My first record was Abbey Road and my last was The Proclaimers, Sunshine on Leith! I don’t recall what my first CD was but my most recent was Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball in the lead up to his amazing Australian Tour.
I’ve watched record shops turn into CD shops and then seen the number of stores dwindle. The iconic Adelaide music store, The Muses was my favourite until it closed.
Even JB Hi-Fi has an ever contracting space allocated to music. There remains Amazon which has also benefited from plenty of my cash.
I have always loved browsing through Record and CD racks. It has been my lunchtime pass time since I started working in the late 70s and a highlight of travels interstate and overseas. We never had an HMV store in Adelaide but I remember spending hours in their stores in San Francisco, Singapore and London. The store in Singapore brings back memories as I spent a whole afternoon in the store – like a kid in a candy store!
I perhaps naively didn’t see my iPod as anything other than the ability to store all of my CDs. Thousands of songs at my fingertips whether at the gym, taking the dog for a walk, at work or in a plane. Then came the Cloud and iTunes Match which meant all of my music was available all of the time and on any device. Again I didn’t really see this as the end of CDs, simply a way to have music at my finger tips.
That all changed as I discovered Pandora and then Spotify. I love them both as they give access to such a wide variety of music. My preference is Spotify. It allows access to a seemingly unlimited music library,by artist, with the ability to download thousands of songs so long as you pay the monthly fee and regularly connect to the internet. At less than $20 a month it is a no brainier!
I have always been happy to pay for my music and never a fan of illegal downloads of music. It doesn’t seem right to deny the artist royalties on their music. Whilst I have downloaded music via iTunes it really did’t grab me. Pandora and Spotify seem different. As with iTunes the artist at least gets the royalty although I fear nothing like what they get with a CD sale. The issue of royalties was discussed byGalaxy 500 band members which suggests that artists certainly won’t get rich from this model!
That said, music rental seems the way of the future. I am sure a model will be worked out that gives the artist suitable reward and enables the subscription service to make a profit.
I also find that I am not listening to traditional radio much anymore. All I need is an Internet connection and no more inane DJs with their mindless attempts at humor, just music of my choice. I wasn’t that keen on the ads so I moved from the freemium model to the premium model which comes without ads and in much better quality.
What the future be I am not sure, but whilst I am sad that the era of CDs is seemingly over I am delighted that a new model for accessing music is emerging. One that may not allow me to own my music but one that allows me to listen to whatever I like, whenever I like.
This week I found a Dylan live concert I hadn’t heard before, got excited listening to Peter, Paul & Mary and checked out Carla Bruni’s new album. Pretty amazing!