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ohfourohnine
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"If it's just a song, it's not that compelling." Really??

So my morning paper brings me some statements by Bob Merlis, a man they identify as a former executive with Warner Bros. Records and now a "music industry consultant". Mr. Merlis says that the purchase of singles from iTunes, "is not healthy for the music industry." Albums and CD's, he says, provided a body of work from an artist. Now, he says, "You get the song you like, but you don't get to know the artist anymore. It encourages this rapid turnover." U2, he suggests wouldn't have lasted if they had come out in the era of digital downloads of singles.

He also notes that with albums and CD's you got, "...lyrics and nice packaging." and that, "If it's just a song, it's not that compelling."

As a constant buyer of recorded music for about 50 years, I suggest that what is wrong with the "music industry" is that they've devoted too much of their efforts to maximizing their corporate profits while foisting crap off on the buying public, and that the worst thing they can do now is to listen to the recommendations of such experts as Mr. Merlis. But what do I know, I still buy recordings that include lyrics which are understandable to the listener, and I've often sought out more recordings by a given artist after hearing his performance of one song?

LM2940
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Re: "If it's just a song, it's not that compelling." Really??

I agree with Mr. Merlis. If the future is nothing but individual track downloads this will hurt legitimate acts. Not the Britneys or the Xtinas of the world but like Mr. Merlis said U2 wouldn't have made it in that kind of environment. Look for a future of nothing but one hit wonders.[worse than today]

Buddha
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Re: "If it's just a song, it's not that compelling." Really??

Yup, the future sure ain't what it used to be.

Interestingly, to me, anyway, is that before the LP era, all people really had were "single song downloads."

Most 78's were of short duration and often limited to just one tune.

Then, when I was a kid, 45's ruled the waves.

I find it a little odd that people of my generation are bemoaning the fact that today's youth are somehow too stupid and short-sighted to learn how to explore an artist's collected works, but we were amazingly able, through the pot filled haze of the 60's, to manage the jump from 45's to albums.

Heck, until relatively recently single song purchases were THE dominant form of music buying.

Maybe the "long-playing CD" era is actually the anomaly here, not the iTunes.

ohfourohnine
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Re: "If it's just a song, it's not that compelling." Really??

I don't download - compressed stuff isn't what I want, and I'm not much on current pop stuff, but I've picked up some data that I think indicates there is no clear direction to be inferred from what downloaders are doing - at least not yet.

Ten percent of Coldplay's sales of the X&Y album have been downloads. Of those, 35% have been individual tracks and 65% albums. Whether the buyers of the tracks, later purchased the albums isn't clear from the info. I have.

Seventy percent of digital sales for Gorillaz have been individual tracks, the other 30% have been albums. Does this mean fewer of those who sampled tracks were interested in the album? I don't know.

It seems possible, though, that whatever format is involved a taste of the product might influence the decision to want, or not want, more of the same. My guess is that U2 might do OK if they were starting out on iTunes today.

Whether iTunes is detrimental to "the music industry" or not, it and other services emulating it seem to be here to stay, and - in my non-expert opinion - the future of music being made today is much more likely to depend on content than on packaging and delivery methods.

LM2940
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Re: "If it's just a song, it's not that compelling." Really??

I don't think that the CD will go away for a long time. It would be hard to promote "data" without some physical object to market. I also don't think that any other physical format will make inroads into the mainstream it will continue to be Redbook CDs. I also look for many more Dualdiscs and CD/DVD sets in the future.
The best thing to do is to buy the CD and then compress the files for you MP3 player. That is what I do. When I want to sit and listen at home on my system I have the CD. When I want to walk in the park I have the MP3. Best of both worlds. And the best part of all: absolutely no DRM!

Windzilla
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Re: "If it's just a song, it's not that compelling." Really??

Isn't there an assumption being made about the whole album being listend too in his argument.

hasn't the dominant form of listening been single songs, IE radio? Most of the songs I know the words too came from listening to single songs on the radio.

ohfourohnine
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Re: "If it's just a song, it's not that compelling." Really??

Just curious, LM. Why don't you load your portable music player in a lossless format?

LM2940
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Re: "If it's just a song, it's not that compelling." Really??


Quote:
Just curious, LM. Why don't you load your portable music player in a lossless format?

Not an option. My player is a really cheap model that will only play mp3s. I wish it could take flac or some other codec but I'm stuck with the crappy mp3s. Oh well, good enough for background music while walking.

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