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Record sales down 4 years straight

By mcgrew in Op-Ed
Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 07:04:27 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

"Fourth consecutive annual drop blamed squarely on illegal file sharing" says vnunet. "The 2003 decline reflects consumers' continuing practice to download songs illegally from the Internet" says the Miami Herald. "Global music sales had another difficult year in 2003 under the combined effects of digital and physical piracy and competition from other entertainment products," the Hollywood Reporter parrots. "Global sales of recorded music slid again in 2003 as piracy and illegal downloading continued to inflict damage," Newsday harps. "Industry executives blame European consumers for burning music onto blank compact discs or downloading the music for free off the Internet rather than buy from the local record shop" says Forbes. The The Moscow Times claims "Pirates Taking a Toll on $32Bln Music Industry".

Not a single one of them mentioned the four year boycott of the major labels, which started right before the slump in sales started.

There's a lesson for you youngsters here- your newspaper does not tell you anything resembling the truth. From Moscow to anywhere this side of the moon, every single paper quotes the IFPI.

Not one of them quotes boycott-riaa.com.

But actually, the old, pre-puppet Napster actually did start the RIAA on the road to ruin. First, it opened people's ears to new genres of music, particularly young people. Word of mouth is a very good way to advertise, particularly when every teenager has thirty other kids worldwide on their IM. "Hey, check out this cool band I found..."

Unfortunately for the major labels, the stuff talked about on IM and discovered through P2P wasn't the stuff you could hear on the radio.

That's not to say that indie stuff out trades RIAA stuff. It doesn't. In fact, good indie music is buried beneath an avalanch of Jackson, Spears, and the like. But these downloads only spur sales, as every single non-RIAA sponsored study has shown. But for every Pietasters CD sold is a Metallica CD that is NOT sold.

The bad thing about Napster for everyone; labels, bands, and listeners alike, was its touting itself as a "celestial jukebox".

It never was a "jukebox". You put money in a jukebox, and you don't have a jukebox at home; at least, most people don't. It's a radio that you can tell where to go and what to do.

But the labels heard the word "jukebox" and saw dollar signs. So they sued, and started shovelling money to every single politician on the planet, and got draconian laws passed world wide.

The people who actually foot the bill - you and I - got fed up with the moronic record industry and boycotted. Which is a factor in the declining sales you don't hear about.

Now, if you folks will excuse me, I have some CDs to burn.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Why are you not buying RIAA music?
o Huh? But I am! 8%
o I'm boycotting until they grow a brain and a heart 8%
o The music sucks 7%
o The music really really really sucks 28%
o I like the free and legal stuff better 9%
o Local bands' CDs only cost five bucks 6%
o I'd rather pay a $3 cover and $10 worth of beer than buy a CD 5%
o Too broke from buying DVDs 1%
o Too broke from buying games 3%
o Too broke from buying porn 1%
o Yo ho ho! ARRRR!!! Avast, matey! 21%

Votes: 133
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o vnunet
o Miami Herald.
o Hollywood Reporter
o Newsday
o Forbes
o The Moscow Times
o boycott
o boycott-ri aa.com
o study
o CDs to burn.
o Also by mcgrew

Display: Sort:
Record sales down 4 years straight | 155 comments (146 topical, 9 editorial, 2 hidden)
As good a place as any to ask (2.77 / 9) (#3)
by godix on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 06:59:56 PM EST

Since I'm a thirty year old guy who isn't a pedophiliac I don't have 30 kids in IM to ask this. Anyone know any good techno/dance/house/acid/whatever musicians I should check out? For that matter, can anyone explain WTF is the difference between techno/dance/house/acid/whatever?

Thank god I'm worth more than SilentChris

Ehhhh (none / 2) (#8)
by Tex Bigballs on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:20:02 PM EST

well it's hard to categorize techno really. I listen to electronic music pretty much all the time and I raelly don't know how it's all categorized.

Just some off the top of my head, Prodigy, Paul Oakenfold, FC Kahuna, BT (Brian Transeau), Shpongled, Massive Attack, Crystal Method, Orbital, Chemical Brothers... I could go on and on.

Good shoutcast http://scastsrv2.shoutcast.com:8038/listen.pls (techno jazz)

or www.somafm.com (variety of different techno)

[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 1) (#9)
by godix on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:25:55 PM EST

I was thinking more along the lines of Lords of Acid or some such but thanks, you've given me some people to rip off... errr check out before purchasing their albums.

The techno jazz is quite interesting, definately a different feel for electronic music than normal for me.

Thank god I'm worth more than SilentChris

[ Parent ]

Lords of Acid (2.50 / 4) (#22)
by Tex Bigballs on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 11:43:22 PM EST

is just an out of control drum machine and novelty sex lyrics. Some of their shit is not too bad, but their sound is a little too chaotic for me.

[ Parent ]
agreed [nt] (none / 1) (#78)
by epburn on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 04:30:16 AM EST

[ Parent ]
True that (none / 1) (#87)
by godix on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 04:03:16 PM EST

But sometimes I like out of control drum machines and novelty sex lyrics. I have noticed that I've yet to listen to an entire album of it at once because I get bored after a few tracks though.

Thank god I'm worth more than SilentChris

[ Parent ]
all you never wanted to know (none / 2) (#79)
by epburn on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 04:35:08 AM EST

Ishkur's is more information than you ever, ever wanted to know about electronica. Some basics, though...

Tech(no): is going to be your Chemical Brothers, Crystal Method, DJ Icey. Icey's Essential Mix is really solid, you might check that out. Basement Jaxx is good in this (you've heard them, even if you don't realize it), they've got some house stuff too. Producer named BT has some pretty accessible stuff.

Trance: little harder, little faster, little higher pitched or more melodic. Mixes by DJ Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk. Oakenfold used to be this. Tiesto's actually the best in this genre imho. There are some mixes called "In Search of Sunrise" that are good examples of the lighter, slightly more ambient style.

House: Modern disco. Deep Dish. I consider John Digweed this. I don't really listen to this so I don't know many.

"Techno Jazz:" There's a lot of different kinds of this. There's acid jazz. There's the weirdass stuff DJ Spooky and the Knitting Factory does. There's "Intelligent Dance Music" (dumb name) from Squarepusher or Aphex Twin. If you're looking for beats and horns, I recommend a Japanese hip-hop DJ called Krush (just do it, trust me), and if you like that, a French guy, DJ Cam and then DJ Shadow. Good afternoon hipster BBQ music. Some albums to look for are Cam's Mad Blunted Jazz and maybe Zen from Krush.

You got a lot of different netradio recommendations, but for more-mainstream-but-not-quite-lame-yet stuff, just look for BBC Radio One's Essential Mix series, for the Global Underground CD series, or for the Global DJ series from some radio station out of Florida. Now all you need are glowsticks or a pretentious, audiophile attitude.

[ Parent ]
Fluke and Underworld, too. (none / 2) (#29)
by Zerotime on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 05:59:13 AM EST

I can't believe you missed the other two big British electronic acts.

Oh, and I also reccommend Infusion. They're Australian, but don't let that put you off.

"You don't even have to drink it. You just rub it on your hips and it eats its way through to your liver."
[ Parent ]

Infected Mushroom. [entee] (none / 2) (#109)
by Innocent Bystander on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 12:39:54 PM EST

[ Parent ]
do this (none / 1) (#11)
by Work on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:28:11 PM EST

get Radio@Netscape. They've got a pretty good electronic selection. If you like acid jazz, the electronic station, abstract beats and acid jazz stations are pretty good.

The most exhaustive guide to electronic music ive come across is here: here

[ Parent ]

Eisbrecher (none / 2) (#32)
by b1t r0t on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 09:49:25 AM EST

...is bery bery good to me. Also try some Rammstein.

I can't explain the differences, since I'm almost a decade older than you are. I just call both Rammstein and Eisbrecher "German Industrial". Either way, German sung with a deep voice sounds really cool.

Rammstein has also been called "Dance Metal", so I guess like Hip Hop vs Rap... if you haven't heard enough, you won't know what the subtle differences are.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]

Some from my collection... (none / 0) (#151)
by ksandstr on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 09:35:04 AM EST

More of the european industrial stuff:
  • :wumpscut:, though that's a little older
  • Aslan Faction
  • C-Drone-Defect
  • Feindflug
  • C-Tec (they're from Belgium, I think)
  • Front 242 (an obvious classic)
And other stuff along the same lines,
  • Coil (if you can get your hands on any)
  • Assemblage 23 (though that's more like especially beaty future-pop these days)
  • Covenant (though avoid the metal band by the same name)
  • Battery (who've since broken up)
  • Decoded Feedback
  • VNV Nation (again with the future-pop)
  • Apoptygma Berzerk
  • Funker Vogt (their older work is surprisingly good)
Phew! I guess that's enough word-of-mouth for the day.

[ Parent ]
argh (none / 0) (#152)
by ksandstr on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 09:44:21 AM EST

How the hell could I neglect to mention Haujobb? If you have the chance, have a quick listen to Solutions for a Small Planet or Homes and Gardens. Solutions is great enough to be one of my all-time favourite albums, though I guess there are quite a few of those.

[ Parent ]
Clubs (none / 2) (#38)
by Znork on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:13:52 AM EST

Frankly, if you want to find some new music I'd strongly recommend finding some local clubs playing the music you're interested in, and check out bands playing there.

Find new cool music, and let your money find their way into the actual artists hand. At least here they tend to often sell CD's where they're playing, so you can pick them up at once if you like them.

[ Parent ]

genres (none / 2) (#51)
by celeriac on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 03:18:29 PM EST

The massively fragmented genres thing is only really relevant or useful to DJs. Basically if you take any two random 'tech house' records and mix them together, it will sound decent, if uninspired. It's much less likely that a random 'tech house' record will mix with a random 'psytrance' record.

If you really want to learn all the silly genre names, check Ishkur's guide.

[ Parent ]

Thank you for illustrating the real reason (none / 2) (#63)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 08:52:23 PM EST

record sales are in decline - the greying of the western world.


You'll take my Led Zepplin LPs when you pry them from my cold dead fingers you young whippersnappers!

Will we line up for Grand Theft Auto 5 if it's the exact same thing, only with prettier texture-mapped bruises on the whores? -- David Wong
[ Parent ]

Christ... (none / 1) (#106)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 11:31:39 AM EST

I don't know how many copies of LZ1 alone I've bought.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

At one point I realized that I owned (none / 1) (#113)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 05:30:39 PM EST

Aqualung in every possible format except reel-to-reel.

Will we line up for Grand Theft Auto 5 if it's the exact same thing, only with prettier texture-mapped bruises on the whores? -- David Wong
[ Parent ]
allmusic.com (3.00 / 4) (#68)
by Tritone on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 09:38:51 PM EST

For all your musical definitions: http://www.allmusic.com/

They also have a pretty good discography and reviews for most albums. Now, as for some techno-ish artists:
  • Boards of Canada (specifically the album Music Has The Right To Children)
  • Squarepusher (I don't like them, but my roommate swears by them)
  • Autechre


Rick: Yeah, this is the sort of thing that Limp Bizkit would play. I'm down with him, you know. With Mr. Bizkit.
[ Parent ]
Check out DJ Substance (none / 2) (#73)
by tzanger on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:56:47 PM EST


Legal, free mixes.  I particularly like 9/11 Mix Side A and Phase One, although Opression 17 is very good, too.

[ Parent ]

astral projection (none / 2) (#81)
by warrax on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 07:23:48 AM EST

esp. the "Another World" album. They've also done a godly trance remix of Faithless' "God is a DJ".

-- "Guns don't kill people. I kill people."
[ Parent ]
Acid (none / 2) (#105)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 11:30:09 AM EST

Search kazaa for "Joe Bird and the Field Hippies", song "waiting to die" is a perfact example of acid music.

Not to be confused with Country Joe and the Fish's Waitin' to Die Rag, which was kind of an anti-war folk song.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

How I find good new rock and techno (none / 2) (#107)
by gte910h on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 12:02:06 PM EST

Go to www.shoutcast.com

Go to channels that have things I like, and play them using winamp or iTunes

Read name of song and artist

(Sometimes) Go to iTunes Check out Artists samples

(Sometimes) Go to a borders that has that "scan the cd to hear its entirety" system.

Problem with both of those is that techno is underrepresented. Perhaps if you asked the borders people to scan some they would.


[ Parent ]

Lamb (none / 2) (#111)
by Houston T on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 04:45:33 PM EST

I just got hooked on Lamb after hearing "Stronger" off of their album Between Darkness and Wonder. They've been described to me as Trance, but I really couldn't say. One of the things I like best about them is the (female) vocalist's voice.

[ Parent ]
Lamb? *Trance*? (none / 1) (#117)
by jandev on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 09:49:54 AM EST

YMBK... They started of as a guy that liked Drum&Bass, and a girl with a sexy voice. Check out 'Lamb' (1996) for that. Skip 'Fear of fours' (1999), and note how on 'What sound' (2001) they evolved to just beautiful music that transcends genre descriptions, as good music should. I haven't heard the newest one yet, but it's supposed to be even better. Anyway, Gorecki (from 'Lamb') still gives me shivers. JdV!!

[ Parent ]

Re: Lamb? *Trance*? (none / 1) (#139)
by Houston T on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 12:16:18 AM EST

Nope, wasn't kidding, but I was misremembering. My friend actually described them as Trip-Hop. Does that make more sense? I'm really very ignorant of what defines all these different genres. Perhaps, as with fine art, that leaves me without a sense of understanding, but so far I haven't had a lot of trouble finding music that resonates with me.

[ Parent ]
Suggestions (none / 1) (#140)
by brain in a jar on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 07:18:22 AM EST

In no particular order or genre:

The chemical brothers,

The prodigy (including their older stuff from "music for the jilted generation" and "the prodigy experience".

Squarepusher (drum and bass, pretty interesting)

Aphex Twin, (electronica)

Natural born chillers (drum and bass remix artists extraordianairre)

Roni Size (UK drum and bass, pretty cool)

Goldie (also cool UK drum and bass)

As for house, I have a soft spot for Faithless, Death in Vegas are cool too.

Thats all I can think of for now, electronica isn't my main interest but all the above are good.

Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.
[ Parent ]

To be able to discern: (none / 1) (#143)
by Gluke on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 12:53:02 PM EST

Buy vinyl and listen a lot.

Or better yet, hang out at your friendly local record shop, browse and listen. All the good ones have tables so that you can check stuff out before you decide.

[ Parent ]
Just call it "electronic" (none / 1) (#144)
by shazbot on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 03:39:18 PM EST

That way you can avoid the confusion that arises out of the use of specific genres, sub-genres and hybrids. It's not all "dance", because frankly not all of it is that danceable. ;)

The term "techno" was once used to refer to all electronic music, but nowadays within the EDM (that's "Electronic Dance Music") community, "techno" encompasses very specific sounds: songs with repetitive machine samples and lots of digital processing. glitchy minimal productions, and the so-called "microhouse" that consists of painstakingly arranged super-short samples over house beats.

"House" is even more ambiguous: everything that employs a 4-on-the-floor kick within a relatively wide tempo range (110 to, say, 140) could be considered "house" music these days. For instance, a lot of techno borrows from the structure of house music, and is now refered to by house afficionados as "tech-house". Confusing, ain't it?

"Acid" refers specifically to the sound of an abused Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer. In or around 1985, Chicago house music producers introduced this sound to partiers who, as legend has it, deemed the sound "acid house" because it made them feel as if they were on acid. Later, the term "acid" became a modifier for other genres that employed the sound of the 303 on top of their distinct musical structures.

Of course, as electronic music evolves further, these distinctions will become less important. That's why I'd rather just refer to all of it as "electronic". I don't know why the big record stores decided to add an "a" to the end, but for some stupid reason you'll find most of this music under the "electronica" section at your local music store.

If you're looking for good electronic music, I'd recommend some really good DJ mixes. Mixes are a good way to find a large number of artists with a wide variety of sounds. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Anything in the Fabric series. My favorites are the mixes by Tyler Stadius, Michael Mayer, Swayzak, and Terry Francis.
  • Anything in the DJ Kicks series on !K7. These span a wider variety of music, branching outside of electronic in some instances. My faves include Andrea Parker, Nightmares on Wax, Truby Trio, and Kruder & Dorfmiester (all of which also produce great material of their own).
  • The "Back to Mine" series on Ultra. These are more chilled out mixes. The best by far is that of Everything But the Girl.
  • If you're into the darker, more progressive sounds, you'll enjoy stuff on Bedrock and the Global Underground series. My favorite GU is Danny Tenaglia's Athens double-disk mix.
  • On the funkier side are some of San Francisco's most well-known DJ's. Look for anything by Jëno or Mark Farina (the Mushroom Jazz series really good). There's also a great mix of live music by Hesoshi on Imperial Dub that's rather enjoyable.
  • More funk and quirk comes from Derrick Carter's Classic label. His double-disc mix with Luke Solomon is very nice.
  • The "Journey by DJ" series shows off some more ecclectic mixing styles. Perhaps one of the best (studio) mixes of all times is the Coldcut mix.
  • Jack Dangers' (of Meat Beat Manifesto) "Hello, Friends" mix of Tino Corp. tracks is superb.
Artists that I heartily recommend include: Matthew Dear, Ritchie Hawtin, Telefon Tel Aviv, Tosca, Autechre, Aphex Twin (Ambient Works Volume II, in particular), Future Sound of London, Download (essentially an offshoot of Skinny Puppy, if you're into the grittier stuff), Boards of Canada, Oddtoot, Hybrid, Jazzanova, Layo & Bushwacka, Wagon Christ (anything by Luke Vibert), Freaky Chakra, Single Cell Orchestra, Sutekh... I could go on and on, but that's a good start of very varied material.

[ Parent ]
Hmm (2.66 / 6) (#4)
by jmzero on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:00:38 PM EST

An interesting question is "why the continued decrease?".  Filesharing has decreased since Napster-peak (or even Kazaa-peak) highs, hasn't it?  Why haven't we seen a corresponding raise in album sales?  Or am I getting the facts wrong?
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
i'd be curious... (2.92 / 14) (#5)
by Work on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:04:22 PM EST

if theres been a decline in *radio* listenership in the past 4 years.

ClearChannel's homogenization of the airwaves with tepid, forgettable music may have alot to do with it, if thats pushed people to looking online for music that they enjoy.

I know I almost exclusively choose internet radio while at home (Radio@Netscape), and a check of the local stations while in my car before switching to my cd changer if the usual staind/nickleback/soundalikes are once again being played.

And DVD growth (none / 3) (#80)
by sien on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 07:03:06 AM EST

The other factor has to be DVD growth. People used to buy a few videos, now it seems that most places where you can buy CDs have a huge DVD collection.

OK. 10 seconds of Googling. These figures are for 2002 but they have to represent something. DVD sales were up by a staggering 61 PERCENT.

[ Parent ]

DVDs are a better value, too (none / 2) (#123)
by Erbo on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 11:35:44 AM EST

Right now, DVDs are a better bargain for your entertainment dollar. When you can find a DVD of an entire movie for the same price as--or less than--the CD of the movie's soundtrack, it's clear which is the better buy. The DVD has six times as much raw data, and is often more interesting.
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]
Another filesharing apologist. (1.23 / 13) (#6)
by ninja rmg on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:08:19 PM EST

How can you possibly claim that filesharing does not damage the record companies' profits? It's so bloody obvious. You get something for free, then suddenly you don't want to buy it. So, so simple. You're not going to pay for something you can get for free.

Has indie really increased in popularity? No. Hell no. Eighties hair metal is more popular amongst young people than indie bands.

"But wait, I've bought CDs since I started using Napster back in the 90s !!" Good for you. Anecdotes. Fantastic. There are several obvious problems here, though. There's sampling error. For every one of you who says that, there's two like me who have listened exclusively to stolen music since the late 90s and probably half of you are lying anyway so your comment will be modded "Score: 5, Insightful." There's the fact that this popular myth only seems to be prevalent in discussion forums devoted to copyright infringement apologetics.

The proof is in the pudding. Before Napster, the music industry was doing fine. Then, suddenly, they're getting wiped out. Hm. I wonder why.

to be fair.. (none / 3) (#10)
by Work on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:26:06 PM EST

though i agree, file sharing is undoubtedly having *some* effect, by and large the biggest cause for drops in music purchases have always been: state of the economy. And its not new. In the early 90s music sales tanked.

When people have less money to spend freely, mass entertainment is always on the chopping block.

I buy less CDs than I did in the mid-late 90s. It's not because of file sharing though. I used to listen to the radio all the time, and would buy CDs from singles I heard on there. However today, radio is a terrible shadow of what it was 10 years ago. I suspect this has much to do with it.

[ Parent ]

Duh (none / 3) (#12)
by conthefol on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:31:05 PM EST

Of course filesharing hurts their profits. Do you think they have a right to profits?

[=- We Can Do Better. -=]
[ Parent ]

Well let's see, (none / 2) (#14)
by ninja rmg on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:40:21 PM EST

Do they provide a service people want? Yes.

Do they sell their services on the free market? Yes.

Are their exclusive rights to do so legally protected? Yes.

So to answer your question, yes, if people avail themselves of these those services, the providers of said service has a right to profit from that.

[ Parent ]

Actually... (2.87 / 8) (#37)
by Znork on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:03:40 AM EST

"Do they provide a service people want? Yes."

No. They are merely the major distribution force, controlling most marketing, distribution and sales channels.

This is the 'service' the RIAA corporations provide, and it's a service neither most consumer or artists want, but find it hard to get rid of.

"Do they sell their services on the free market? Yes."

No. As the RIAA corps to a large extent control the channels it's not a free market.

Not to mention that copyright is itself a mechanism to artificially explicitly limit the freedom of the market for specific reasons.

"Are their exclusive rights to do so legally protected? Yes."

Unfortunately, you're right on that point. Which means that maybe it's time to change that legislation.

[ Parent ]

It's kind of like (none / 3) (#13)
by speek on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:37:15 PM EST

"Hey there's global warming, and sure humans are changing the atmosphere in ways we know can cause more energy to be trapped in it, but that's no reason to think the two are linked."

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

The numbers don't agree with you (none / 3) (#48)
by dennis on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 12:21:47 PM EST

That's just the sort of "it's obvious, I don't have to look at the data" thinking that gets us into all kinds of trouble. Harvard Business School looked at the data. They disagree with you.

And you've got your timeline screwed up. The music industry was still doing fine when Napster was popular. It went downhill after they killed Napster, raised their prices, and released less new music, during an economic downturn.

[ Parent ]

Another point (none / 2) (#49)
by kitten on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 02:26:43 PM EST

The proof is in the pudding. Before Napster, the music industry was doing fine. Then, suddenly, they're getting wiped out. Hm. I wonder why.

Actually, they started getting wiped out about the time George Bush took office, isn't that so?

Coincidence? You decide.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
I have two teenaged daughters (none / 1) (#104)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 11:25:18 AM EST

The youngest listens to ska and punk, the oldest plays her PS2. Admittedly a small sample size, but...

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

I don't think (2.83 / 6) (#7)
by mcc on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:14:16 PM EST

I don't think the boycott really has much of an effect on things. It's being unduly ignored by the press, but it's certainly not mainstream either.

I think if you want an explanation, you could explain it better than either "music theft" or got-disillusioned-with-the-RIAA-and-stopped-buying-their-products syndrome by the fact that you could very cleanly have retitled this article "Record quality down 4 years straight".

Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame

Maybe is a good thing (none / 3) (#15)
by vqp on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 09:03:08 PM EST

There used to be so much money involved, that recording companies started to treat music as a product, make it, package it, market it, and sell it.
Once people can get what they want for free, the marketeers will have no reason to invent and promote "artists".
So the musicians that will survive will be the true musicians, people who write music or lyrics not for money but for pleasure.
I'm sure all of them can make a living on that, they will not be rich, but, hey... maybe they compose better and realistic songs if they live normal-guy lives, not taking baths on kangaroo milk or having a plastic surgery once a month.

happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

So what? (2.50 / 8) (#16)
by problem child on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 09:05:57 PM EST

Lots of businesses aren't raking it in like in the late 90s.

Boycotting is not the same as stealing... (1.62 / 8) (#18)
by skyknight on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 10:21:36 PM EST

To boycott something means to eschew any interaction with it. Stealing from someone is not boycotting them.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Well. (none / 1) (#74)
by valeko on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 12:21:28 AM EST

If marketplace interaction is used as the sole frame of reference, then yes, it is.

And then, of course, this notion of stealing should be interrogated. To say that it is stealing merely because it violates intellectual property laws is to take a very mechanistic approach -- it is true, but only in the most technical sense. Most people accept, I think, that laws don't exist in a vacuum. You will only believe that if you have been sufficiently "professionalised" ("neutralised"), as most lawyers are. Laws must be evaluated together with the context in which they exist, which means that the justice of the situation should be considered.

Why should music be the RIAA's property, especially in the fashion that it is so?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Because the musicians signed papers... (none / 0) (#84)
by skyknight on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 10:31:30 AM EST

that said that it would belong to the RIAA. If they didn't like that, then they shouldn't have taken the RIAA's money.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
boycotting (2.50 / 4) (#19)
by the77x42 on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 10:41:08 PM EST

part of my boycott is to download their cd's instead of buying them. i can't remember what came first though -- probably the downloading. boycotting is a pretty lame legitimization.

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

Bullshit (2.80 / 10) (#20)
by onemorekiss on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 11:08:49 PM EST

To say that a mass boycott is the reason why sales are slumping is ridiculous. The people inclined to boycott major labels in favour of small indie labels are few and far in between. When little Johnny logs onto napster, he downloads the latest top 40, not some obscure indie rocker. It is very difficult to get people to listen to music that's not playing on the radio or on MTV. There is no mass movement; indie has always been a fringe thing. [How long will it take for one of you cool indie rock kids to reply: dude, indie rock is so commercial now with the strokes & shit, indie rock is dead. Except for me.]

Overheard a few years ago in one of my computer science classes:

<faggotitalianboy>Dude.. I got the coolest cds.. All the best stuff! J-lo, Britney Spears.. all the highest rated songs

I don't buy CD's anymore (none / 2) (#23)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 12:43:28 AM EST

Even if I want them.  I do this because the RIAA pisses me off.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Right (none / 3) (#25)
by onemorekiss on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 12:51:45 AM EST

most people aren't as philosophical about this as you are

[ Parent ]
And did you read... (none / 2) (#27)
by Redemption042 on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 03:47:44 AM EST

..the line about every non-RIAA funded study on the effects of filesharing on record sales?

Have you read the studies? They've found NO, yes, I say again, NO correllation between filesharing and dropping sales.

oh, I'm sorry.  Do those studies conflict with your point of view? I guess we should ignore them then.

[ Parent ]

Uh (none / 2) (#35)
by onemorekiss on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 10:13:00 AM EST

Even if we assume that these studies are correct, it does not necessarily mean that this slump in record sales is due to a MASSIVE GRASSROOTS BOYCOTT BY A GOOD SEGMENT OF THE RECORD BUYING POPULATION. If there is an organized boycott, it is likely insignificant. The mainstream buyer does not care for your politics.

Possible other explanations:

  1. Troubles with the US economy in general have led people to save more and spend less.
  2. The acts promoted by the major record companies simply aren't as alluring as they have been in previous years.

[ Parent ]
My politics? (none / 2) (#55)
by Redemption042 on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 06:18:43 PM EST

I'm sorry, did I mention my politics? I don't recall doing so... funny that.

Furthermore, I never once said the reason cd sales are dipping was because of a boycott. I merely pointed out that it wasn't because of filesharing.  Furthermore, if you actually about or, just read, the studys done, I think you would have to admit that they were pretty damn impartial.  However, I do understand that it is easier to imply then a study is not impartial then it is to read about it and find that it actually is impartial.  Sorry for being so condescending to your laziness.

P.S.  Note: no politics mentioned in above post.  No politics implied in above post.  Simply facts.  If you confuse political statements for statements of fact or vice versa, then the problem is in your head.

[ Parent ]

naw (none / 0) (#110)
by coryking on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 02:54:17 PM EST

Most people *are*. Fuck, even my girlfriend, a nurse, hates buying CD's cause she fucking hates the RIAA. Before napster, she and probably a fuckload of other people never even heard of those fuckers. Belive me, even though there is some probably bullshit formalized "boycott", I suspect there are a lot of people out there who are just plain fed up with RIAA suing their own customers. They may even be "boycotting" RIAA without even being aware there is a formal boycott. OR something... i should be doing homework...

[ Parent ]
Grass (none / 3) (#30)
by dennis on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 07:58:17 AM EST

You seem to be under the impression that it's only obscure indie-loving geeks who are ticked off at the labels. I'm not sure how you got that idea.

40 million people were using Napster, before the labels took it away. When replacements got equally popular, the labels tried to take them away. During this time they raised their prices. Then the labels went after individual users, in very-well-publicised lawsuits against grandmothers and 12-year-old girls living in the projects.

I used to buy a fair number of new CDs. I don't use filesharing. Mostly now I buy used CDs, but every once in a while I buy a new one. Every time I do, I feel dirty.

You can't make your customers feel that way and expect to keep sales up. CD sales were increasing before they killed Napster. That's when people liked the music industry. People used Napster to find obscure music that wasn't published anymore, they used it to find new stuff, and then in large numbers they bought CDs. That's what the numbers tell us. Then the labels turned themselves into an evil empire, and 40 million music lovers got angry.

[ Parent ]

You are an internet geek (2.60 / 5) (#36)
by onemorekiss on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 10:26:23 AM EST

that is computer savvy and keeps tabs on this sort of political action. Mom & pop and little Johnny don't give a shit. There is no mass boycott. Start talking about boycotts and the average person's eyes glaze over.


[ Parent ]

huh (3.00 / 6) (#39)
by khallow on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:30:36 AM EST

You forgot one.


Look deeper if you want to see the real person and not the myth you've built up.

Having said that, I don't buy the "boycott is working" hype. Not because the "common man" isn't pulling the load, but because the boycott is in name only.

For example, the first thing I looked for was recommendations on how to boycott the RIAA and their members. The "boycott-riaa.com" site had plenty of recommendations on what congressmen to write (or what T-shirts to buy), but nothing on what RIAA products to avoid. This is a problem because the RIAA members produce a lot more than just CD's and hence have more leverage available than this protest group is using. The pressure should really be placed on the big companies (Vivendi, etc) instead of just spewing the list of members and more or less hinting "you know what to do".

For an example of successful boycotts look at Martin Luther King, Jr. He'd announce that Woolworth (or whoever) is to be boycotted, then that company would knuckle under real fast. The same tactic can work here. Boycott one at a time. For example, let's stop buying stuff from Vivendi until they withdraw from the RIAA. It'll be ok to buy products from other RIAA members (though we'd prefer you buy from non-RIAA members) just don't buy any product (CD's, movies, whatever) from Vivendi. If you must break the law, then copy a lot of Vivendi product. Either Vivendi withdraws from RIAA, the US market, and/or goes bankrupt. Problem solved. Then go after the next big member of RIAA.

This works even if you have a moderate amount of economic muscle (which probably is the case here) because the target company is now operating at a competitive disadvantage. It's assets are worth a bit less. Any assets it buys will immediately lose some value while assets it sells will gain in value. And the never ending stream of bad publicity will hurt it more than its competitors. Patiently wear them down one at a time.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

There is no *organized* boycott (3.00 / 5) (#45)
by dennis on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 12:00:22 PM EST

Good idea, might work. But...Most people have never heard of boycott-riaa.com. Nor will they pay much attention to a campaign to beat up on Vivendi. onemorekiss is right about that.

But those same people that he derides as the "common man" are, nevertheless, consumers of mass media news, who saw the stories about the twelve-year-old. Many of them used to use Napster, until that shiny toy was broken. You don't have to be some kind of politically-motivated computer geek (like me, admittedly) to be angry that (a) hey, that Napster was fun, wassupwitdat, and (b) those bastards are suing a twelve-year-old? I have friends who couldn't remotely be considered computer geeks, and aren't especially into indie music, who are nevertheless pissed about that, and they didn't hear about it from me.

Look, there's one thing that advertising people have learned over the past century, and it motivates every single television ad you see. This is the thing: Most people buy things based on emotion. And right now, many people have decidedly negative emotions about the music industry. No organized boycott involved, just the inevitable effects of amazingly bad public relations. It happens in other industries, and this one is not immune.

[ Parent ]

by Russell Dovey on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 10:06:15 AM EST

no text. Except this. And my signature, which isn't that witty no more. Must change it. You, you there, remind me to change it when I log on tomorrow.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

The common man... (none / 1) (#150)
by ksandstr on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 09:19:49 AM EST

Is also surprisingly smart when you would least expect.

(Or maybe the situation is far worse over there, across the atlantic.)

[ Parent ]

got to agree (none / 2) (#41)
by khallow on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:36:20 AM EST

I don't see any evidence in this story that this boycott is effective. A key piece of evidence would be proof that non-RIAA members were doing better than RIAA members. Where's those figures?

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Never said it was the major reason (none / 1) (#103)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 11:19:21 AM EST

Just that it was a factor, where studies show that p2p "piracy" is NOT a factor, as it actually drives sales upward.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

The RIAA is doomed (2.71 / 7) (#24)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 12:50:03 AM EST

Their business model depends on the existence of a large middle class who have at least a modest disposable income.

Unfortunately, the age of the American middle class is winding down.  When there's only rich people and poor people the record companies won't have enough potental customers anymore.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

The business model also requres. . . (none / 3) (#43)
by Pop Top on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:54:28 AM EST


But they ain't got none.

[ Parent ]

Ummmm. no. (2.66 / 6) (#62)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 08:49:27 PM EST

It depends on a large middle class of young people.

The people who buy lots of music are the same people who go to clubs, concerts and so on. In other words, young, unmarried and childless.

And the Western world is getting old mighty fast.

Will we line up for Grand Theft Auto 5 if it's the exact same thing, only with prettier texture-mapped bruises on the whores? -- David Wong
[ Parent ]

erm (2.54 / 11) (#26)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 03:21:15 AM EST

cd sales are down because of filesharing


but, our conclusions are the same: fuck the riaa, keep downloading pirate music, don't buy cds

the riaa is a dinosaur, fighting it's death

the future is music distribution for free on the internet

14 year old boys do not start playing guitar/ 808/ scratch board to make money, they do it to impress girls ;-P nothing will ever stop that

death to music, long live music... human being's love of music long predated the music industry, and the love of music will be here long after the death of the music industry

no corporation owns your culture

no one said you had to make money off of music

sorry, greedy corporate assholes

welcome to the internet age

just ask the incans/ aztecs: not all discoveries are good for everyone

too bad losing greedy corporate assholes is nothing anyone weeps for

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Put those on refridgerator magnets (none / 3) (#31)
by JayGarner on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 08:32:16 AM EST

And you can sell a box of them at record stores.

[ Parent ]
+3 Its C T S (3.00 / 6) (#46)
by Pop Top on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 12:04:58 PM EST

+4 if you ever find the upper case key, dude.

[ Parent ]
You are so very right (none / 2) (#47)
by Noize on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 12:13:24 PM EST

If there was njo music to be made, we sure couldn´t listen to newest Britney Spears crap. But would that have kept any real musicians (as in totally obsessed artists) from making music? I don´t think Kurt Cobain started with music to make a bucketload of money. Sooo...perhaps less money for music is a good thing.

[ Parent ]
hi (none / 3) (#77)
by conthefol on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 01:34:18 AM EST

You would not have heard Kurt Cobain if it were not for the 'evil corporate machine' making him famous.

[=- We Can Do Better. -=]
[ Parent ]

Yes but (none / 1) (#102)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 11:16:30 AM EST

there was no P2P or internet radio then.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

I'm now wierded out. (none / 2) (#108)
by Innocent Bystander on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 12:21:20 PM EST

I actually *agree* with you. I'm going to have to rethink my position. :)

[ Parent ]
It's not filesharing killing the RIAA... (2.81 / 11) (#28)
by Psycho Dave on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 04:25:04 AM EST

It's how over priced their CD's are.

When I have disposable income, it usually goes towards DVDs. Why? Because the DVD of a movie is usually cheaper than it's soundtrack.

CDs have competition from DVDs, videogames, etc. Even though 85% (I'm being generous) of major label music is fucking diarrhea, I will concede that at some point, a good band that I have to have will break through. I'm not paying 18.99 for it though. It's cheaper and more convenient to swipe it quick off P2P and run before any RIAA jackasses sue me.

Sure, I could download it off iTunes for 9.99. That's still too expensive in my book. Once music is at a price where it can be an impulse buy (like around five, six bucks) is when I'll start buying again. Hell, I might even buy from a band I never heard of--five bucks costs less than the watered down gin and tonic I bought at a Lodo yuppie bar last night.

Thursday's Wall Street Journal .... (none / 2) (#64)
by blakdogg on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 09:09:43 PM EST

Has an interesting article about iTunes and the relative cost of music. The article stated that some albums, e.g. a recent Bob Dylan album, costs more on iTunes than in the store.

The article also reports rumours about plans by RIAA and online music vendor to increase the cost of a single track to as much  as $2.49.

Of course WSJ is pay to play, the best I can do is this http://www.macnn.com/news/24131
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]

It figures. (3.00 / 4) (#72)
by Psycho Dave on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:48:10 PM EST

Recording industry execs are out of touch with what people want. As soon as a few online services start making headway, they do things that will just send people scurrying back to P2P.

Perhaps they should take some cues from the porn industry, who is downright progressive when it comes to technology and how to profit from it. The very nature of their business keeps them from running to their bought senator every time people find a way to get free pr0n. Yet it still remains a multi-billion dollar industry that (like the RIAA) treats its performers like whores.

I really want to see the RIAA collapse. They've been middling the artists and fans for too long. We've got an opportunity here to send those fat coke snorting pigs back to the mud pit. Let's not waste it.

[ Parent ]

Sigged (none / 0) (#141)
by I Hate Yanks on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 11:07:38 AM EST

I really want to see the RIAA collapse. They've been middling the artists and fans for too long. We've got an opportunity here to send those fat coke snorting pigs back to the mud pit. Let's not waste it. - Psycho Dave

[ Parent ]

(IMO) Neither filesharing nor boycott (2.85 / 7) (#33)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 09:59:29 AM EST

I suspect it's neither file-sharing nor the boycott that account for the majority of the drop in record sales. The simple fact of the matter is that there is just alot more competition for entertainment dollars out there - indie bands, DVD's, video games, pay-per-view, XM Radio, collectable card games, web enabled cell phones and every kind of "cool" gadget and gizmo imaginiable.

That's not even considering the fact disposable income dollars have been a little tight the past few years.... or is muisic under the impression that it's the only industry that has experienced a downturn over the past few years. That's also not taking into account the lack of quality among the stuff the RIAA artists have been producing.  

The thing about music is that it's TIMELESS (2.40 / 10) (#34)
by cbraga on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 10:08:06 AM EST

Music written by Mozart 250 years ago sounds just as good today, and that's because you don't see many people composing classical pieces today: so much was done that to get noticed you'd have to compare to the likes of Mozart and Beethoven.

Likewise for rock and pop. We're getting to a point where so much was composed for those two genres, and that so much of it is great, such as songs from Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Queen, U2, Rush, that new bands have to be awesome to compete with those giants.

And that's the whole problem — most people already bought most of the records they want and have time to listen to, and they don't need any new records. And you don't come by an awesome new band every week.

So record sales drop. Of course they do. It's the natural consequence. The only "solutions" would be  inventing a brand new music genre (it's about time too), or forced obsolescence by forcing everyone to swap their CDs for something else.

But who wants to swap CDs for something else? CDs have great quality and play everywhere, including in the original OEM cd changer in my 10 year old BMW M3.

ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p

That, and . . . (none / 1) (#58)
by acceleriter on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 08:02:58 PM EST

. . . the recording industry suing everyone and everything in existence, I don't exactly have any incentive to expand my musical horizons any further into RIAA territory. I haven't bought a CD (other than used or independent label) since the Napster suit.

[ Parent ]
LoL. (2.66 / 6) (#61)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 08:42:47 PM EST

Old age really creeps up on you, don't it? Kids today just don't make that ol' Rock N' Roll the way they did in my day.

And what's up with that hippity hop music there blasting on the radio?

Kids today.

Will we line up for Grand Theft Auto 5 if it's the exact same thing, only with prettier texture-mapped bruises on the whores? -- David Wong
[ Parent ]

Have a song... (none / 2) (#101)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 11:13:50 AM EST

A country music version of a rap song

Click on "Baby Got Back"

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

Modern classical is alive and well (3.00 / 5) (#67)
by Tritone on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 09:30:27 PM EST

Just not on MTV.

And a lot of it sucks, just as I'm sure many baroque composers sucked.


Rick: Yeah, this is the sort of thing that Limp Bizkit would play. I'm down with him, you know. With Mr. Bizkit.
[ Parent ]
Speaking of CDs... (none / 1) (#122)
by Erbo on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 11:33:02 AM EST

A large portion of the record industry's sales since the introduction of the CD has been from people "upgrading formats," converting their music collection from LPs and cassettes to CDs. (Similarly, DVDs are getting a healthy boost right now from people upgrading from VHS.) But that well has largely run dry by this point. That's another reason the RIAA is seeing a slump.
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]
File Sharing Is Small Potatos (2.94 / 19) (#40)
by thelizman on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:33:46 AM EST

While nobody sane could argue that filesharing is not having an impact on record sales, studies show that any immediate loss in revenue is made up on CD sales by crossover consumers - music buyers who buy outside of their usuall listening category.

IMHO, the overwhelming cause of the "cd sales slump" (since when is an unchecked downward spiral a "slump"?) is manifold, but the biggest reason has to be the incredibly poor quality of new acts, and the abundance of them. I remember when being a manufactured act like Menudo, New Kids on the Block, etc was a state secret. Now shows like American Idol flaunt the manufacturing process as record producers primp and groom the next big star according to populist sentiment. It seems to me (and an unusual number of people begrudgingly agree with me on this) that the acts coming out are patent and predictable with few exceptions. Not only is their music uninspiring, but there are so many acts that sound the same that most consumers simply choose not to buy.

Then there are the high CD prices, which range from $12 to $17 - and this hasn't changed in a decade inspite of cheaper manufacturing technology and higher production rates. When you look at the creative accounting of the music industry (20% of a cost of a CD is "holdback sales" - a deduction to cover vinyl records damaged in shipping, even though 80% of album sales are on highly resiliant CDs), you begin to realize a standard CD price is gouging. CD's are one of the only products that are sold ina standard unit price regardless of actual quantity. I pay the same for an album with 8 songs that I do for one with 20 songs. I may only get 3 actual songs worth listening to on a CD, and there are few options to pay for an individual song. The last time I did the math, I over paid for all my music by as much as 77%.

AFAIAC, The bottom line with music industry lawsuits is that the RIAA has lost monopoly control of production and distribution of new music. Indie artists and labels no longer need the manufacturing and distribution resources of the big labels when they can distribute low-bitrate song previews via the internet to support volume sales from independant web sites.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Uh Oh. (2.75 / 4) (#42)
by Pop Top on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:52:40 AM EST

Again I find myself in agreement with thelizman:

but the biggest reason has to be the incredibly poor quality of new acts, and the abundance of them

Music doesn't sell because it sucks. Well, d'oh!

Of course the RIAA will now seek laws to require every under-thirty to spend X% of his/her incomes on music that sucks. . .

[ Parent ]

Maybe you're looking for good music... (none / 2) (#66)
by Tritone on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 09:29:09 PM EST

In the wrong places? I've found tons of bands I like that are still recording and putting out albums, and I find new ones all the time. I don't find them on the radio or on TV though (except NPR and a couple local stations).


Rick: Yeah, this is the sort of thing that Limp Bizkit would play. I'm down with him, you know. With Mr. Bizkit.
[ Parent ]
Not Alot of Rocks To Turn Over (none / 1) (#85)
by thelizman on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 01:01:10 PM EST

This is what I miss about living in a large city. There, you could hear new music all the time. Out here in the sticks, all the local bands sound like a 1980's hair band. I used iRate for a time, but there really isn't alot out there either. I have very diverse tastes too, so its not hard to make me happy.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Price gouging (none / 0) (#146)
by rusty on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 09:14:05 AM EST

...is why I don't buy CDs anymore. No matter the quality of the music, I can't convince myself that $17 is anything but the $1 it took to produce the CD plus $16 of pork. If CDs were under ten bucks, I'd probably buy one once in a while.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Can someone do a Rolling Stones parody song? (2.25 / 4) (#44)
by Pop Top on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:58:41 AM EST

I can't get no, Dee-cent Moo-sic;
I can't get no, Dee-cent Moo-sic;
Ah no, no, no

All right. (none / 3) (#60)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 08:40:57 PM EST

When I'm riding in my car...
And a man comes on the radio,
and he's telling me more and more,
'bout some pirate-sharing software,
is gonna take them artists nowhere,
but he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't use
the same O S as me!
I can't get no...
no no no.
hey hey hey.
That's what I say.

Will we line up for Grand Theft Auto 5 if it's the exact same thing, only with prettier texture-mapped bruises on the whores? -- David Wong
[ Parent ]
riot indy media artists unite (none / 1) (#50)
by banffbug on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 02:27:24 PM EST

this has been flying high in canadian newspapers recently, and it stinks of record companies whining about declinining sales, while print news media goes along for the ride outlining why filesharing is evil evil bad.

tangent: why don't city newspapers have an online edition where you can post your comments to any article, where issues are disscussed by the general populace, like your favorite website forum? How come I have to watch my aqaintances gobble up a story rehashed 5 times in a week from the same solitary viewpoint, and ignorants comply with such drivel. Word on the street is filesharing puts you somewhere betweeen Asian (err, avian) bird flu and THE TERRRORISTS. Not to sound like a nut, but isn't such 'reporting' equal to thought control? Isn't this why we're all here?

Tangent's tangent: the graffiti proclaiming "Fuck Capitalism" and "One Love" on the overpass.. I should contribute. Something inspiring, like "Walk On", or "Free Your Self", but less campy. how 'bout "Life, like a many colored glass dome, stains the white radiance of eternity, until death tramples it to pieces" That'll wake up some 9 to fivers.

some of emm do (none / 1) (#93)
by metalgeek on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 10:02:05 AM EST

and it's full of mindless crap.
It's not intelligent, it's never insightful.
Basically think 1 badly written sentance comments like
"George bush is a Moron who kneeds to be kiked in the ass"
Most people don't want to bother commenting, and most cities newspapers don't have enough circulation to gather those that do.
If a newspaper has a circulation of 200k (quite a large one for a city) consider maby 100k are online any kind of amount, 10k look a the newspapers site and 1k care enough to read the comments. think of the ratio of lurkers to posters, and that'll give you an idea of the problems behind this.
Newspapers could be like K5 yes, but the current way they are made, and the current way people use them, they are not gonna be K5. If people want something like K5, they'll find it, on usenet, on the web, where ever.

"K5 is a site where users have the motto 'Anyone Who Isn't Me Is An Idiot, And Anyone Who Disagrees With Me Is Gay'." skyknight
[ Parent ]
benefits (none / 0) (#131)
by banffbug on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 04:36:10 PM EST

I had figured the positives would come through, ecspecially discussion of local issues that couldn't otherwise be held. Schools opening, hospitals closing, road repairs, block watches, sports team in playoffs, alderman goofs up, teacher's strike, etc. Where individuals directly concerned contribute their musings. And give every alderman in the city a free subscription. The structure of a newspaper does not lead to indepth dialogue, as there are too many peicemeal articles on any given day, and would probably result in an average 5 comments per article. But a hotlist could be employed, something like "most active articles" based on the number of comments recieved, these holding a placemark for 7 to 10 days. Regional issues would have the most to gain from an interconnected community, and avenue largely unexplored in today's modern city, but I'll conciede your point most comments would amount to "Bush is Gay Lord", as the user base and incentive for intellegent discourse would not exist.

Maybe if every household had one registered account with one handle, as opposed to an anonymous message board, user integrity could be encouraged. I had always thought to charge a (small) preimium fee for full online access, but this would only serve to shrink an already marginal userbase. But that way their input may be taken seriously. Do you have any examples of newspapers that have tried to implement any of this? I'd like to check them out.

[ Parent ]

God I hope it's the end of an era (2.80 / 5) (#52)
by Fon2d2 on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 05:42:21 PM EST

Quintessential reference:

Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar.
You're gonna go far,
You're gonna fly high,
You're never gonna die,
You're gonna make it if you try;
They're gonna love you.
Well I've always had a deep respect,
And I mean that most sincerely.
The band is just fantastic,
that is really what I think.
Oh by the way, which one's Pink?
And did we tell you the name of the game, boy,
We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

We're just knocked out.
We heard about the sell out.
You gotta get an album out.
You owe it to the people.
We're so happy we can hardly count.
Everybody else is just green,
Have you seen the chart?
It's a helluva start,
It could be made into a monster
If we all pull together as a team.
And did we tell you the name of the game, boy,
We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

I think that pretty well documents where we went wrong.

napster of puppets... (none / 1) (#65)
by kpaul on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 09:19:43 PM EST

End of happy days, crumbling away
Time for financial destruction
Metallica is here, in your VC's ear
On the cash supply we are munching...

Stealing our mp3s
Ripping of royalties
Giving music away
Now we're killing you!

We'll sue you faster!
Obey this Napster
See you in court you bastard!
Obey us Napster!


Napster of Puppets we're pulling your strings
Giving you bad press and smashing your dreams
Ruined by us you can't buy a thing!
See you in court where we'll hear you scream
See you in court where we'll hear you scream


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

by James A C Joyce on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 09:56:03 AM EST


I bought this account on eBay
[ Parent ]

JIMMY YOUR CAPSLOCK IS BROKEN /nt (none / 1) (#100)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 11:05:34 AM EST

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

Also... (none / 1) (#99)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 11:04:59 AM EST

Thick Liquid emailed me about their recording of "Napster of Puppets" after seeing my version, which I posted on one of my sites right after Napster shut down. You can get their version off their web site (or you use to) or on Kazaa.

I imagine there are dozens if not hundreds of MOP parodies.

Here's mine, titled "Master of Metallica."

End of Napster's days, crumbling away
I'm the source of its destruction
Veins that pump with beer, sucking music hear
Leading on its deaths construction
Taste beer you will see
more is all you need
dedicated to
Napster killing you

Downloading faster
obey your Master
CD burns faster
obey your Master
Master of Puppets is pulling your leg
Twisting your arm and smashing your keg
Blinded by me, you can't hear a thing
Just type my name and you'll hear me sing
Enter my name and you'll hear me scream

Go away, we don't want you to hear our music!
Labels you will pay, never let you play
Napster's death becoming clearer
Plain monopoly, everyone can see
snorting cocaine on a mirror
Listen, MP3
more money for me
dedicated to
how I'm robbing you

Downloading faster
Label is Master
CDs burn faster
obey my Master
Napster's a Puppet I'm pulling its strings
twisting your mind the radio sings
nothing but me, you can't hear a thing
Just call my name, `cause I'll hear you scream
Download my name and you'll hear me scream

Napster, Napster, Where's that song that I've been after?
Napster, Napster, promised only lies
Laughter, Laughter, All I hear is Lars' laughter
Laughter, Laughter, laughing at my tries
"Nothing's worth all that," Metallica just spat
all their rhymes without a reason
Neverending craze, Napster's numbered days
now its life is out of season

Downloading faster
obey your Master
CD burns faster
obey your Master
Napster's a Puppet I'm pulling its strings
twisting your mind and smashing CDs
Blinded by me, you can't hear a thing
Bearshare's the name, now you'll hear me scream
Type in my name and you'll hear me scream

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

Why I only voted +1SP (1.11 / 9) (#56)
by Hide The Hamster on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 07:36:28 PM EST

complete lack of PAXIL-AND-BEER TRIPS with hitting on of bar hags/teenage girls.

Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

Actually... (none / 0) (#98)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 10:49:29 AM EST

For some reason I only hit on the unnatainable. The women my age are ugly, and the ones just starting to drink look like children to me.

It's hell being a single old fucker.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

I agree. (none / 1) (#59)
by anticlimax on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 08:22:54 PM EST

I've pretty much grown sick of big-name companies and labels pushing their products down my throat and threatening with lawsuits if I don't purchase them.

In retaliation, I now refuse to put anything on my computer unless it's free or comes with the source code. I refuse to pay for anything. If I can't download it for free (music) along with the sourcecode (software), then I'm not going to do business with them, plain and simple.

Since you won't pay for anything (none / 0) (#86)
by danharan on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 04:02:20 PM EST

You're not a very valuable customer!

[ Parent ]
That's the point (none / 0) (#97)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 10:47:20 AM EST

He stopped buying and is no longer a customer of any kind. Now he gets only free (free as in unincumbered) stuff. Just because it's "free" doesn't mean you're not willing to pay for it. Red Hat's making a profit.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

Free, beer, speech (none / 0) (#118)
by dufduf on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 09:57:24 AM EST

Just because it's "free" doesn't mean you're not willing to pay for it. Red Hat's making a profit.

First of all, English is not my first language. Therefore it is possible that I just didn't grasp the correct meaning of I refuse to pay for anything, which is what anticlimax said. If I got it right, his willingness to pay will not generate profit for Red Hat.

[ Parent ]
I took it to mean (none / 0) (#136)
by mcgrew on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 05:31:40 PM EST

That he no longer will pay for anything.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

Bands I like a lot and first heard on MP3 (2.75 / 8) (#69)
by IHCOYC on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 09:52:41 PM EST

Who else has bought records, tickets, and otherwise become a fan of a band they first heard in an MP3 file, and are unlikely to have heard otherwise?

Without MP3, I'd never have heard of:

Opium Jukebox -- apparently a Pigface/Martin Atkins side project, that plays old metal and alternative numbers on sitars and Indian instruments.

Belisha -- they don't even sell their records in the US of A, and I had to get mine sent over from the UK;

Darkest of the Hillside Thickets -- these guys sing songs with H. P. Lovecraft and science fiction themes. Where else are you going to hear a song with a chorus, "Obed was a sailor, he sailed the seven seas. He made love to the fishies, he made love to the fishies!" You aren't going to hear that on anybody's radio playlist.

The Handsome Family -- Americana that is actually good. Rennie Sparks is the Gabriel García Márquez of alt-country.

Sergio Mendez and Brazil '66 -- ended a quest that began here.

What bands have you become a fan of, that you first heard on something you downloaded?
Nisi mecum concubueris, phobistæ vicerint.
   --- Catullus

Re: the diary you link (none / 0) (#90)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 09:39:56 PM EST

That song ("Mais que nada") is was written and first recorded by Jorge Ben in first album.

[ Parent ]

The Solution to Copyright Infringement (2.75 / 12) (#70)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri Apr 09, 2004 at 11:07:14 PM EST

Another thing you never read in the news: there is a third option, besides the options of paying for music or getting it for free by infringing copyright.

You can download music for free with the artists' permission. Many such artists provide such music as a way to promote themselves.

The major record labels don't want you to know you can do this because getting music from unsigned and independent artists doesn't promote major label sales. But there's no way they can complain, as such downloading infringes no one's copyright.

Last September my article Links to Tens of Thousands of Legal Music Downloads suggested lots of ways to get such music.

The easiest way is to use iRATE radio. Unfortunately, at the time I wrote the article, iRATE was still in the very early stages of its development, and I think a lot of people were frustrated with it. But iRATE has recently released its 0.3 version, much improved over the 0.2 version that had just been released at the time I published my article.

I have another copy of the article on my own website, which I'm able to update at will. That's not possible with K5 articles. I've added quite a few new links since last fall and have plans to add quite a few more soon.

I've been asking readers to Googlebomb it with the phrase free music downloads and as a result it's now #3 at Google for that query, and lately has had over 2000 readers a day.

Remember, every time you listen to freely and legally downloaded music, you are taking power and money away from the RIAA labels.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

you know... (none / 1) (#124)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 01:06:02 PM EST

you should really buy (another) ad.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
I do from time to time (none / 1) (#128)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 03:31:48 PM EST

But I don't think it's unreasonable to link my article in a comment, when it's on-topic.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

[ Parent ]

yeah, (none / 1) (#129)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 04:14:21 PM EST

that's why I didn't give you too muck grief.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Filesharing, my aching guitar. (2.90 / 10) (#75)
by fyngyrz on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 12:28:08 AM EST

IMHO, CD sales are down for the same reasons that sales of almost everything else are down. There is a recession. People are losing jobs left and right. CD's are luxury items.

I am lucky enough to still be employed in the software industry. I buy (and play - I'm a musician) both newer and older metal, rock and blues. When I find a tune I like, I buy the CD. I do it every time. Just bought Apartment 26's latest; heard a great cut on XM (on squizz) and blam, off to the Internet I went to buy.

The record companies are out to make money. Yours. You don't like that, do what some people here are talking about, and vote with your wallet. Just don't buy. There's plenty of free stuff out there you can bend your ears with. But please, don't steal commercial recordings. Some poor sonofabitch worked to make that music, and while you're just trying to screw the record company (and probably failing, they have extremely deep pockets), you are almost certainly succeeding in screwing the musician(s).

My .02

Blog, Photos.

Get a turntable (1.75 / 4) (#96)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 10:42:52 AM EST

Most of he old stuff manufactured from the beginning of the 33 1/3 LP to somewhere in the late 1970s sounds much better on vinyl than on CD. The CD's frequency response is severly limited in comparison to vinyl, and CD's touted superior dynamic range is seldom utilized.

Vinyl stamped from a digital master will not sound as good as the CD, but an all analog recording is far superior.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

LP's? Phooey. (none / 3) (#114)
by fyngyrz on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 05:52:50 PM EST

Most of he old stuff manufactured from the beginning of the 33 1/3 LP to somewhere in the late 1970s sounds much better on vinyl than on CD.

Very little vinyl of even a few years of age is still in decent shape. Even if, as I do, you take excellent care of it. I have lots of vinyl, the reason why isn't because of fidelity, but simply because many of the recordings I have are not available on CD, and may never be.

Regarding CD's vs. LPs, LP's in the typical user's playback situation suffer from numerous problems that CD's do not:

  • Vulnerability to semi-permanent embedded particulate pops
  • Vulnerability to permanent scratch injuries
  • Vulnerability to HF "scrub-off" from repeated playing within a short timespan, and/or playing using a less-than-perfect playback mechanism
  • Significant harmonic distortion from tracking error
  • Interference (mixing) distortion from player irregularities and shortcomings (wow, flutter, rumble, hum, IM, crosstalk)
  • LP's Require more storage space
  • LP's cannot be played portably with any degree of safety for the recording
  • LP's offer significantly less playback time
  • LP's require significantly more physical care (sleeves, cleaning)
  • LP's must be turned or flipped 1/2 way through the recordings
  • LP's with damage can themselves damage the playback system (stylus)
  • LP's have vastly inferior stereo (and quad, etc.) separation
  • LP's have significantly lower signal to noise ratios
  • LP's have significantly lower dynamic range
  • LP's carry no song data
  • LP's track-to-track movement/selection is only supported by extremely expensive hardware

Now, after laying that out, I will grant you that a brand new, virgin vinyl LP, pressed from an analog master that itself was made using beginning to end wide bandwidth recording techniques, previously unplayed, played back through a system that has no warts of its own, particularly with regard to speakers, which add plenty of coloration no matter what else you have in a system, played for a very discerning (and atypical) listener who has hearing beyond 22 KHz, or one who is sensitive to the miniscule intermodulations produced by signals above 22 KHz in signals below 22 KHz (keeping in mind that the amount of valid program material above 22 KHz is just about zero)... you should get at least one good playback that in the realm of frequency only, is superior to a CD playback, and additionally, will not offer a lot of irritation due to the unplayed, virgin materials used.

However, after that first playing... which scrapes the very finest detail off the grooves, that exposure to dust which embeds your first pops and snaps, after that first slide into the sleeve which imbues the vinyl with a strong static charge which attracts yet more dust and cat hair and etc... that LP is going to be not so great after all. CD's will remain true to 22 KHz until the day they oxide out or fall victim to some nefarious, layer invading mold. I still have CD's from the 80's, they all work fine. My LP's, despite really excellent care, are not fine. Not any of them.

I'll stick to CD's.

Having said all that, let me also note that I have lots of classic stereo equipment, among which is considerable top of the line 70's-era Mac and Marantz gear. I'm perfectly willing to be a luddite when I am actually convinced there are benefits to be had from digging in my heels. But CD's vs. LPs... CD's are simply all-round better.

Just so you know where I'm coming from: I'm an EE, a musician (guitar, bass, percussion, trumpet, flute and keyboards) and a recording engineer/mastering engineer - those last two are roles where you craft the specifics of recordings, not design roles like an EE or ME engineer, for those readers who might be unfamiliar with the recording industry jargon. I'm 48; I grew up with LP's. Phooey on 'em. Phooey!

Anyone want to have a good dust-up over tubes vs. semiconductors, or the supposed merits of exotica like "oxygen free copper wiring"?

Not that any of this has anything at all to do with the price of CD's, or presumptive boycotts of the music companies. I just love music and all the audio hardware that lets me hear it after the fact. :)

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Your points are all valid (none / 1) (#115)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 06:04:46 PM EST

Except for rumble, crosstalk, etc. A good turntable will have far less than one db o fits own noise added. A good turntable's stylus will also weigh very, very little (1/50th the weight of a cheap turntable). The reduction in quality is negligible.

I also disagree about stereo separation. Again, on a cheap table yes. A good test is Led Zepplin 3's last song. CD or album, if you turn the balance one way you will only hear voice, and the other way you will only hear a guitar.

That said, I generally use CDs like I used to use cassettes- as a backup and everyday use. Factory CDs are copied, and the originals stored. You can sample and burn as easily as recording a cassette.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

Some specs for you: (none / 1) (#116)
by fyngyrz on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 09:48:51 PM EST

Ok. Great Turntable: wow, flutter, rumble, etc, under 1 db. Acceptably low, agreed. At least until you turn up the volume, or walk across the floor nearby (in any moderate to high-gain situation, even the best turntables will cause your stereo to thump like a tyrannosaurus on a trampoline unless you mount them on granite. My Marantz Esotec TT1000 is a good example of this, it's very high mass, weighs 26+ Kg, and is installed over a supporting beam on an all-oak floor - but it still catches thumps when you walk nearby - and you had better believe it is setup correctly!)

CD player: 0.0 db. Under any conditions. 'Nuff said.

Stanton 881 MK 2S calibration standard cartridge (approx $150/usa):

  • Stereo separation: max 30 dB (even an FM tuner can do better!)
  • frequency response: 10 Hz...22 KHz, within db unspecified

Marantz CDR-510:

  • Stereo separation: 75 dB
  • frequency response: 20 Hz...20 KHz +0/-1 db

Regarding backups, I've never backed up a commercial (silver/alum or gold standard) CD, but then again, I've never had one go bad. I own several thousand of them... so I'm sure it'll happen eventually. But I dunno if one or two would motivate me to back up all that music. I don't think so, offhand.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Dual (none / 1) (#126)
by mcgrew on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 03:12:44 PM EST

A Decibel is defined as the smallest sound a human ear can hear. So anything under a decibel is virtually zero.

I had a German made Dual. Set it on a speaker on a wooden floor with fat people dancing and it wouldn't complain. It would play sideways, having the tonearm suspended on a 4 point gimble.

I paid five hundred bucks for it in 1977. Bought one just like it at Recycled Records for fifty bucks last summer!

Get a used copy of Led Zepplin's Presence on vinyl, and listen to it. Then play the CD, and you'll hear whet I mean. The CD simply lacks presence.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

Decibels (none / 1) (#137)
by fyngyrz on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 05:41:13 PM EST

A Decibel is defined as the smallest sound a human ear can hear. So anything under a decibel is virtually zero.

No. That's the definition of a decibel of sound pressure.

When you have 1 dB of noise in a signal, it is always treated as "referenced to X volt(s)".

Since this noise factor is inserted into the signal chain prior to your applying system gain (the volume control) to it, whatever noise is there can be increased in amplitude by the system gain, so what might actually be 1dB of referenced noise can easily turn into 6 or even 20 dB of actual noise at the speaker.

That's also why, when you turn the volume up on a powerful system, those 1 dB-ish wows, rumbles, and flutters become easily audible. That's also why acoustic feedback begins to show it's head... at "normal" (ha!) listening levels, they're way down in the mud where you can hear them. Turn the system up, and they're generating enough energy that they cause a feedback loop to establish itself, and bingo, the system is unusable.

On the other hand, if you turn up a CD player, there is no acoustic feedback, so if there were any low frequency artifacts, they could not cause feedback. That is moot because there are no such artifacts. One of the great pleasures of listening to CD's is the fact that the media contributes not at all to the listening experience, even at extremely high volumes.

Regarding the Zep recordings - even a tiny difference in compression can make a open sounding composition sound quite different - better or worse. The Zep CD sounds quite different to me as well, but I have no reason to think it has anything to do with the media, and many reasons to think it's a mastering issue.

I can name you some specific CD's that are sonically stunning:

  • Amy Grant's Heart in Motion (1991, pop)
  • Robin Lee's Black Velvet (1990, x-over country)

In fact, I can make a more general observation - almost anything published by Telarc will wipe the floor with any LP ever stamped. That's because Telarc uses the medium to its best advantage - they're probably the most consistently high quality recording firm I've ever run into.

One other thing - its very important to use a fairly recent CD player. Decks from the early days had terrible filtering and actually did sound harsh - a middle of the line deck from this year's model line will sound tons better than the best deck from the first couple of years.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

In the case of Zepplin (none / 1) (#138)
by mcgrew on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 09:23:58 PM EST

It is partly a mastering issue. But that particular album's engineers used the technology of the day to its fullest, and it shows.

As to decibels, yes, you can raise the gain. But consider that 120 db is about as loud as a jet engine fairly close, even two decibels is only audible in the absense of any other sound.

CD's problem is its sample size. A 44kps sample rate can't accurately reproduce a 15khz tone- try graphing it on paper. Vinyl's frequency response was so good that they modulated a 44khz tone with the back two channels for "quadraphonic" stereo in the early 1970s.

You (or more likely I) may not be able to hear an 18k tone, but the supersonic harmonics color and distort the sound in a way that you can clearly hear.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

Tubes vs. semiconductors (none / 2) (#127)
by ZorbaTHut on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 03:20:23 PM EST

Anyone want to have a good dust-up over tubes vs. semiconductors

I gotta admit, I've always been a bit curious about this - you'd think that if it was a major enough difference, you'd have more than one or two people building systems with tubes, right? Like, the high-end systems would still use tubes. But they don't. They use semiconductors.

But on the other end, there's the Orpheus . . . so clearly *someone* thinks tubes are better.

Any chance you could type in a paragraph or two explaining what the deal is? :)

[ Parent ]

The difference is inaudibly negligible. (none / 1) (#134)
by mcgrew on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 05:14:42 PM EST

However, when you overdrive a tube amp, its clipping distortion is round at the edges, whereas a transistor amp will chop the top of the waveform flat off.

Many guitar players use an old tube amp with a mic in front, and what the audience hears is the microphone amplified by a transistor amp. The tube amp in this case is little more than an expensive fuzzbox.

Some say they can hear the difference when the amps aren't driven to distortion, but I can't.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

But not because of the medium (none / 0) (#149)
by ksandstr on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 08:47:40 AM EST

Most of the CDs released today are almost invariably produced with a "loudness setting" (i.e. emphasis on certain frequencies), so that they'll conceal the crapitude inherent in most ghettoblasters and portable players' headphones. A properly mastered CD is a worthy digital replacement for vinyl, albeit most people won't really have the chance to appreciate the difference without looking for particular CD releases.

Though I have to admit that there is a pleasant ritual factor to carefully removing the record from its paper and cardboard casing, setting it on the turntable and positioning the needle on whichever track you want to start with.

[ Parent ]

Entertainment goes up in a recession (none / 2) (#135)
by deadcow on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 05:15:12 PM EST

Typically, entertainment related goods and services (like movies) go up in a recession. I think this is because most big-ticket items (like cars and houses and yachts) are eschewed in favor of more cheapers things (like movies and CDs).

[ Parent ]
Dodgy statistics. (3.00 / 6) (#76)
by polyglot on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 01:09:30 AM EST

No one quotes boycott-riaa.com because no one knows or cares about it, least of all mainstream-FM fed kids. People stop buying CDs because there's a recession on and the available catalog has shrunk from about 44k to sub-30k titles in the last few years.

And the sales reduction is entirely in single sales, at least here in australia. We are having growth in album sales and a net growth in takings from CDs.

El Reg

btw, Beatallica.

"There is no God and Dirac is his prophet"
     -- Wolfgang Pauli

"US music bounces back from slump" (3.00 / 10) (#83)
by Vs on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 10:23:34 AM EST

To quote BBC:

Music sales in the US rose by more than 9% in the first three months of 2004 compared with the same period last year - signalling an end to a four-year dip.

Where are the immoderate submissions?

could it be... (none / 0) (#148)
by joschi on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 08:49:15 PM EST

...well.... wasnt there a worldwide recession?? nooooooo! has to be a coincidence.

[ Parent ]
Peanut sale down 4 years straight (none / 3) (#88)
by onemorekiss on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 07:13:14 PM EST

Is the supposed riaa boycott responsible for it? Just because some smuck organization began advertising itself to the world approximately 4 years ago does not mean they are responsible for the slump in record sale.

I can put up a site ("boycott-usa.com") and, four years down the road, claim my massive movement is responsible for the growing trade imbalance.


You're missing the point. (none / 2) (#92)
by sudog on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 02:19:42 AM EST

A goodly chunk of people are fed up with RIAA strongarm tactics and are making a conscious choice NOT to fund them any more. In that case they are deliberately refusing to fund the evil that the RIAA is doing--and, since there is still a desire to hear the latest music, they rationalise it like this: "RIAA is doing evil. There's no way to get my money directly to the artists I want to hear from. Therefore no money of mine will flow through the RIAA as a result of a direct purchase of music, because I refuse to support an evil organization that sues children."

The corollary goes something like, "I still want to hear music. If the RIAA shuts down the traceable P2P networks I'll move to Freenet or a future incarnation of I2P or a private IRC network and disappear from their radars forever."

[ Parent ]

No, the number of people who boycotted (none / 2) (#91)
by qpt on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 11:22:17 PM EST

The RIAA for reasons of conviction is negligible. It's perfectly fair to ignore them in the mainstream press, since they made no actual difference.

Most of the people who "boycotted" the RIAA actually just stole the music online because it was cheaper to do so. It's perfectly understandable, from an economic perspective, that people would prefer to pay $0 than $16. Lowering the price won't help much, either, since $0 is still a better deal than $8.

I personally have bought more CDs in the past twelve months than during any other similar period, but it's no surprise that most people haven't.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.

How negligible? (none / 1) (#94)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 10:35:33 AM EST

I have never seen any figures. Have you?

Here is an organization who treats its customers, who can easily live without its wares, as criminals, while overcharging for those dubious goods. They shouldn't be surprised if those customers stop buying.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

when this story came out last year (none / 1) (#112)
by alizard on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 05:26:18 PM EST

Someone did an analysis of record shipping last year, and discovered that the drop in sales reflected almost exactly the drop in average copies per album shipped by RIAA labels to retailers. (try a slashdot search)

A retailer can't sell what the RIAA labels won't ship. The RIAA said of course, that it was EVIL PIRATES AND P2P thieves.

Like spammers, the *AA organizations and their member companies lie to the public and to politicians.

Of course, politicians have campaign contributions which will make them capable of believing all sorts of amazing things. If you buy their hype, what's your excuse?
"The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico

Not to mention... (none / 0) (#121)
by Erbo on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 11:28:18 AM EST

...that the Big Five aren't releasing as many titles as they used to. Someone analyzed this and showed that if they had released as many titles in 2002 as they had in 1999, and if the "extra" released titles had sold only a few thousand copies each, the "sales slump" would be wiped out. (I had a reference for this, but it's posted on a site that'll be offline at least until tomorrow.)

It's obvious that the RIAA is "cooking the books" and using the "cooked" figures to push its agenda of near-totalitarian control of our culture.
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]

disagree with the conclusion (none / 1) (#145)
by Gumpzilla on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 03:57:49 PM EST

Someone did an analysis of record shipping last year, and discovered that the drop in sales reflected almost exactly the drop in average copies per album shipped by RIAA labels to retailers. (try a slashdot search)

All this suggests to me is that the retailers aren't running up big inventories of the albums they're selling. If albums aren't selling as well, retailers won't order as many, and thus the record companies won't ship as many to them. So it doesn't seem to suggest that the record companies are holding out on the retailers. Besides, it seems like a pretty stupid strategy - shooting themselves in the foot to go after pirates seems excessive when most of the existing law is on their side.

[ Parent ]
The RIAA are jerks... (none / 1) (#119)
by m00f on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 11:06:02 AM EST

...and that is why a lot of people don't want to buy their products.

They just do not understand the point that whether they like it or not (legal or illegal, moral or immoral), their consumers are now faced with many options for obtaining music. And the RIAA/lables are trying to force it so they are the only ones to get music through with ridiculous things like lawsuits, terrorism, etc. This is America, and if people start liking someone else's product better than yours, you have to figure out how to make your product better again. Thats the way it works, and yes, getting screwed by your competition is a normal part of American business.

Simply put, they are power mongers who don't know how to adapt to new times. Let them die, I'm about ready for a change anyway.

Down Profits != No Profits (none / 2) (#120)
by EXTomar on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 11:10:32 AM EST

So what if the markets are down? That doesn't mean the entire industry is unprofitable. It just means *gasp* they have to work a little harder.

Maybe, just maybe, the RIAA and everyone in the music biz should look at their marketing and figure out why their marketing is down. Instead of embracing unprofitable ventures they should shift to profitable ones. It is what other buisnesses do when things turn cold. Maybe the invisble hand of capitalism is trying to tell these dinosaurs something? Maybe consumers want a more convient media system? If the RIAA and their cronies continue on this course they will price themselves right out of existence.

Change is scary but there is a lot of profit to be had if they just wake up and stop throwing money away on an antequated system. Those who continue to embrace the old system will go the way of the dodo or reduced to a shell of their former glory.

Radio survived the advent of TV. The music recording biz will survive the advent of the Internet distriubtion model. The big radio mogols thought radio would die without them pushing content but its still around. I get the distinct impression that these guys believe artists will explode without them as well.

They could try... (none / 0) (#125)
by mcgrew on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 03:04:57 PM EST

signing some musicians that don't write every goddamned song in a minor key. Jees, every time you turn the radio it's some whiner. You'd think emo was cool the way the industry tries to emoulate it.

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

What about the saturation point? (none / 3) (#130)
by HereticMessiah on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 04:16:41 PM EST

Any market is of a limited size, and therefore there must be a limit to how much sales may grow within that market. When you hit this saturation point, you'll still make profits, but you just can't expect them to be as great. What you won't get is growth.

The only thing that grows without abatement is cancer, and even then, only until it kills the host. I'd value profit above growth personally, but it seems the particular brand of capitalism in vogue these days doesn't: it prefers to act like cancer.


Disagree with me? Post a reply.
Think my post's poor or trolling? Rate me down.

Maybe it's because... (none / 0) (#132)
by gordonjcp on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 04:38:34 PM EST

... every record in the charts just now sucks. Who wants to listen to the vaguely-talented karaoke singer who one the most recent series of Pop Idol mangling a cover version of something originally by the Walker Brothers?

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

All in minor keys no less /nt (none / 0) (#133)
by mcgrew on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 05:03:14 PM EST

"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

It's all about voice now not the message (none / 1) (#142)
by pnadeau on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 12:14:01 PM EST

People like Dylan, Cobain even the beatles had voices ranging from terrible to so-so, but at least they had something important or at least amusing to say.

Now all popular music seems to be all about the singers voice, the lyrics being largely irrelvant, and either come from an earlier generation (cover songs ala American Idol) or are written for the artist by someone else (Britney etc.).

I don't care about the singers amazing range and annoying little baroque voice ornamentation that they insist on showing off. How about writing lyrical content that is interesting again?

"Can't buy what I want because it's free, can't be what they want because I'm..."  Eddie Vedder

[ Parent ]
calm before the storm (none / 1) (#153)
by anonymous cowerd on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 09:33:55 PM EST

or um, that suspended celibate tension prior to orgasm. I mean music is a human thing, not something out in nature.

See, pop music sucks these days because there aren't any new ideas out there en masse. Somebody somewhere's doing something new and amazingly good, but you and I haven't heard it (well, a couple of you reading this accidentally may have, you're gonna love what happens next). When you turn your radio on these days you don't hear anything different.

Look at the history of American popular music. It's semi-periodic with a wavelength of ten to twenty years. After a few years of tense boredom like you've got today - American Idol, sheesh! - you get this abrupt style shift across the entire field and an amazing, beautiful burst of excitement and creativity. If by then you yourself haven't got too old and bitter to tolerate any music that's not familiar to you, you probably go out and buy a bunch of it too.

Certainly the giant music company executives will fuck up the golden marketing opportunity to the maximum degree humanly possible. Partly this will be due to that vile old-man's malice against all innovation, but far more due to their traditional ineptitude. In an inconstant world you can still rely on this: the music industry always gets it wrong. But against the wave of creativity even their worst efforts will, once again, be like standing in front of a tidal wave.

It's coming, it's coming!

Yours WDK - WKiernan@ij.net

Give me a woman that loves beer and I'll conquer the world - Kaiser Wilhelm

true (none / 0) (#154)
by the77x42 on Mon Apr 19, 2004 at 04:15:37 AM EST

and this is why i like electronic music (progressive, breaks, trance, hard house, etc.)...

because every time it tries to rear its head into pop culture (darude - sandstorm) people say it's CRAP and it gets shot down faster than people saw it coming.

it's great. it's been around since the mid 80's and people still haven't caught on in a mainstream way.

it's not music that you can usually listen to on the radio, or without someone mixing tracks together. you need an environment and a psychadelic atmosphere (or simply intrinsicly enjoy the music). this is why people will never understand :)

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]

another reason (none / 0) (#155)
by relief on Sat Apr 24, 2004 at 02:02:23 AM EST

may be that the music industry killed listener's interest in music. you know I used to buy music cassette tapes even when I could copy them. Now I don't buy much music at all, let alone download them.

If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
Record sales down 4 years straight | 155 comments (146 topical, 9 editorial, 2 hidden)
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