Acquiring Music in the 21st Century…

Ugh! Why do I feel like I’m swamped with work for both jobs and my involvement with local politics and the 25 pages termpaper I have to hand in until the 14th and which consists of only a few bullet points so far. Ugh! I’d love to finally start watching episodes 1.07 – 1.11 of “White Collar”, the remaining eight episodes of “Raising the Bar”, start watching “Life Unexpected” and “Being Human”. Not to mention finish reading “The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet” which I loved, but somehow stopped reading about a week ago due to all the other stuff I have to deal with.
I’d love to write a blog post about other things than work or school or health issues. A blog post about happy things. Events to look forward to or great nights I had at the movies or anywhere. But at the moment it seems like all I manage are posts in which I whine and mope about the stressful life I’m leading right now. Who does even want to read posts like that? No one… *sigh* Sometime last week I had this idea for a post and it feels kind of lame to write it now instead of having it written right away. But I’ll give it a try anyway and try to get back into the groove of things. Writing about other stuff than just my mundane, boring and crappy life.

I bought a couple of CDs last week, because I was in dire need of some new music to cheer me up during the aftermath of the MS attack and sideeffects and all. It wasn’t really new music, but a couple of old Runrig CDs :-) Anyway… When I carried home my purchases I started wondering about why I still buy CDs? Not in the “instead of getting it free (and illegally) on the internet” sense, because I’m more than willing to pay for the music I want to own. But why do I buy this music stored on a compact disc? I don’t own a standard CD player (hi-fi system or whatever) since I moved out of my Mom’s place years ago. I don’t listen to CDs using the CD/DVD drive of my computer. I put the CD into the drive once, convert the music to mp3 files, store those on my hard drive and store the actual CD on my CD rack. I very seldom get it out of that rack again. If I want to look up some lyrics of music I know I own, I still just google for “songtitle + lyrics” :-)
It has been possible to legally download complete albums at itunes, musicload and other sites for years now. I use these online stores if I only want to buy a single song, but I can’t remember actually buying a complete album as download yet. Except one Blue October album, which just wasn’t available as CD in any real or online store. But other than that: I just need and want to get the music on CD. And I suddenly was asking myself: Why? Just because that’s what I’m used to? Or do I really have to be able to touch the data medium to affirm that it actually exists and that I own it? I understand that notion with books, where you actually need to touch the data medium (printed paper) to read the novel you bought. And even that might change with Kindle and all the other devices, allthough I can’t imagine giving up real books for digital versions, because I just love the whole tactile sensual experience of reading a book. The texture of the paper, the act of turning a page…
But I don’t have the same sensual experience with music. I actually only need the song in some digital (nowadays) form on my harddrive or my iPod or transfered back on a CD for the stereo in the car. Music nowadays is (almost) immaterial. So why on earth do I still feel the need to own it in the most material form available? I’ve been thinking about it for over a week now and still haven’t found the answer. Not that the question really needs to be answered :-)

I actually wanted to include a music meme with this post, but it will take some more time to put it together, so that will be an extra post later today (or more probably tomorrow). I also actually wanted to watch the latest Brother & Sisters episode tonight, but after working on the termpaper and writing this post I’m too tired to spend another 45 minutes awake in front of the TV.

3 Comments

  1. Every now and then I buy a CD. It feels weird to do it, even though I remember buying actual albums. There is a part of me that is a little hesitant on iTunes. It’s the part that knows how many computers I have killed over time, and the possibility of losing it. Then again, I always treat my CDs like crap, so what do I know?

    1. I didn’t even think of computer crashes. Ugh! But on the other hand I do make backups of my music files, so I shouldn’t worry too much :-)

  2. I back up too. My brother’s lost his library more than once, so it’s a good cautionary tale. I still get nervous even with all that…but do primarily itune my music

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