iTunes steals music's soul

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. MacBytes macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003


    Category: Tunes
    Link: iTunes steals music's soul
    Description:: An indy record exec tells us that the iTunes Music Store is an evil kickback conspiracy between Apple and major labels, and consumers are killing music by buying only the good tracks.

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    Approved by Mudbug
  2. blumpy macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Buy the whole album

    I can't tell you how often I, or someone else I know, buys a record and hate a couple of songs. Two weeks later, it's their favorite.
  3. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    And here I was thinking that albums were a conspiracy originated by the major labels to sell you a bunch of tracks when all you wanted was the single. ;)

    I do wonder. Does anyone have any data of the breakdown of sales of LPs vs 45s through the mid-to late 70s? (i.e. before Walkman and CDs). My guess is that the labels made a fair chunk of change on the singles then as can once again do now.

    EDIT: Related article Downloads Make Singles a Hit Again

  4. rogueimage macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Boulder, Colorado
    Try not to contradict yourself

    I think that establishes this guy's intelligence pretty well. :rolleyes:

    As for killing the music business because of individual downloads, I know the iTMS has rejuvenated my music buying. I buy way more than I would if I had to buy whole albums sound unheard at $18 apiece. If some popular band has one catchy song, I download that one song, rather than buying nothing at all from them. Last I checked $1 > $0 spent on music. If they're decent artists and I like the sound of the song previews, I get the whole album. I've discovered several bands this way which I never would have before. Judging by what I read on this and other forums, that's true for a lot of other people, as well.
  5. jholzner macrumors 65816


    Jul 24, 2002
    Champaign, IL
    I'm with you! I bought almost no music for years because I didn't want to spen 18 bucks on one song. then when p2p came out I used it to download the tracks I wanted. Not because I didn't want to pay for that track but because there was no way for me to do so. Now I use the iTMS and I've bought more music since its intro than I had in the previous 10 years.
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    How? MTV stole it and destroyed it a loooong time ago..
  7. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    The executives would love to place me in front of a firing squad. To hell with them all ... the public library remains my main source for music.
  8. otter-boy macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2003
    Fort Worth, TX

    I've probably bought more music on iTunes in the last year than I did in retail for the preceding 5 years. In fact, since getting my iPod and regularly visiting iTunes, I've bought more music in retail shops than I had before.

    This guy's argument is almost unintelligible, especially the bit about kickbacks. This is the first I've heard about that, and I can't tell from what he says whether the kickbacks are going to iTunes or to the record companies. This guy evidently doesn't want to expose his bands to a wider audience or sell more songs. I'm sure just listing the indies songs on iTunes is more support than his label gets from Best Buy or Wal-Mart.

    edit: the RIAA is doing much more to disuade people from buying albums than Apple is. I think the RIAA has no understanding of why people want to listen to music. I think indie labels should opt out of the RIAA before they opt out of iTunes.
  9. winmacguy macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    To answer the question in your signature Yes I do .:)
  10. 717 macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2003
    I used cassette tapes :eek:
  11. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    the library is an EXCELLENT way to try out music you aren't familiar with to see if you like it, or to try out an album from a band who has a song that you like.

    I tend to agree that most of the songs that I end up liking the most are songs I don't even remember hearing the first time I listen to the album. Now, some albums are full of crappy filler tracks, but that's mainly true only in mainstream rock, top 40 pop, and hip-hop. I can't stand listening to Country radio, but I've found that if I give an album a chance, the non-singles on country albums are generally better music than those songs on the radio. Alternative and traditional/southern rock are often the same way.

    I have the fortunate position of working at a music magazine, so basically all new music is at my fingertips 3-6 months before it hits the street. I go through phases where I don't listen to ANY new music for months and months, then I start putting random unknown CDs from the shelf into my computer and listening to them. I will pick up 3-4 new artists that I like this way, and add them to my mid-term listening pool. If they survive for a couple months, they might end up on my long-term listening pool.

    I've found myself to have very few boundaries when it comes to "types" of music as a result. I'm on a jazz kick right now, listening to old T. Monk and Miles Davis stuff that 2-3 years ago I had no interest in what-so-ever.

    Last year I discovered (posthumusly, it seems) the Jayhawks, who are classified as "country" but remind me more of The Band than any has. Except they're more consistently good, if that's possible.

    Being from Nashville, I got to "discover" Josh Rouse before the world did, which meant that I was able to see him in small, uncrowded venues and with no sense of self-imporance.

    Wihtout fail, guys like Jason Mraz but out annoying singles from albums with MUCH better songs. I rarely buy songs from the iTMS for a couple of reasons.

    1. Fidelity. I'm sorry. I didn't spend 2,500 dollars on speakers and another 1000 on amplification just to listen to 128kb lossy music at $.99 a pop. You can hear a clear difference on everything except possibly live tracks, or things that weren't recorded very well to begin with. It's hard for me to justify the cost when I know what's happening to the files. If Apple offered these tracks as Apple Lossless, then I'd probably spend a lot of money at the iTMS, but they don't, so I won't be. If you're a kind of person who listens to a lot of music, then you owe it to yourself to take a CD of your favorite tracks to a high-end A/V store (not a chain, or at least not a national one) and get the sales people to set you up with a pair of 5,000-10,000 dollar speakers for 20 minutes or so in a quiet room. Either you'll leave the room going..."that was cool, but so what?" or you will leave the room realizing what you've been missing all these years, and you'll figure out a way to justify getting some real speakers/amplification. It will change you. Some people just don't really care that much, and that's fine, but if you listen to a lot of music, then you're a potential candidate as an audioholic, and you should at least go find out if you're depriving your body/mind/spirit of something that it's been longing for your entire life. Obviously, I made such a discovery. And for me, it has completely changed how I listen to music. I didn't understand why I was constantly listening to music everywhere I was because the music I was listening to wasn't fulfilling my music "needs" because i was feeding myself inferior quality sound. Cats and dogs that are fed high-quality food eat much less food than those who eat the cheaper store brand food. Usually so much less that it ends up being cheaper to feed them the expensive stuff. I rarely listen to music while I work, now, because I realize and recognize that it's not fulfilling me (my work speakers are the usual Altec Lansing 2.1 deal...sorta like using the LCD on the back of a 12MP dSLR as the primary viewing platform for your photos. ). PSA/Soapbox over. Before you continue buying low-quality music, go find out if it's really what you want.

    2. Availability. Well, like I said, I can go into our library room and pull out just about any CD that's come out in the last 5-6 years (including most of the remastered classics and box sets that come out) and just listen to them that way. Most people don't have this option, but I do, so it factors into my decisions.
  12. narco macrumors 65816


    Dec 9, 2003
    When P2P file sharing was big, people still only downloaded the songs they wanted. The music industry as a whole needs to realize that they can't always blame the consumers. You can't force someone to like the whole album, it's up to them to decide -- whether it be 30 second clips or whatever.

    My only fear is that music downloading becomes so popular that I will only be left with a square hard drive filled with lists of songs instead of something I can actually hold on to.

  13. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    The average consumer cannot afford such expensive components and, based on the standard equipment they are using, will not notice the loss in fidelity.
  14. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
  15. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603


    Aug 20, 2005
    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    So we should buy songs we don't like then......stupid indeed. I would not buy a album that has only two good songs on it again. These artist started to get slack in there work and put out crap albums and we supppose to accept it huh.....this goes to show that they believe people(buyers) are stupid. Give me itunes anyday and i'll continue to buy songs i like and leave the crappy songs alone.

  16. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    well, of course, nobody's going to buy the **** songs!

  17. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    We moved into a new house 2.5 years ago, and I have yet to hook up even my average consumer level Sony receiver in this time. Why? I don't have the prerequisite "quiet room" benpatient talked about. Two main issues: 1) An open floor plan which I love, but I can't get away from the fridge's compressor hum anywhere on the ground floor (it was much worse when my previous home built PC desktop's fan was also in the mix, the 2 year old Dell is much quieter). 2) Young kids.

    The convenience of 128 bit AAC played through computer speakers far outweighs any loss of quality that I can't hear anyway.

    My iPods are also heavily used in the car, which has a similar level of unavoidable background noise.

    I suspect that most people can't hear the difference between 128 bit, lossless digital, or analog recordings because unlike benpatient they can't readily escape the background noise of their lives to listen to music.

  18. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    So What?

    He admits to offering for sale "non-good tracks"? Seems to me an easy fix is to only sell "good tracks". Kind of like a shoe store complaining that customers refuse to buy the ugly shoes and only take the good ones. Big deal.

    That said I buy CDs. I think they are a beter value.
  19. white89gt macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2006
  20. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I can't tell you how often I, or someone I know, buys an album and only likes half the songs on it. Being able to pick and choose is a very good thing because a lot of artists, even good artists, end up filling out their albums with sub-standard stuff.
  21. Captain Canuck macrumors member

    Captain Canuck

    Jun 2, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    One Better Than None!

    If I was one of his artists I'd find a new Rep. He's not doing the artists any good if he keeps their music off iTunes just because "He" dosen't like it. Selling one song at a time is still better than "none!" -- Idiot!
  22. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    I can understand the point he is trying to make. That being it buying single tracks hurts creativity because now the only stuff that is heard and listen to are the hit songs. Yeah they will be my favorit but at the same time I like getting albums them selves because I quite offen start liking other songs on the cd. But only getting hits a lot of people never hear them.

    But that being said I dont think P2P really hurt music industy in itself. Heck because of P2p I boughten more music than I would have if I didnt. What hurt them is the pressure the put for everyone to make a hit and not good music. That and noughting really new has come out in a long time. To me music from 7 or more years ago sounds the same as today. It just a lot of the same old stuff.
  23. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    I understand the poit as well, but it cuts both ways. Setting the threshold for buying a song at $18 for a whole album on CD also means that a lot of people will never hear the songs or discover the artist.

    This is where Amazon's recommendation system and iTMS' "Just for You" really shine, by knwoing something about the music I enjoy they can suggest things others with similar tastes enjoy, leading to more sales....

    From the article I linked above:
    Unfortunately not all artists are the Beatles, Dylan or the Beach Boys. Many artists really only have a couple of great songs in them. Singles on 45 for artists never to be heard from again was the main form of distribution of pop music for a real long time...

    There is somewhat of a halo effect involved, and I have a rule of thumb myself. If I think I'm going to like 3 songs from an album, I'll buy the whole thing, 2 or 1 I will buy the songs individually where possible.
  24. iShane macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2006
    New York -> SF
    Same here. Except its when I hear songs on Myspace/Xanga that I start to like them.
  25. frankblundt macrumors 65816


    Sep 19, 2005
    South of the border
    1. club / dance music has always been driven by singles - the mighty 12". If you came up with enough killer singles and got a name for yourself, you might get away with an album, but not before. Has this killed it's soul. I think not.

    2. While we're on the subject of soul (or r&b, or pop for that matter), whole empires were founded on and thrived off selling singles (Atlantic, Motown...)

    3. Are compilation albums not equally "evil"? Yet to see a label (indie or otherwise) that didn't fill out its bottom line with a compilation containing a couple of hits and a bunch of other crap filler by those of its artists no one would buy from under any other circumstances.

    4. I've bought many albums on the strength of singles on "free" magazine comps (Uncut particularly)

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