Is it worth buying (digital) music anymore??


#5

Thank you as well man. I can tell this is the beginning of a larger conversation, so want to invite others in also. I’ll write a lot more in time, mulling over what you’ve shared for a bit.


#7

i bought that one too…Neinzer’s The Fear is fucking incredible and I’ll gladly give him my money to see what’s next, allthemoreso cus its on Whities


#8

if you havent heard it yet…


#9

Aww cmon man let’s continue…Pls don’t run away, I was looking forward to the exchange


#10

Damn, RIP Edward


#11

RIP figuratively or an actual RIP?

I was trying to sum up some thoughts on buying music, but february is too much . . .
Appreciated the debate, but kept lurking.

Thanks for linking Zion I!
Brings back rap memories galore!


#12

Figuratively, he deleted selective responses but kept some here. Looove Zion I, that album is incredible.


#13

If you want to make mixtapes (or spin tunes in traktor/serato) then you need to buy the music… but otherwise, I can see why you probably wouldn’t.


#14

You could torrent or rip, as well, which lots of folks do and don’t talk openly about imo.


#15

Which may be worth it, if prices are too high. I guess the core of the question is what makes purchasing the music digitally worth it??


#16

Only been buying digital music for under a year, and for me what makes it “worth it” has to be the sound quality and the easy access (compared to buying records.) I live on the outskirts of civilisation (Oslo), so no shipping and fighting special luxury taxes is a huge bonus.

I tried torrenting and even napster way back, the first time I stopped buying records.
The real problem was that i never found anything I really liked that i didnt already know about.
A few bits was interesting, but not like that record you once picked up on a whim that changed your idea about a whole sound . . .

Like this

Bought this back in the nineties in a huge pack of oldschool hiphop from a guy in London i think.
Was expecting the Scarface tune and got my first real hit of drum and bass . . .
Even took a year or more before I could hear what i had been missing hehe

Torrenting never did this, and the early days of spotify was the same, nothing new, only boring/ I know this one. A serious vinyl addiction also kept me from finding “digital only tunes”
to save me the frustration of not being able to play it.

With digital (mainly bandcamp) i’v had some WHOOAWW whats this!
Sounds that made me hear electro and techno in a new light.
Experiencing tunes among other tunes that make them pop out at me.
Not sure why. If its just that i’m more in need of something new,
or that there is less “if you liked this you will also like this” spamming . . .

Being able to buy in wav quality, without some oversqweezed 5 tunes on one side pressing, makes bandcamp feel like its worth it. I still end up buying the 12" and the wavs on some just because I dont trust digital. But thats only if i believe the mastering is worth it.

That they seem to be trying to have some ideology on not pushing the prices for what they can, is a big bonus. (Wav and mp3 same price . . . so high prices is just the artists choice)

The trick will be how to remember the good tunes in the future. How the brain catalogs “good tunes” and “bad tunes” is a mystery, but i can still pick out whitlelables from 10 years + ago with only the wear of the sleeve as a que to what im looking for . . . but also look and look for hours and not find the sound im looking for.

Im pretty curious on how that will work for a bunch of folders . . .


#17

Need to buy tunes for bedroom DJing, so I still do it, but increasingly do it less. If it’s not on bandcamp I normally won’t buy it unless I’m already obsessed (will go to boomkat sometimes, beatport etc. are always overpriced and a last resort for me). I don’t like Spotify, don’t like the concept, don’t like the interface, don’t like the idea a release I loved could be pulled by spotify at their leisure (this is the key one for me), don’t like how inaccurate the labelling is etc… but I am slowly moving towards it just because it’s how ppl do music now so if you want to put on playlists in communal settings and so on you have to be on it.

On “how to remember good tunes” I think that’s a really interesting one for the future. Artwork and stuff is such a powerful memory aide for that kind of stuff, with digital it can be much harder. My labour intensive solution to remembering my absolute favourites is to do mixes. You then have the tune situated in relation to other tunes, in a musical thing that’s normally about album length or possibly slightly longer. I keep the tracklist for the mix available. Then when you remember a tune but can’t remember what it’s called, you can think back to the mixes it’s likely to be in and go and check. It’s long winded, but better than having a tune in your head that you can’t remember driving you mad for days. Maybe others will have a similar thing but for Spotify playlists etc.

Regarding streaming killing music: it’ll have an effect but as someone else in the thread said, people will adapt. If most musicians cut long intros for Spotify optimisation, there’ll probably emerge a bunch of artists who kick against that and are all about intros and dynamics and stuff.

As far as exclusivity goes, the less of that there is the better in my opinion. Some undermining of exclusivity is one of the good things that has come from streaming. You still get quite a lot of it, but much less than in earlier years. When I got into dubstep stuff at first there was a real exclusive culture, a lot of vinyl fetishism, and a lot of that was quite offputting to me. That kind of thing is a bit less prevalent now which I think is a good thing, although it still persists in pockets of the underground.

Having said that, I would never completely offload my physical music collection (vinyl and CD). It has too much emotional resonance for me, the physical package and artwork and so on. Even though I never really listen to them outside of ripped versions now.


#18

I wonder what the situation is where you’re living? I’m really lucky that I have some friends irl for trading records, talking about music, meeting at a bar where different people are djing both vinyl and digital. This is still the most motivating part when it comes to music and I recommend to actually go out and talk to people and do stuff together. I have to say that collecting, trading and djing vinyl helps a lot because it’s a more direct way to share music with each other in the same room. Actually some friends met via Discogs because they were buying music from each other (of course we all live in the same city).

I don’t really care about streaming but I use Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Discogs and YouTube for digging music. I’m always late when it comes to new music but there is too much of it anyways. It’s good to have no fear of missing out. :wink:


#19

Yeah, when I was living in Portland or the San Francisco Bay Area I had this. I’m now living in a town that has none of this, so am trying to decide if it’s worth my time and energy to start a night even if it’s a open decks sort of affair. I travel lots tho so not sure I can upkeep it once it begins…maybe in time.


#20

I live in Bend, Oregon which is great for what I do for a living but not so much for what I do in my social life and free time, but I’m starting to think about a monthly. Just something to spin records myself, not book anyone, and see who comes out of the woodwork to do exactly what you’re talking about - trade tunes and chat about what we listen to.

But in order to do so I gotta be a bit more structured in my life. Just got back from 4 months of work and travel on the road, settling in.


#21

That’s not easy of course. I lived in a small village for a few months and missed the music-related stuff a lot. It really opened my eyes and made me appreciate the whole thing more when I moved back to my hometown (Leipzig, Germany). It puts things in perspective which is good.


#22

Exactly, I won’t be here forever, and that’s what’s truly happening - I’m broadening my perspectives. But even my friends in the city listen to music alone most of the time and rarely go out. We share tunes through streaming and texts.

I’ve used the time here to really get to know my record collection and learn about streaming services, but haven’t dived into digital music buying quite yet. Honestly I feel like it’s going to happen once I get more of an audiophile type setup or start spinning for an audience. But again, it’s a question of time, money and energy spent on hobbies. Worthwhile, yes, but not always a priority.


#23

This is definitely my solution as well. Making playlists dosent do it for me, as I make so many and don’t mix with them. Its just the replay of the song over and over and over that drills it into memory, especially when you’re cutting EQs and fading. To me this works for digital as well as vinyl. But I could see how a USB full of 500 songs to put into your CDJ would make it difficult to have this sort of relationship with a song once you start making mixes all the time or playing 3-4+ nights a month.

However for home listening, I have found that creating a weekly playlist of 10 songs and limiting myself to that playlist while I cook dinner does similar things. It’s just really hard to limit myself to that once I have Spotify, my record collection, or a hard drive dull of tracks. Repetition is the only way to remember them. Some may have some spectacular memory or visual associated with the cover or intro but that’s very rare for me.


#24

So I’m curious, could you explain how you go about seeking tunes on Bandcamp or methods for finding those kinds of moments. I mean I know theyre fleeting and difficult to consciously create, and this is probably something I would get if i spent more time on the platform, but just curious if it’s as simple as following artists and labels and reading the emails they send out or if you got other hacks to pass along

Also that Goldie track is hard, when do you think its from? 1995? 1996?


#25

I only try to follow lables/artists for new realeases. Does not work to well, but I’v been looking at what other people have in their collections. Mainly for electro, and found lots of newiSH, but very nice oldschool sounding electro. Guessing its a small group of people liking it so suddenly you find other actual people buying e.x. egyptian lover stuff, and looking at their collection I found lots of new names and lables of solid electro.
When you try youtubing or looking at discogs, the things being suggested is way to narrow. So you end up looking at a closed loop of the same music instead of random other sounds, mostly boring . . . but sometimes

So the only “bandcamp-feature” that helped is peoples collections, but generally just listening to lables to find the few good tunes has been easier on bandcamp then going rounds with redeye records, juno, discogs . . . just to find one or to twelves. Suddenly you can listen to and buy whatever you like from a lable . . . Like planet-mu had backlog all the way back to Vex’d and other early bass stuff.

Must admit i’v had way to much time on my hands, that always helps hehehe

That Goldie remix is from 94. Really made me start loving jungle/dnb . . . but I didnt get my hands on a wider selection before 2003-2004ish I really wished id notice earlier.