Thursday, November 18, 2004
In the digital age we live in, one of the hottest topics in the past years has been downloading music. When it first began through sites like Napster and then Kazza it was highly controversial. The reason was based on it was basically stealing music, in which I believed it was. Sure, I had both programs and used them. However, the only songs I downloaded from the sites were songs that I either already had on a CD or that I intended to buy and wasn't available at that time to buy. The reason I would do it is the convenience of having the song right here on my desktop. It was a whole lot quicker than pulling the album from my vast CD collection, putting in the CD player, and playing it.
Now, we have services through walmart.com, Napster, I-tunes, and countless others that give us the music we want and more at a fair price and easier than ever to use. While I am typing here, I am currently downloading a full album. The first time I have done a whole album. Walmart.com Is priced at $0.88 a song or $9.44 an album in most cases. Literally, it took typing 2 words and 3 mouse clicks. A 16 song album took less than 10 minutes using a DSL connection. Amazing to me.
The best part of it all is the legality. Not that I feel like I'm gonna get slapped with a huge fine or jail time for downloading music, but I feel much better downloading a song that I know that all the people it takes to put an album together get their money. Ever looked in an album cover and noticed how how many people it takes to produce a CD?
I have used most of the services. Walmart I think is the best of them for a couple reasons. Ease of use, exclusive downloads that can't be found anywhere else, and the cheapest price. I also feel very confident in their site to actually work. Also, the files are in MP3 format, unlike I-Tunes that are in MP4 format that makes it very hard to burn to a CD for PC users.
I believe that this is going to be the new way of providing music to their buyers. It has to be a good deal for the people behind the scenes. Think about it. They don't have to pay for materials like CD cases, album covers, CDs, and the costs of making them. I think this is a win-win situation for the music makers and the music listeners.
The only downside to digital downloads of music for me is the lack of a cover. I love to look at the song listings, the photography, and the overall package of a CD. I think one day that this information will become digital as well. My suggestions is to add one file to the downloading process when you buy the full album that would include what we normally find in a CD cover today, and in this format, much more can be provided. Interactive links to go write to the artists website or links to other special features. Also, links to go buy even more from the artist and labelmates.
Happy downloading...easy, cheaply, and legally