and that is I would say a bad thing but it still trumps the ridiculously Orwellian world of physical music sales, TV and Radio.

Sick of the loudness war? Hear hear, you can release your music on the web and worry less about technical limitations of the radio. The music will be limited only by the playback systems and the format it is being sent in.
MP3 despite being shit still changes the source less than the multi-band compression that happens in radio.

Internet does not equal itunes. Just like one would have to hunt down vinyl releases you have to actually hunt down good stuff on the internet.
If you just use spotify, itunes, soundcloud and all the other mainstream stuff then you need to realise that it will be the equivalent of turning on your tv to watch MTV.

I am a lot less annoyed by the kids with their ipods who think that dubstep is the only music that features triplets than with the ageing, moneyed generation who is extremely smug while they spend thousands on vinyl, cd's, custom furniture to hold all of that shit, big houses to hold the furniture and an army of technician to service it all.

Baby boomer generation is the most wasteful the world has ever seen and maybe the minimal playback systems the kids prefer is simply a reaction to that?
Anyway who cares if someone uses a shitty mp3 player or a top of the line audiophile system if they can't tell a perfect 5th from a major 3rd.

I can virtually pop over to Smalls up there in NYC and listen to a vast catalog of live shows that happened there without spending any money.
Life is happening and the technology does help - it requires more work than just sitting down with a can of beer and screaming at the screen to find where it's at.

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#30
1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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Originally Posted by BOP View Post
Baby boomer generation is the most wasteful the world has ever seen and maybe the minimal playback systems the kids prefer is simply a reaction to that?
As a proud card-carrying member of Generation X, I'm always bothered by "kids" vs. "boomers" comparisons.

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Anyway who cares if someone uses a shitty mp3 player or a top of the line audiophile system if they can't tell a perfect 5th from a major 3rd.
I have a PhD in music theory. Therefore, I'm at least as bothered by the fact that people can't tell a perfect 5th from a major 3rd as I am by the fact that the market seems to be trying to foist products and services I don't want on me while failing to provide the products and services I do want.
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