An Alternative Story about the Success of Digital Music

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3 Responses

  1. Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that I used to buy most of my digital music through a company which promised me the perpetual right to listen to it anywhere I accessed a computer, just by logging into my account. Only to have most of the music I’d purchased access to deleted when the recording industry took the company over after a lawsuit. Not illegal music, mind you, just small groups that didn’t have contracts with the recording industry…

    I like CDs because they’re physical, somebody can’t press a button somewhere and make them self-destruct. Yet.

  2. A.J. Sutter says:

    Small point: CDs are digital music. What you mean is electronically distributed music, and especially single-song electronic distribution (SSED).

    Your notion of “overwhelming advantages” depends very much on perspective. Consumer choice is not the only pertinent social value, nor necessarily the highest one. From an artist’s perspective, the ability to create an album is lost with SSED. Another cultural loss is cover art and liner notes/inserts. Some consumers will also feel this loss, as well as the loss in sound quality from the use of compression (.mp3 &c) beyond that already used in CDs. While some readers might be tempted to say that market response is constitutive of artistic or cultural value, that would seem to be very thin ice for law professors, and indeed for professors of most sorts.

    BTW iTunes is also geographically restricted. Most tunes by, say, French or German artists are available only on the local versions of iTunes — but you can’t download from there unless you have a French or German credit card, respectively. There aren’t any such restrictions with buying CDs from French or German Amazon or other vendors. And if you want to hear music from Malaysia, Indonesia or many other less wealthy countries, to say nothing of many older Western classical recordings, CDs may be your only realistic option.

  3. Janice says:

    Carrying on from this topic, The Music Void’s Editor and Founder Jakomi Mathews has written an interesting article on whether or not the Evolution of Digital Media Survey Points to Consumer Rejection of Subscription Services in the UK.

    He states that when it comes to the progression from physical to digital ownership of media, the UK population is far from being ‘Space Age’. A large number of people are staying faithful to the “old school” method of owning music and films, thus abandoning digital. It’s well worth a read!