goodbye cd's

October 14, 2007 ·

i just recently completed digitizing all my cd’s, boxed up the cases and discs and banished them to the basement. forever relegated to a back-up if my hard drive ever gets wiped.

i can say that i’ve not bought a cd for myself in many a year (i have for my wife though). mostly that’s apathy as there isn’t much new music coming out that interests me. and what does, isn’t a whole album’s worth.

musicians should be happy. they have to do less now in the studio. which, btw, should make them happy since most of their money is made on tours and merch anyway. forget producing whole albums, they just have to put out singles. i think this could be a good thing. focus on that which is the best, pour more effort into it, and forget the also-ran musical chaff that you had to include to round out an album so consumers felt like they were getting their money’s worth out of the excessive prices cd’s were being sold for.

i was reading an article not too long ago (where i can’t say, even though i know that’s the point of a blog to share links and resources, i would if i could remember) that proclaimed the album dead. when music was first recorded (i’m talking in a viable, mass producable and stable medium here - not wax rolls), it was very much a singles market. elvis would go into the studio, record a track and that was the record. the concept of the album only evolved out of necessity. the cost to produce and market one song was disproportionate to a whole album, so by fitting more on one record, the labels could make more dough and the audience also benefited as they got more music. with the emergence of digital media an ADD audience, a singles market is returning because that’s all anyone is interested in paying for - that one song they like.

does that mean albums won’t be made, no. some bands cry foul in the name of artistic integrity of an album and not selling a piece of art piecemeal. i’m sure the labels will continue to make the whole album available, but delivering them to the market won’t be the same. nor will the marketing. but i think people will be more than happy to pay 99 cents for what they like and forfeit doling out the other $15 to $20 to maybe stumble upon somehting they like.




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