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Thread: The Music Industry - Album Prices - File-sharing

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    The Music Industry - Album Prices - File-sharing

    As somebody that likes to buy CDs, and hopefully soon to be getting into vinyl, I really didn't think I could ever live to never post this kind of thread on ETS. Discuss the music industry and album prices here. I think there was a thread like this on the old ETS, as it was based on file-sharing, and whether or not you were into it. As for me, I've been on the middle-of-the-road with file-sharing for quite some time, and have actually owed most of my purchases to file-sharing. As a matter of fact, as mentioned a few times in the Nine Inch Nails section, it really was file-sharing that got me into Nine Inch Nails. And despite the issue being way over a decade old by now, I was always interested in reading about file-sharing and the opinions that came along with it.

    1. So to start of with one of the questions I've had in mind, what would be a decent and fair price for an album these days?

    I really thought that CDs could've been under 10 dollars by now, or anywhere between late 2004 to early 2006. I know it would've never ever been that simple, but it was a nice fantasy for me. And even if CDs were still over 10 dollars, perhaps being no cent higher than 12-14 dollars including tax sounded just okay to me.

    2. I really don't remember, and was too young to remember, but how much did CDs cost in the 1980s and early to mid 1990s?

    I only started to buy CDs since 1999, so I really have no idea.

    3. Do you still buy CDs/vinyl?

    I'm just curious of the people that stopped buying any physical formats altogether, as I'm aware that lots of people here actually buy CDs and vinyl.
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 01-28-2014 at 03:45 PM.

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    I still buy CDs/Vinyl.

    I hate buying computer files so unless I absolutely in no way shape or form can get a physical copy that's when I download.

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    i buy far fewer cd's than i used to, because downloading is so much easier; however, i will always want to have physical copies of certain albums, as much for the artwork and the packaging as for the music. I don't use spotify, or any other streaming service, because i want to be able to take music that i love everywhere regardless of whether or not there is an online connection.

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    I don't believe in blind buying something unless I'm already a fan of someone's music. In a perfect world, we'd all pay for the music we grow to love, but that's just not feasible these days. I download as a way to to test drive music. If I dig it, I seek out either a download or a physical copy. If I don't, I delete the files and move on. That might suck for the artists, but I'm not going to pay for music I haven't at least heard first. That's what's so great about artists allowing streams of their albums before they're released. They give people a chance to test the music and decide whether or not they want to buy it.

    I like physical copies, but I'm into so much music that it would be impossible for me to own everything I like, so I usually stick to iTunes or Amazon for MP3 downloads.

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    I stopped buying CDs for the most part, but I've started buying a lot more vinyl. I'm in the process of trying to replace my CD collection with all vinyl/digital formats, but that's going to be a slow and expensive process, probably only really ramping up seasonally around the holidays with sales and stuff. My main reason for switching to digital/vinyl purchases is because nearly any record you buy from bands x, y, or z today typically come with a digital download. I'll play the records pretty frequently at home, and the digital files can either just go right to my iPod, laptop, or I can burn them to a crappy expendable CD to play in my car whenever I can't use my iPod. "Official" CDs have just started to become an obsolete format for me right now, haha.

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    i still buy music, but i have a very strict criteria for the format i purchase on and the amount i purchase vs. download.

    vinyl: if it's rare/out of print and there's a good chance i'll DJ it or want to digitize it for my blog, i buy without question. if it's new, i only buy vinyl- 1. if i plan to DJ it (reissues or new bands that fit my DJ criteria) or 2. if it's a legacy favorite of mine (scott walker, bowie, etc.) that i would like to own and will listen to regardless. since vinyl is so space-consuming, i only buy things i will either use or listen to. i do not collect multiple copies/editions unless the tracks are different. i do not buy every album by every band i like just because free time to actually sit and listen to these records is hard to come by.

    cd: i never purchase these new. the only cds i buy these days are out-of-print cds from the 90s/etc. that i can't find at an acceptable bitrate for either free download OR purchase (depending on the criteria). the only exception is if it's a local band and that's the only option i have to support them (though i still prefer bandcamp). i sold all of my cd collection to fund my juno 60, and i have zero regrets about doing this.

    tapes: a lot of the music i listen to (obscure post-punk/synth/industrial, etc.) was released on cassette only in the 80s (culture, budget, demos etc.) so i buy old, out of print cassettes if there are no other options (rips, reissues, etc). then, i digitize them.

    digital: i love bandcamp and the availability of v0 AND lossless downloads with the same purchase. if there's a reissue or new band i want to own and support but don't want or need (or can't find) the vinyl, i will seek bandcamp out first. i have bought on itunes and amazon as well, depending on what's available, but the lack of lossless is an issue so they're my last resort. i generally support small/diy artists on bandcamp.

    downloading: i work in a basement and commute on the subway, both with no cell reception, AND my company blocks spotify/etc., so streaming is absolutely worthless to me. so, for big releases/trial runs (i do not blind buy either)/stuff i know i'll listen to on a more casual basis, i download from soulseek, with no regrets, and if i love it more than i expected, i will either purchase the vinyl eventually (see above) or make a point to buy merch/see a show if possible. reissues of albums i already own, i also download unless they're multiple discs of WORTHWHILE material (few seldom are, i don't like to buy what is likely a bunch of filler bonus tracks and/or brickwalled mastering).

    even things i've purchased on vinyl but have a digital/cd counterpart i will download if i need to, but any real vinyl label worth their salt will include a digital download coupon if they were smart about it. if they don't, i download for free if i can find it on soulseek, as i already bought it once. if it's not on soulseek, i will either buy the mp3s or rip the record myself, but both are a hassle i like to avoid whenever possible. in general, i look down upon purchasing something more than once in any format, and i really hate making new rips of new records, as i find it to be a waste of time.


    long story short, i download plenty, but i buy plenty as well.
    Last edited by frankie teardrop; 01-28-2014 at 01:51 PM.

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    I've bought quite a few CD's lately. Lately I've liked buying certain things from Amazon that would allow me to download the MP3 files as soon as I purchased. I'll definitely buy something if it has a DVD or Blu-ray disc with it as I want to expand my collection of surround sound albums (once I get a proper 5.1 system). I download quite a lot, and agree with the test drive theory.

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    Good post idea, as things get more complex with formats of recorded music it gets confusing for the music collecting consumer on which road to take going forward. It was interesting to read your guys' responses, some good perspectives there.

    I think back in the late 80s-early 90s CDs were generally between $15-$20, weren't they? I know in the mid to late nineties on release week they were generally discounted to $11.99-$12.99 at a lot of stores, and today they're discounted to $7.99-$9.99 at places like Best Buy on release week if that tells you anything about the market. Most mom and pop stores I go to these days theyre usually around $15 to $16 bucks still brand new.


    Cd's are the main go-to still because I love having a physical digital copy with artwork/credits, even though vinyl packaging is way cooler. And the main commitment there is that I've been buying Cds since 1993 and currently have amassed a collection of about 1500 of them, so the idea of switching over completely to another format sucks. I have them on a display in a giant case in my house and it's something I enjoy having and looking at from a collector's perspective, rather than scrolling through album covers on itunes. They're going the way of the buffalo though clearly in the industry, so I imagine in another 10 years I'll be forced to buy vinyl/digital exclusively. The section of CDs in Best Buy in our town is literally 1/8th of the size it was 15 years ago.

    That's a double edged sword I guess cause I really love the idea of buying a vinyl and getting a DRM-free digital copy included with it to burn to disc or throw on my phone or whatever and use on the go. I think that's a terrific business model (best of both worlds) and will be the new standard going forward (for the artists that can afford having vinyl pressed, anyhow). The problem is vinyl to me is way more expensive for the consumer and you consequently end up getting to buy less physical music. Right now I have probably 50 vinyl records. When I started collecting them the goal was to only buy albums or whole discographies by artists that I really really loved or that I wanted enough to have a physical copy that weren't available in CD format, as sitting down and putting on a record is a much more intimate and deeper way to experience music IMO, and I would like to reserve that for music that I really feel warrants that experience.

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    I buy CD's like crazy, i know they are almost obsolete but that's the format i got "married" to, i wish i could substitute them with Vinyl, yet they are still a bit expensive (at least over here...)

    Yet i'm buying Vinyl whenever i can, as long as it's a physical format, i download albums too but not as much, i rather have the physical copy with the album art and everything...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris View Post
    1. So to start of with one of the questions I've had in mind, what would be a decent and fair price for an album these days?
    I heard something several years ago about how the price of CDs was supposed to come down to around an average of $10 and I think that would be fair. But as you can see, that didn't really happen and they're only that cheap when they're on sale or if it's an older album with the "super saver" or whatever sticker on the front.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris View Post
    2. I really don't remember, and was too young to remember, but how much did CDs cost in the 1980s and early to mid 1990s?
    As someone else said, around $15-20. I remember going to Musicland in the mall with my brother in those days and seeing CDs marked as $17.99 and $18.99 on average.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris View Post
    3. Do you still buy CDs/vinyl?
    Absolutely. For whatever reason, I like to possess the physical artifact. Plus, there's the added fun of shopping for them and finding a disc you've been searching for or getting a great deal. Buying the physical stuff also helps to keep record stores in business and probably helps to keep the formats alive.

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