Future Tense: Music Depreciation

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BlazePC

Another great piece David!  Always enjoy reading the quality writing you consistently provide here; your work always serves as a good plug to fill the sucking-sound-void created by some of the other copypasta contributors employed by Maximum PC.  You should run for office.

 

Merry Christmas David

You're a scholar and a gentleman.

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David Gerrold

I have no intention of running for office. I might win.

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BlazePC

I was vague for a reason.

Choose to participate in something regional, local or whatever have you.  Maybe you already do and the point is moot.  The world needs more level headed thinkers such as yourself in important positions of influence. 

Just sayin...

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scoop6274

Excellent article. Though I would have one point in particular not just about the horrible recording of most music nowdays, but the amount of just plain overproduced crap there is. Music nowdays (especially pop) is designed for that "one" song that will sell on itunes (or your favorite overcompressed music seller). I do enjoy music that comes out these days, but often the thought is not put into the entire album. The focus is that "one" song that can sell and possibly get people interested in the rest of the CD. I understand tha this has been going on for quite some time, but with the ability to download a single song now it is even worse. The time of epic albums (CD's) that don't have a single bad song on them is coming to an end. Add on to that the fact that in smaller communities the only place to buy a CD might be Wal-Mart. Even in some larger communities where there is a Best Buy, that is the best place to buy a CD. Gone are the independent retailers of music where you can spend hours in the store looking through racks of music. Now it's log in to iTunes and download a song or two. I'm sorry, I refuse to download a song at ripped at 96 or 128. I want the CD. CD's are already compressed I don't need it compressed more. I have a decent stereo, nothing super high end, but enough where I can tell the difference between an mp3 (aac, wma, mp3, etc) and the actual CD. Plus, I like the liner notes and the artwork associated with the CD. I still rip to my smartphone for casual listening, but serious listening requires a decent room, no interruptions and several of my favorite CD's. Call my outdated. Call me stodgy. Call me a music snob. Oh well, guess thats me.

I don't have nearly the colleciton of some here (1000, 3000, 5000 or more) but I do have a pretty decent collection of over 500 cds. I wish it were bigger but it is expensive. Do I get burned on some CD's and only like a song or two? Yes. Is that part of the adventure of discovering new music? Yes. The gems I have found far outweigh the dissappointments. 

Please music industry, support the CD. Support artists who will produce a full CD and not just a song or two and 10 other afterthoughts. If downloading is going to be the wave of the future, please offer full resolution and dynamic range uncompressed downloads. Most of us have the bandwidth to handle these downloads (we have streaming netflix for pete's sake). Give it to us. Let us fill our hard drives with uncompressed music. But don't try and shove an overcompressed mp3 down my throat and tell me it sounds just as good. Human ears can tell the difference.

Signed - A guy who used to sell high end audio equipment at a boutique and knows what a GOOD recording can sound like.

Thanks.

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Markkus Rovito

The correspondent from the top of the article can suffer a thousand distastes by kissing my ass. Sorry; it had to be said. 

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Engelsstaub

I read your article entitled "4 Hands-On Examples of iZotope RX2's Audio Restoration" with interest. That looks like some awesome software for cleaning up needle-drops.

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tekknyne

Did you know that the planet's resources could sustain at most 3 America's? There are starving children all over the world and you own that many CD's? *sigh* The tragedy of consumerist America. And you play some role in that. Congrats.

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David Gerrold

There are worse things that I could be collecting, but I believe that preserving our musical heritage is an iimportant part of maintaining our global culture. For that reason, I have already made arrangements to have my collection donated to the local university when I die.

But here, I'll hold your high horse while you dismount. Don't stand too close to the hind end, lest others comment on the resemblance.

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praetor_alpha

What? You can't eat CDs, so they will tend to collect.

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lagalag510

This article deserves to be published on many magazines (online and printed). This put me back in the 'right' perspective when it comes to appreciating music. Because access to music is now very easy and so convenient we tend to overlook the amount of artistic and technical effort that people put on every single musical piece.

Now I think I have a plan on how to better spend the short Christmas vacation with the kids. Im scrambling to look for family-friendly concerts in the local area so that my kids can already start appreciating music as an event.

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steven4570

i have only about 250 CDs( 90% classical and the rest big band and swing) but its still a lot and  a lot of money.  i listen to it in all kinds of ways from the ipod to the big stereo.  I have never really bought a CD for a certain piece and thought the rest of it sucked.  Granted there is stuff i listen to all the time and other stuff i have to be in the right mood and setting for in order to listen.  I think what music is and is percieved to be has changed drasticly and in some ways it feels like its disposeable due to the one hit wonders of the mainstream.  The real artistry in the music out there today often gets overlooked.

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blackzarg

Great article, and a lot of good comments as well! Thanks MPC.

I think both sides of the camp hold true - so, "somewhere between what I say and what you read is the truth."

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Neufeldt2002

"But on the other hand, it is just as easy to argue that having access to so much music as a regular part of life makes it possible for all of us to enrich our lives with even more musical discoveries than ever before. It’s an opportunity to widen our menu of choices and expand our personal repertoires."

Unless the RIAA have their way in which case everything comes to a crashing halt.

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Engelsstaub

Best be using closed-style headphones if you're walking about with your PMP. If you pass me and I hear three notes of sound-leakage, and can identify the song, that constitutes a public performance. Consider yourself reported. I put the "I" in RIAA. 

:P

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BlazePC

and whilst laughing I double posted.

cLaSsIc!

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Engelsstaub

Glad you enjoyed my BS :P

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BlazePC

2 funny; I laughed

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BlazePC

2 funny; I laughed

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Engelsstaub

Holy crappage: this is the best article I've read here in a while. It doesn't have a bunch to do with computers but, as a huge music collector, I appreciate it and find it relevant.

One thing that really burns my ass about music today is production. Our hardware and delivery formats have gotten better and more advanced (God I hated cassettes back in the day,) but the brickwalling and loudness wars need to stop. There's so much clipping and reduction of dynamic range going on in the vast majority of modern recordings. 

I still haven't really grown up so I listen to a lot of metal and industrial-type music. Some albums I can listen to for hours in succession. Most (today) are just fatiguing in that everything is as loud as everything else. It used to be just the drums and such that peaked but now it's like they turn everything up and just clip the high frequencies. Even pop music. Disgusting, IMO.

I am glad to be a hoarder of music though. I used to have a huge collection of CDs too. Fortunately for me I've got it down to about 200 CDs and 50 LPs now. I decided that secure ripping to FLAC of nearly my entire CD collection was a worthwhile investment of my time. Redundantly backed up, too ;) 

I'm sort of a snob when it comes to how my music is preserved and encoded. I use rippers like EAC (Windows) and XLD (Mac) for archiving to FLAC. (Those whose primary OS is a Linux distro can use EAC or dBpowerAMP in WINE or Ruby Ripper.) From thence I transcode to AAC @ 256 Kbps VBR for my iTunes collection. (This is then synced to my iPod Touch and my daughter's Zune HD.) Lossy codecs like QuickTime AAC and LAME MP3 have come a long way and are very transparent at high bit-rates such as this. I used to shun them until I realized through ABX-testing that it is nearly impossible to differentiate between a good encode and the source 99.9999% of the time.

I still like to hang on to the rarer stuff in my CD/LP collection though. I can just do without most of it now that I can make pristine lossless and reproducible copies of CDs.

Thx for the good read, Sir.

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TommM

I'm in the same boat.  Have a little over 3,000 CD's and currently burning them to a TB drive as I go along.  Now although it's a time consuming task, I'm able to filter out what I want to keep and what I don't, so not every song is going to be burned.  Back in the day, you bought a CD based on one or two songs you heard on the radio and kept your fingers crossed that the other songs on the CD were relatively decent.  More often than not, they weren't.

But I'm a total music junkie and will continue to buy new tunes to add to my old until the day I die, I'm sure.  Having "more music than you can listen to" is not a reason to stop collecting good music.  Looking forward to when I have it all on a 5TB drive, hook up the house sound system to it, put the selector on "random" and get caught up on songs I haven't listened to in years.  :)

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ABouman

Right there with you. 4+ years of working at a music store = 1000+ cds. Just cut my collection in half but am still a dedicated music junkie.

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Joe The Plummer

7+ years at a music store for me. Got 6,000+ CD's. I gave up trying to rip them all. I think I made it to the D's in the alphabet. Maybe this will inspire me to pick up ripping them again.

And I couldn't agree more with the author of the article. It is a more personal experience. I have fond memories of discovering music on MP3.com back before the RIAA and labels killed it. I discovered so many obscure bands. I recently have discovered a few on of all places Amazon.com. Indie labels give away their samplers there. I've come across a couple of bands I liked and if a physical CD is available, I might just purchase them.

While other people probably share in my fond memories of MP3.com/Napster, etc. it's an individual memory when you think of the band you discovered rather than collective.

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