Thanks for posting an interesting article
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what concerns me is that, as CDs sales increasingly give way to downloaded music, the ability to get audiophile-quality recordings of new music is disappearing. i have not found a source for downloading uncompressed/lossless mainstream music (new or old), and i have no desire to play a compressed/lossly files on quality audio equipment.
i am not sure what it will take to get itunes/napster/etc (who have rights to sell major label music) to offer this. Even my Bay City Rollers 45s sound better than an itunes download.
I just had this discussion with my son last night. He's 11 and has had an iPod for a few months. Up to now, he's just ripped CDs that I have. But now he's ready to start buying music from iTunes.
I'm trying to sell him on the idea of buying CDs instead: better sound quality, more flexible (can play in our stereo and cars as well as on iPod), and if you shop around (used, Amazon, BMG, etc.), you can certainly get good music for $10 per CD.
His response -- yes, you can buy CDs for $10, but can you buy individual songs on CD for $1? In other words, nothing against CDs, but I want to buy songs, not albums.
If you want to cherry-pick (which he definitely wants to do), it's pretty hard to argue with digital downloads.
So I fear the article is correct.
I remember buying ablums at 14 and sometimes being very disappointed that the only good song on it was the one I knew that prompted the buy, yet there was special magic in buying an album and finding great music on it that I had never heard before sometimes even better than the song that prompted the purchase. Album and CD sets give the artist a chance to experiment with songs less likely to be immediately marketable. Like most creative endeavors, home runs are few but worth the wait. The flip of this is that now there are powerful ways for new artists to be heard, such as the site www.rippyfest.com without relying on a major recording contract or top 40 play.
Historically one of the best places to buy new music in my area (atlanta) was Borders. However, I've noted that new Border's stores being built in the area have only a fraction of the space devoted to CD's that the older stores have. Out of curiousity, I went to one of the older area Borders this weekend that has historically has maintained a huge music section. I was shocked to find at least 50% of the CD bins were empty. I inquired to an employee who said that CD sales were off so much, they have drastically reduced their inventory - choosing empty space over product. On the other hand, I went to a Best Buy and Fry's , both of which still have a sizable CD sections - for now.
don't get too depressed. the industry still does over 12 billion in sales(most is still cd), and more new music labels are popping up today, than ever. the hobby of record collecting(or cd collecting) was never for the masses anyway. be more concerned with lousy vinyl quality control, and the deterioration of the facilicites that make records.
John Lennon once commented that he preferred collecting singles over albums. He found albums a bit boring.
If you don't have a lot of money, singles are a more efficient way to buy wnat you want without having to take what you don't want. When I was young way back when, I used to love those old K-Tel albums...a whole album full of hit songs for the price of just one album. I still have a couple of them lying around in a dusty corner somewhere.
Singles are OK for the pop music but would anybody buy "Money" single instead of "Dark Side of the Moon"?
Did anybody ever buy Frank Zappa's singles?
Even if the whole pop album is great like in Beatles or Bee Gees it's still a collection of singles accommodated in one playable media...
Single album is an interesting weapon of the show-biz at all times but should be used with caution by producer. Many times single would show-up on the store-fronts before the actual full-length album shows up to "kick-start" the machine of the more profitable market. Contrary the same song could become "old" too quick drowning the whole new album downgrades.
For me albums of Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and many other rock or jazz artists are "journeys" that you should start and finish individually. There are many bands that you cannot