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An Important And Highly Recommended Read For All Music Fans

Posted by - 06:22 PM on 06/18/12
Over the weekend, NPR intern Emily White contributed a blog post where she admitted to rarely buying music and also what she thinks her and her generation are looking for in terms of a modern form of music distribution. Today, a UGA professor wrote a response letter which we think anyone who is a fan of music needs to read.
 
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06:25 PM on 06/18/12
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Jason Tate
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Brilliant response.
06:25 PM on 06/18/12
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Alex DiVincenzo
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Great read
06:34 PM on 06/18/12
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TooOLDforAP.Net
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while I agree with this professor on most things, it is important to point out that in other countries musicians can support themselves on the current model. The reason they can't in the US is laregely do to 2 main facts. We don't support the arts in general as a rule of our culture. We also don't have a true national healthcare system. This is completely ignoring the fact of a legitimate national pension that most countries give to their residents. The deck is stacked against EVERYONE in our society to such a degree that the idea of supporting yourself with any kind of art is a losing game before the game begins.

When you add in the fact that most of your consumers are facing similar odds in every day life, it's no surprise that people don't buy albums. The average music fan is under 25 years old. When you consider the cost of living in the US, along with the cost of healthcare, education and other necessities, how much is left for entertainment? I agree that this doesn't justify stealing, but I do believe that our obsession with capitalism in this country shits all over people who don't fit into that mold, such as musicians.
06:35 PM on 06/18/12
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circletheworld
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tl;dr
06:35 PM on 06/18/12
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uglystar03
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How does someone that supposedly loves music go through nearly 21 years of life only purchasing 15 albums? I'm only a few years older than her and that makes no sense to me. I own literally hundreds of albums.
06:37 PM on 06/18/12
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Paul Tao
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That's the great attitude I was hoping to find in this thread.
06:40 PM on 06/18/12
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DeathOrGlory
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How does someone that supposedly loves music go through nearly 21 years of life only purchasing 15 albums? I'm only a few years older than her and that makes no sense to me. I own literally hundreds of albums.
No kidding. I'm 17 and I buy most of my music. That's kind of sad.
06:40 PM on 06/18/12
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scooterf
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Reading the UGA article now - about 1/4th of the way through. Great so far.

One thing though - I feel like there's a disconnect here. My understanding of the NPR article was she was saying he's only bought 15 PHYSICAL CDs in her lifetime. She then says she did NOT illegally download MOST of her music. The implication is, yes, she's admitting she's gotten stuff illegally, but she DOES buy things on iTunes/Amazon/etc. She's saying she doesn't support the physical medium of music, not that she doesn't support paying artists. Right?

It just seems there's a big disconnect here between what she wrote and what people are saying she wrote. She said this:

Quote:
I wish I could say I miss album packaging and liner notes and rue the decline in album sales the digital world has caused. But the truth is, I've never supported physical music as a consumer. As monumental a role as musicians and albums have played in my life, I've never invested money in them aside from concert tickets and t-shirts.

But I didn't illegally download (most) of my songs. A few are, admittedly, from a stint in the 5th grade with the file-sharing program Kazaa. Some are from my family. I've swapped hundreds of mix CDs with friends. My senior prom date took my iPod home once and returned it to me with 15 gigs of Big Star, The Velvet Underground and Yo La Tengo (I owe him one).

Am I missing something?
06:42 PM on 06/18/12
Jason Tate
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while I agree with this professor on most things, it is important to point out that in other countries musicians can support themselves on the current model. The reason they can't in the US is laregely do to 2 main facts. We don't support the arts in general as a rule of our culture. We also don't have a true national healthcare system. This is completely ignoring the fact of a legitimate national pension that most countries give to their residents. The deck is stacked against EVERYONE in our society to such a degree that the idea of supporting yourself with any kind of art is a losing game before the game begins.

When you add in the fact that most of your consumers are facing similar odds in every day life, it's no surprise that people don't buy albums. The average music fan is under 25 years old. When you consider the cost of living in the US, along with the cost of healthcare, education and other necessities, how much is left for entertainment? I agree that this doesn't justify stealing, but I do believe that our obsession with capitalism in this country shits all over people who don't fit into that mold, such as musicians.

As the blog breaks down - music entertainment is quite cheap in comparison. $7.99 a month via Rdio? That's less than a value meal.
06:43 PM on 06/18/12
circletheworld
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That's the great attitude I was hoping to find in this thread.
hop off your high horse and realize you can make a point in under 500 words.. even 1000 words
06:45 PM on 06/18/12
Jason Tate
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Reading the UGA article now - about 1/4th of the way through. Great so far.

One thing though - I feel like there's a disconnect here. My understanding of the NPR article was she was saying he's only bought 15 PHYSICAL CDs in her lifetime. She then says she did NOT illegally download MOST of her music. The implication is, yes, she's admitting she's gotten stuff illegally, but she DOES buy things on iTunes/Amazon/etc. She's saying she doesn't support the physical medium of music, not that she doesn't support paying artists. Right?

It just seems there's a big disconnect here between what she wrote and what people are saying she wrote. She said this:



Am I missing something?
Keep reading… I'm fairly certain she said she didn't buy music - physical or digital - and as you pointed out in that paragraph, she's talking about getting music without paying for it.
06:46 PM on 06/18/12
Jason Tate
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hop off your high horse and realize you can make a point in under 500 words.. even 1000 words

Wow.
06:47 PM on 06/18/12
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My immediate thought after reading her blog: this girl must be younger than me to have only bought 15 CDs -- wait a minute, I'm younger than her and I love buying CDs. Are people seriously like her? (Answer: yes, almost all my friends can be in the same group as her).

It's a great read and it would be fantastic if this changes something - I know that I will definitely make more of an effort to buy CDs from legit places (but it'll be so hard to give up Amoeba and their used and clearance sections).

...but unfortunately I doubt this will even reach a lot of people. As someone said, "tl;dr." I doubt anyone who already has the mentality of "free music on the web" will read that full essay.

Edit: my point has been sadly proven further with circletheword.
06:49 PM on 06/18/12
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Reading the UGA article now - about 1/4th of the way through. Great so far.

One thing though - I feel like there's a disconnect here. My understanding of the NPR article was she was saying he's only bought 15 PHYSICAL CDs in her lifetime. She then says she did NOT illegally download MOST of her music. The implication is, yes, she's admitting she's gotten stuff illegally, but she DOES buy things on iTunes/Amazon/etc. She's saying she doesn't support the physical medium of music, not that she doesn't support paying artists. Right?

It just seems there's a big disconnect here between what she wrote and what people are saying she wrote. She said this:



Am I missing something?


somewhere in there she also talked about ripping tons of CDs at her college radio station, which gave me the impression that's where a lot of her collection came from, which she didn't download, but still didn't pay for.


seriously great article. it's super long but take the 20 minutes and read it.

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