Would you pay for digital music?

Mark

Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
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Sarf Lundin, Innit
This is a poll I saw over at Winamp.com, and the results there were (although not surprising), somewhat worrying.

[Winamp.com results at the time of posting]
Would you ever pay for digital music?

Yes, every song.
3.18 %

Only the music I like.
16.97 %

Maybe, if they forced me to.
8.03 %

There is always free stuff out there.
42.4 %

I'd stop listening before I pay.
29.39 %


Is the 'get it for free' net-mentality that ingrained (sp?) in people, that they simply won't pay for something online, even if it means getting something else completely different?

I'm all for downloading MP3s, because I know the serious music lovers will always end up buying the CDs of those tracks/bands they like. But as the net grows, and more and more bands use it to promote themselves (some using it exclusively), there are going to be digital-only CDs, and it's saddening to think some people will just not listen to it if they have to pay for it.

Is it greed? Or is it bucking against the (arguably) over-commercialisation of the web?

What do you think?
 

Russell

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Jul 15, 2001
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I download MP3's a maximum of 3 per album, and if I like them I then buty that album, I don't just download them all - I thinks that rude :) The thig I like about the internet is u can get bootlegs easily, live songs etc. which I am more than happy to pay for it's just you can't get them newhere else. So in short yes I would pay :) I'm not sure if it is greed, but I think people should be willing to pay for the music
 

yourdeadgroom

Black Stone Wielder
May 21, 2001
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www.onlinerock.com
Personally, if an MP3 isn't endorsed by the band (ie on their official web site) I won't touch it! And metal here is expensive!! (twice the price of pop stuff). I think the whole Napster thing has created alot of lazy people who, once they get hold of a good thing, won't let go, and refuse to acknowlege (sp?) that just maybe it's not a totally good thing (good to an extent, but I think it got out of control). But also, I think that if they really had to, they would pay- currently now, they don't have too so they say they don't like the idea, but if the pay thing became the norm people would follow (I call it the sheep mentality :D ). Though I wouldn't be surprised if everyone went ahead and proved me wrong:lol:
 

Slynt

Lord and Liar
May 31, 2001
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I am lucky to be at a school with a very good Internet connection, which has enabled me to download over 100 complete metal songs the last few days while I've been at school.

I have downloaded incredibly many diverse bands I had only heard of, never heard.

In this way I have become acquainted with a lot of new metal bands. A few of them were VERY interesting, while others weren't worth the download.

I will probably download the rest of the albums from those bands I did like, because I am so poor that I cannot afford to buy CDs. However, burning a 100+ tracks onto one CD-R is rather inexpensive.

Of course I see the problem in this; the band I am currently downloading will never see money for an album I could have bought. But then again, I can't buy it anyway.
 

Slynt

Lord and Liar
May 31, 2001
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Yeah I'm studying too, but I have studied so long they won't give me any more money heheh...so I have to find a job, 'cause I really feel like buying some nice shiny discs now!! AARGH :loco:
 

Elisstar

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May 4, 2001
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What worries me the most is the thought of paying money for the music, and not physically GETTING something. Especially with a lot of my favorite bands, there's something about sitting down with the CD playing, reading the lyrics, and looking at the artwork.

If physical media goes away in leiu of MP3s...I'm just gonna have to horde all the CDs I can find! :D They are great for previewing a new band or new album, but they don't sound as good...and you don't get the cool artwork or the lyrics!
 

Protocol

Vexing Ego
May 4, 2001
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Seems odd to me no one has mentioned the quality issues yet.

mp3 is a bad format. It's a lossy codec that usually only has 1/11th of the data an audio cd has. There are patents issues and royalties, there is no set standard for what sound to save and what to discard (so you get very varying quality depending on what encoder you use), and it's old.

It's a decent format for previewing tracks and bands (the abomination called realmedia is for people who listen to music only in broken blown headphones where only one channel works), but for serious listening it's simply not an option.

I would never pay a dime for a song in mp3 format.

But there are other digital music formats. FLAC (free lossless audio compression) is an open format with no patent burdens. A full lenth cd compressed with flac is typically 300-400 mb. That's the kind of size required for me to pay anything for digital music, but that's not feasible until bandwidth has advanced somewhat.

So no, I won't pay for mp3s, and no, I won't pay for flacs.

Other formats that go into the bad-lossy category are aac (microsoft closed proprietary patented copy-protected we-still-own-it-you're-just-borrowing it blaha format), twinvq (bad BAD format based solely on a somewhat common hearing deficiency), mp+ (not a revolutionary advancement from mp3), mpc (160kbps _only_. good at what it does, but I'm not satisfied with 160kbps).

I won't pay for any of these either.

So unless entropy coding makes significant advances or bandwidth becomes much more readily available, I won't be paying for digital music anytime soon. Real cds is where it's at, for now.
 

Russell

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Jul 15, 2001
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Oooooh, new colour scheme. This rocks! No i mean yeah, MP3's are shite quality, but I have lots of patches that actually make them sound semi-decent again. The thing is I get bootlegs and live recordings in MP3 format, so the quality is shite neway. But I'm looking forward to a better way of compressing music :)
 

jimbobhickville

Tyrant in Distress
The only thing I have to say is that I would probably own about 200 fewer CDs if I hadn't been able to download and listen to them first. If the record companies think that my buying those 200 cds is bad, then I guess I'll look forward to saving some money in the future. All that Napster, et al, serve to do is promote talented bands and expose crappy ones. When people can hear the songs that aren't released on the radio and realize they're crap, they'll avoid buying the CD. Vice versa, when they can hear the songs that the radio doesn't play that are excellent, they'll buy those CDs. I think the record companies most fear that their total control over what is bought will be diminished. It's a power game, pure and simple.
 

Orchid

Nonchalant Onlooker
May 5, 2001
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No, I wouldn't pay for digital music. I usually download albums of interest, listen to them and buy the CD if I like the music and delete the mp3s after I get the CD. If not, well, it usually ends up laying on my HD for a year, me not as much as remembering it, and when I start to run out of space I delete it. I usually also encode the CDs I've bought as mp3s to be able to change the (virtual) album in a blink of an eye, as opposed to actually replacing the disc in the player. And clicking on 1:58 mark is a lot easier than rewinding from 3:26. ;)


Yet, simply nothing I've seen this far has been able to replace an actual CD. Imagine walking into a room of which two walls are actually shells, all full of CDs, compared to walking into a white, blank-walled room with a computer sitting in the corner and some guy telling you "Hey, take a look at this! I have 1.6 terabytes of mp3s in 256kbit/sec! I mean, man! 1.6 TB!" :heh:

As for mp3 audio quality, no, of course it's not as good as a CD, but let's be realistic. I've read various articles in which people (HiFi experts, HiFist (hobbyists) and "average listeners") have been asked to listen to mp3s played through top-HiFi gear, and the CD version after that, and most (note!) people couldn't tell the difference between the CD and a 256kbit/sec mp3.


Those figures from the Winamp.com poll.. well, considering the fact that metal is a minority of music, I wouldn't be alarmed. Metalheads seem to have at least some sort of respect for the artists they like and thus they end up buying the CDs or LPs.
 

Russell

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Jul 15, 2001
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Originally posted by jimbobhickville
The only thing I have to say is that I would probably own about 200 fewer CDs if I hadn't been able to download and listen to them first. If the record companies think that my buying those 200 cds is bad, then I guess I'll look forward to saving some money in the future. All that Napster, et al, serve to do is promote talented bands and expose crappy ones. When people can hear the songs that aren't released on the radio and realize they're crap, they'll avoid buying the CD. Vice versa, when they can hear the songs that the radio doesn't play that are excellent, they'll buy those CDs. I think the record companies most fear that their total control over what is bought will be diminished. It's a power game, pure and simple.

I don't know, as many of my friends just download the albums they like, and pu them on cd, rather than buying them. Which I think they shouldn't
 

MetalAges

Metal Is As Metal Does.
Staff member
Sep 30, 2001
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Ahhh the never ending mp3 discussion heh heh hehhhh!

Let me share a portion of what I posted on a mailing list when there was a big argument about this.

By the way, i wouldn't pay for a digital album. I like buying the REAL deal.. Cd with liner notes, cover, etc.. that to me is more of a solid piece in my music collection that some files with no accompanying "hold in my hands" stuff.

Here's the excerpt from my post:
I will *always, always* continue to download new music from the net whether the band(s) know about it or not. I have discovered way more bands this way then I ever have through magazines, radio, internet sites or whatever....it is a godsend to Metal (my opinion mind you). As far as stealing from the "mouths" of the families/bands, etc... that's bogus. I am feeding more bands and families mouths than I ever have because of mp3's! I think Metal and Hard Rocks fans are the most passionate when it comes to their music and just because we have it in mp3 format doesn't mean we won't be buying it. We need it, crave it, WANT IT for our collections for the simple fact of having it or having the whole
art/lyrics/liner notes, etc................Like a musician, I only make so much money and have so much of it to spare at any given time. But...BUT....rest assured...if I get a new band's album in mp3...and I dig it...it goes on my "to buy" list and I buy when I
can afford it. Would the band rather I never discover them at all or have me find their album on mp3...and maybe 1, 3, 6 months later be able to afford it along with other bands and buy it?

All this arguing is set on a fine line and people will have their own
opinions. I understand that "legally" we are really "accomplices" per se but even though I am "breaking the law" by possessing illegal copyrighted material and got it from someone who had no right to give it to me my guilt is washed away (to myself personally) when I am shelling out the $12-16 bucks to get their CD in my hands. :headbang:
 

Syn_Sith_999

Angel of Death
Oct 2, 2001
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Venice, ITALY
I WILL NOT buy digital music! I d/l mp3s for the sole purpose of checking out of a band is good and also discovering other bands similar to the one I originally checked. Like the first "Knot album, I first d/l five songs and listened to them for awhile until I decided that I wanted the CD. I bought it a few days later. N-wish was also another band I d/l their music before buying their cd. D/l mp3s should only be fore sampling songs and new bands, not to illegally create a copy of an album and selling it to friends at school for only 5 USD. Its true that w/o d/l some songs, I would have never found out that there are some kickass bands that dont really promote their material. Only a true music fan would respect the bands music by sampling, deciding and deleting... Sample and album, decide if you like it and delete it ....thats all....HAIL DISSECTION!!!!!!!