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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I was in the paper...

In this article in the weekend section about ditching CDs for mp3s. It's nothing that readers of my scribbles here won't be shocked to read, but as always Dave Lindquist does a good job and it's a pretty nifty piece.

There were a couple of things I didn't get to touch on with him that I want to throw out here. One of which being the legality of ripping and then disposing of the discs. As I understand the law (IANAL) it's illegal. So yeah, I'm probably admitting and advocating illegal activity in the pages of the Star*. Whoo-hoo.

The thing is, right now, I think the RIAA and other interested parties are more interested in file sharing than some chuckle head like me who is ripping and getting pennies on the dollar for his CD collection. Yeah there's scuttlebut that the majors who have given Amazon DRM free mp3s are leaning on them about their used CD sales, but honestly, I think the desire of these folks to break Apple's deathlock on the on-line music sales is stronger than their desire to squelch used CD least at the moment. (If Amazon's mp3 sales really take off, expect this to change.)

The other thing I mentioned to Dave is I do miss liner notes. Just this morning, I've been thumbing through the excellent booklet from John Coltrane's Fearless Leader set (I'm contemplating buying the next set in this series.) If I'd downloaded those tracks from eMusic or just ripped the discs, I wouldn't have that to go back to. In fact, I recently bought an Art Tatum box set I had downloaded from eMusic for this reason. Granted, more times than not, all you get is lyrics and credits, both of which can be found on line. But I buy a lot of jazz reissues and do enjoy the pictures and information you get with most of those.

Also, the timing of this article is really interesting for me as I've been contemplating finally throwing some money into the stereo I've always wanted. But, then I look at it and ask myself why? The fact of the matter is, I so rarely have time to really sit down and listen to music. What's the point of dropping several grand into a system that is just going to collect dust most of the time?

So, what do you, fair reader, think?

* In the print version, one of the program directors for WTTS was interviewed and straight up said she had two iPods full of music ripped from the station library. My jaw kind of dropped at that one. Considering how touchy everyone is about leaks that originat from promos given to media and radio, I don't think I'd be admitting to ripping my station's library. At least not if it was a paying gig like hers.


Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting from a sociological standpoint that people see nothing wrong with fessing up to ripping or downloading music that technically isn't theirs. It's kind of like Xerox's fight to keep "Xerox" from becoming a generic term or a verb - it's sunk into the public psyche that this is just something people do that it's nigh-on-unstoppable at this point.

On the flipside, to play devil's advocate, the radio program director may have a grey area to play in if they're previewing stuff to put on the station playlist. God knows that a goodly chunk of my own CD shelf originated in my radio days, when the management dictated that we don't play anything that's not on the satellite service's playlist. Lots of stuff came home with me back then.

Anonymous said...

We're a linux home, and since linux makes it easy to set up a home media server, I've been ripping all my stuff. Even my stereo is networked, so I can listen to my any of my music pretty much anywhere in the house.

I like those old feelies too... but I don't need them for everything or even most things. If a record is dear to me, I keep it on the shelf. But all the Journey goes into a big plastic bin in the basement.

I haven't quite gotten to the level of actually selling the old discs, but I do enjoy the increased shelf space around the apartment.

Anonymous said...

I really like my CD's. If I have a CD that I am really proud of owning, I'll put it on display in my house, standing face-out so you can see it. I don't very often take the disc out to listen to (that's what mp3's are for), but I like that you can see it in my house and know what I'm into. I'm thinking of making some shelves that are designed to show off the discs rather than store them in the most space-saving manner possible. For those discs that I don't listen to anymore, and those that I don't necessary want to advertise (how the heck did I even come to OWN a Spice Girls disc??), there's always the bin in the basement :)

Anonymous said...

My issue right now is that I've ripped my CDs (and bought mp3s) into an inferior format- mp3. When the mp3 format gets ditched for something higher fidelity, which I see on the horizon with relatively inexpensive terabite drives coming on the market, I feel like I'm going to have to re-rip into CD quality files. Of course, I've actually found that downloading bittorrents of the entire discography of a group is MUCH more efficient than ripping individual CDs. This of course begs the question: if I own the physical CD, but I choose to download a copy from the internet for free for convinience, am I stealing anything? I think I'm going to keep the boxes of CDs in the garage until this all pans out.