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Downloads are worthless.

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idc
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I have stopped buying downloads as in effect they are worthless. 0.79p a track from itunes, £5 is a cheap album from any of the download sites, and what do you get, a file on the computer. It is then rendered valueless; you can't sell it on, you shouldn't share it, it has no second hand value. At least with a CD there is something to show for; the sound quality is better than downloads, it is a means of storing the music as a backup, it has a second hand value.


 

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cram's picture
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Re: Downloads are worthless.

What you get is convenience. You also have the ability just to purchase the tracks off an album that you actually like. I personally still largely purchase CDs but do use Itunes/Amazon/7Digital for odds and sods along with impulse buys. Can't say that I've ever really cared about 2nd hand value as I've never sold or tried to sell any of my CDs, even the ones I don't like.

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Re: Downloads are worthless.

How are they worthless? Yes,cds give  (slightly) better quality. How much is it for a cd single nowadays? £2 - £3 quid? I would rather impulse buy  itunes singles at 79p and burn them to a cd or download complete albums and print off the artwork, slip it in a blank cd case (dirt cheap ) and play them in the car which I prefer to my FM  unit when used with the ipod. I have some 300 vinyl albums which are gathering dust as well as 400 original cds,  but I never look at them and think " What's the secondhand value?"


Also, having downloaded from most sites the itunes store and its seamless operation is streets ahead of anything else and the way it evolves year in year out.

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Re: Downloads are worthless.

I kinda agree with the OP. I like to have something physical for my money, I tend to take more care of it! if its something sat a HDD it doesnt seem that real too me! i know thats a silly argument but hey!!!!!!!!

idc
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Re: Downloads are worthless.
garethwd:
I kinda agree with the OP. I like to have something physical for my money, I tend to take more care of it! if its something sat a HDD it doesnt seem that real too me! i know thats a silly argument but hey!!!!!!!!


Not a silly argument at all! 


I am sure that the reason why so many people do not worry about illegal downloading is because they do not get anything physical for the money and what they get has no real value. The fact that a music file can be burnt onto a disc is adding value by turning it back into a CD, which has value. The original file still has no value. All download sites are too expensive, and if they realised that in effect what they sell lacks value I am sure that bit rates will increase and prices will come down, to much less than CD.

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Re: Downloads are worthless.

I know what you're getting at. One other thing most people probably don't think about is insurance. You'll find most insurance companies either don't cover or only have limited cover for losses for non-physical media like downloads. So if you own a vast music library, worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds, all legally paid for and downloaded and your house catches fire and you lose the lot, your insurance policy might not cover the loss of this media, whereas it would have covered the equivalent in physical CDs.

I know this since I recently changed insurance providers to Hiscox and they have something like a £1,000 limit on non-physical media - when I phoned them up to query it, they said it was for things like legally downloaded movies / music (clearly they don't cover illegal downloads!). Worth checking with your policy provider if you do have a big collection and are just assuming it's covered.

 

idc
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Re: Downloads are worthless.

Very good point Professorhat and funnily enough I had insurance at the back of my mind when starting the post. I have always checked to ensure my CDs are covered, which they are as each one counts as a separate item. But a hard drive or computer with everything together would not really be the case. Interesting about the £1000 with Hiscox. I am going to check about my download purchases, the ones made before I thought hold on a moment, what am I actually getting for my money?

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Re: Downloads are worthless.

I refuse to buy downloads.


I like having the phsyical CD. I read the booklet. I enjoy the artwork. If I have heard one song on an album an dI like it, then I want to hear the other things the artist was working on at the same time. I stopped buying singles long ago when fewer and fewer 12" singles had unreleased B-sides. I'm not interested in a re-mix, I'd rather have an unreleased song. When that stopped, I only bought albums.


I'm not a big fan of "Best Of" albums either. If there is a song I like, then the music of the artist at the time is what i want to hear, not what were the most commercial songs he did ten or twenty years apart. I can't think of anything more tedious that going through and picking individual songs. Finding undiscovered gems is part of the joy. Some of my favourite songs have never been released as singles and I would never have found them if I hadn't listened to an album with a more well known and commercial, but inferior, song on it.

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Octopo's picture
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Re: Downloads are worthless.
idc:

Not a silly argument at all!ÿ

I am sure thatÿthe reason why so many people do not worry about illegal downloading is because they do not get anything physical for the money and what they get has no real value. The fact that a music file can be burnt onto a disc is adding valueÿby turning it back into a CD, which has value. The original file still has no value. All download sites are too expensive, and if they realised that in effect what they sell lacks value I am sure that bit rates will increase and prices will come down, to much less than CD.

I believe your first point to be very true.

The second point I am not so sure on, you say burning a downloaded album to a blank disc adds value? Is the disc made of a precious metal?

Is this coming from a sell on point of view? If so that is just as illegal as file sharing. Is the purchase of the license for you to legally listen to and enjoy the music not enough?

I still buy most of my music on CD. As soon as possible it will be copied to a hard drive and then stored away safely. I have most of my CD collection stored at another residence. I then back up my main networked RAID to USB drives which get sent to another residence as and when they run out. This may sound like an ordeal but it very much isn't, especially when I don't have to worry about losing, scratching, fire, theft e.t.c.

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Re: Downloads are worthless.

Another vote for physical media here. I only buy music on CD or vinyl. I spent a brief period downloading some stuff but felt exactly the same as the OP. Nothing quite matches picking up a proper disc (whether CD or vinyl) and having the booklet/artwork to hand. I suppose downloads don't really appeal to the collector inside me either.

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chebby's picture
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Re: Downloads are worthless.

Better not listen to the radio then. Not only do you not get a physical 'thing' to touch, you don't get artwork and you don't even get to keep it afterwards!

And yet - after 87 years* - it is still the most common form of music consumption and (with a decent roof aerial and tuner) capable of very high quality.

I buy CDs (to rip losslessly to iTunes), buy downloads, buy new and used LPs and listen to the radio from FM, internet and Freeview. I enjoy all these formats and cannot join in any argument against any of them.

The tactile 'delights' of a CD (flimsy plastic jewel case, unreadable notes in tiny fonts on nasty magazine grade paper) are as nothing compared to vinyl LPs with their comparably vast 'acreage' to show off artwork properly.

Also the average second-hand value of a CD is nothing compared to decent quality vinyl.

*BBC started radio broadcasting in 1922

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Re: Downloads are worthless.

Have to dissagree with the comment ÿ"Yes,cds giveÿ (slightly) better quality" ÿmuch better, if not then time to upgrade. ÿSorry to be so harsh but unless you are getting your downloads from the likes of Linn then they are much lower quality.ÿ

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Re: Downloads are worthless.

I have a vast vinyl collection. I buy LPs the same way I would a CD. If I've heard a song by an artist I'll buy the LP if I find it.


As for radio, yes I listen to it and love some of the tracks that can be uncovered on some stations. No, it's not tactile, but neither do I pay to listen to it. If I hear something I like from an artist I've never heard of, I am more keen to go out an purchase a CD or LP of their work rather than pay 69p/99p to download the track I've already listened to. So maybe I could download an album? Well then I don't have the same feeling of owning a "work of art"


Would you rather own a painting or print you enjoyed/loved, or would you prefer to have it in digital format that you could display on your TV from a hard drive?

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Re: Downloads are worthless.

I think there is a valid arguement for both downloads and the purchase of CD's. Downloads are wonderful if you fancy an addition to your music library at the drop of a hat...I've often purchased a download and then played it on the way into work the following morning on my mp3 player simply because I love the convenience. The idea of having to wait and find time to call into a music store seems such a nuisance. At the same time downloads can be an excellent introduction to new music...you can listen and buy the odd track in the comfort of your own home...if its something you are going to value rather than dispose of after a few listens then purchasing downloads often tempts me to go and buy the album on CD. There isn't a down side as far as I can see Smile

John Duncan's picture
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Re: Downloads are worthless.


Music is worthless. It has no intrinsic value. But hey, I kind of like it, whatever it's on.

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Re: Downloads are worthless.

Fair comment. I have been seriously into music for 35 years and started as a teenager would get the bus back from town and sit pouring over the sleeve of my newly purchased LP (for some frightening reason the one which sticks in my mind is" Wings At The Speed of Sound " with its bizarre fold over cardboard strips giving a different montage).


Like many people I was a music snob and was reluctant to switch to cds beacause of the perceived lack of warmth compared to vinyl. Then decent and affordable cd players started to appear and the cost of the physical discs came down and before long I was embracing this new technology. Again like many, I replaced a lot of my vinyl with the "convenient" compact disc.


Know what? My attitude was exactly the same with the advent of mp3s and compressed music files, ie not for me this poor quality stuff. But, like 20 years ago the quality has improved immeasurably and as I have very little time to sit down in front of my system for a proper listening session the convenience  of the  ipod lets me enjoy my music anytime which for me  an X.M.S (ex music snob )  is what it is all about.


 

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