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Adapting to the new digital media marketplace


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#1
Geoff

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Record Store Day is happening on April 19th. The idea is to promote the independent record store experience and boost brick and mortar music sales. Artists like Paul McCartney and Henry Rollins are quoted as supporting the event and noting the importance of the RL music store experience. Meanwhile, the latest generation of music fans are busy discovering bands on last.fm or carefully constructing their favorite music list for their facebook profile or updating their annoying myspace autoplay track to an even more annoying song. A few of them are probably pirating music too.

Last summer, the Canadian music retailer Sam the Record Man closed their landmark Toronto location. The above linked CBC article states: "The owners blamed a combination of declining CD sales and the increased popularity of internet downloads". The article doesn't mention that Sam the Record Man refused to enter the DVD market unlike every other major music retailer which includes neighboring HMV and Sunrise Records. HMV could be yet another step ahead now that they have also started to carry video games. Sam the Record Man refused to adapt and become Sam the Digital Media Man.

Adapting to the modern music business is going to be all about convenience. I've been in situations where I have wanted to listen to a particular album that I have bought on CD and I have to choose between searching through a folder/box full of CDs or the quicker and easier option of downloading it from an illegitimate source. Digital downloads are a must for my generation of music consumers.

I'm not advocating piracy, I'm illustrating the fact that media retailers have yet to match the convenience, simplicity, and quality of illegal sources. Note to iTunes fans: Any software that deletes music from my iPod (music that I composed, performed and recorded myself) because I rearranged music files on my hard drive is malware garbage. I don't know what pissed me off more, the misleading "Some of the items in the iTunes library were not copied to the iPod because they could not be found" error message or the fact that Apple is underhandedly trying to stop me from pirating my own compositions. Though you've got to give Apple credit for taking steps to secure the title of the number one music retailer in the US while the major labels had their heads in their asses.

Back to Record Store Day: Free stuff, huge discounts, musicians appearing to support the event, reissues on 180-gram vinyl, sounds great! This is a good sign, retailers are now joining us in the 21st century. They have finally figured out how to get the Internet generation back into the record stores. Let's find out where we can go to join the action.

OH WAIT, THERE IS NO WAY TO SORT THE MASSIVE STORE LIST BY CITY.

hmmm...

CoD4 anyone?

EDIT: Currently half of the links on the Record Store Day site don't work. According to the banner at the bottom, the website was made by a company that specializes in web design for the music business. Maybe this is part of the problem.

#2
Smokey

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first

i concur Mr Geoff.

but i haven't had any problems like that with my iPod and all my music was donated to me. icon_wink.gif
sup

#3
izequel

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second woot

i wanna play CoD4 with you Kyle!!

add me "izequel" in xfire

im in sydney australia

please...

#4
userpjx

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That downloading music instead of finding the CD thing is so true. Just 10 minutes ago I downloaded Graceland because I didn't feel like walking downstairs to get it out of the cabinet. Laziness ftw.

#5
Sirko

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sweet blog post dude
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#6
johnathon.waples

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woo go geoff!!!!! well said!!!
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#7
Guest_Sethasstor_*

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Sad to see Sam the Record man go, even sadder to see my school stole the building. I hope it goes to good use though.

#8
shmo_47

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this is awesome thanks for the update Geoff. Anyone in the Houston area know who's gonna be at ALLRECORDS?

#9
ChaosJester

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QUOTE (Geoff @ Apr 15 2008, 07:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Note to iTunes fans: Any software that deletes music from my iPod (music that I composed, performed and recorded myself) because I rearranged music files on my hard drive is malware garbage. I don't know what pissed me off more, the misleading "Some of the items in the iTunes library were not copied to the iPod because they could not be found" error message or the fact that Apple is underhandedly trying to stop me from pirating my own compositions.

I really don't see how ipods got popular with crap like that. They seem to like to mess you around and punish you for being a power user. iPod = iNoob. iTunes is the most horrible player I have ever used and I really don't see how people can like it. Creative Nomad/Zen ftw. Atleast it keeps my music where I put it regardless of where it is on my PC.

Maybe apple just want to make sure that your content is so secure that not even you can "pirate" it... Gotta keep all your music safe... even from you icon_razz.gif
</anti apple rant>


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#10
Berky34

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I'm actually writing an essay about this topic and how media being purchased and downloaded online is affecting us both negatively and positively

#11
LoLto

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Takes very little time to download a song that you specifically want, 2 minutes, hard to compete with that convenience. icon_razz.gif

#12
Brenner

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I'd play CoD4 with you if i didn't get it from the same illegitimate source you got your music from.
icon_wink.gif

#13
Maimuta

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I'm surprised record stores still exist, I really don't see much of a point to go out and buy a CD when I can just buy it online, or download it >.< . I really don't think illegally donwnloading CD'S is a bad thing though, cause if I actually like the band, I will actually go out and buy their CD'S or shirts or w/e. And if they are really good, they should be making enough money with their touring, and they should just be happy that people are listening to their music. That or they should do what Radiohead did with their new album, just put it online for people to download and let them decide what they want to pay for it. I thought that was a great way to distribute their music, and they even made a lot of money on it, even though it was basically free. Honestly though, Sam the Record Man was just asking for it, not switching over to the Digital Marketplace was financial suicide. It's not like i support Itunes or anything, in fact it really, really pisses me off sometimes, but hey, you just need to adapt to it and move on, or google Utorrent?

#14
Faustuss

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QUOTE
OH WAIT, THERE IS NO WAY TO SORT THE MASSIVE STORE LIST BY CITY.
hmmm...
CoD4 anyone?


Lol, good stuff.

#15
Thriller

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I'm not so sure about this whole thing. On the one hand, d/ling music is very fast and convenient. I mean, let's face it. If you want to get Flogging Molly's new song after just seeing the video or get the new Daft Punk track right away, d/ling is the best way to go. No question. On the other hand, buying a CD is a really rewarding experience (most of the time). Initially, mostly everyone buys an album for the one or two songs they heard and really liked, so they pick up the CD to get those songs; however, they also get the CD to get all those other songs they haven't heard and to check them out. Almost every single time, when I get a CD, my favorite songs aren't the ones that made me want to go out and pick it up in the first place. Finding those gems is awesome and there's nothing like putting the album on and listening to it all the way through for the first time and letting it have your complete and undivided attention.

Now, I know that you are probably saying, "Uh, you can buy the whole album online and do the exact same thing". And that is very true. However (and maybe this is just me), I like to have an actual album that I can actually touch and use. I feel like I own the thing instead of just "having" the thing. Actually owning the material album makes it more real. Now, I know you are saying, "Uh, you can just burn a copy" and you're right about that too. However, you won't have the official disk and booklet that comes with the real thing! And that's the icing on the cake for me. icon_smile.gif

Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, and maybe I'm weird because of it, but this is why I like actual CD's and will buy them as long as they are still available (or until another physical medium of albums is made, in which case, I'll buy those). With the physicality to the album, the other songs not released as singles but are amazing anyway, and the official disk and booklet, I dare say, CD's FTW.

My two cents.

#16
Irish Pyrate

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I've actually gotten that error before and while it's not for the same reason that Geoff is getting his errors, but it's around the same. I had a huge stack of CDs that I recently ripped to my hard drive and when trying to put some of the tracks on my iPod it did in fact give me that message. Now, I know some record labels are putting anti-pirating software onto their CDs, but...why is it that when I LOOKED to pirate those same tracks they were there...and I could put THEM onto my iPod?

Instead of keeping me from pirating music...they forced my hand so that I could listen to the same music I bought legitimately from a record store. Honestly, I think they're doin' it wrong.

MP3 players are here to stay, that's for certain. But while Apple and Microsoft currently hold the monopoly, let's not forget about the other underdog companies that are still making MP3 players that hold just as much...they're just not as cute or as cliche to use as the iPod.

So what'll happen? Some genius will make a program much like iTunes that will fully integrate with your OS, and you'll be able to use those not so popular MP3 players to listen to your music on the go.

Unfortunately for the industry, file sharing is here to stay...and as long as computers come with CD drives...so is ripping. Now it's their job to figure out how to get us to pay for it. Yay capitalism.
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#17
Danoli3

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Awesome Blog post Geoff XD! pp_smiley2.gif

I 'sample' music all the time, if its good enough i'll buy the album... I don't think this 'Buy a CD so we can make more money Day' is going to change anyones opinions...


On a side note: I met henry rollings randomly in a cd store in sydney lol. kool guy.

#18
Uberman - SpecOps Kerrigan

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GG, this would have been so useful for class. I also made the point that no mainstream store "sells" more than 192kbps. How bout an online store that sells .flac audio?

Damned Dalhousie blocks the ports on CoD4... how bout some TF2? icon_razz.gif

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#19
Jesterhat

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Great Post man! Your point on it, coming from the maker of a free show, is very different from the payed Directors etc.
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#20
Anth0ny

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Very awesome blog post. I completely agree with you on every point.

Downloading music is just convenient icon_razz.gif Now let's play some COD4.

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