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Bloggingheads
01-08-2008, 10:03 AM

Thus Spoke Elvis
01-08-2008, 10:58 AM
Okay, not reallly, though it was definitely fun. I never thought I'd hear ROIR Records or the Fleshtones mentioned on bloggingheads!

bjkeefe
01-08-2008, 11:50 AM
Loved Michael's nod to Glen Gary Glen Ross (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/7460?in=00:00:42&out=00:00:49).

bjkeefe
01-08-2008, 12:35 PM
Michael makes the claim, starting around 16:30, that iTunes hasn't done much to stop illegal music downloads. He goes on to say that he bases this claim on the number of iTunes sale not being enough to account for how much music is out there, even going so far as to say that "90% of music is consumed illegally." It sounded plausible when he said it, but it was surprising to me.

Anyone else heard this? Have any links to offer to support the claim? It had been my impression that selling songs for a buck, with such a painless purchase process, and the fringe benefit of being free from fears of malware, had pushed a lot of people away from searching for other ways to grab digital music. Maybe the kids without much pocket money are still trawling the Web looking for (illegal) free music, but most people I know, including my teen-aged nieces and nephew, find the easy and aboveboard $1 song quite satisfactory.

Thus Spoke Elvis
01-08-2008, 01:26 PM
It had been my impression that selling songs for a buck, with such a painless purchase process, and the fringe benefit of being free from fears of malware, had pushed a lot of people away from searching for other ways to grab digital music. Maybe the kids without much pocket money are still trawling the Web looking for (illegal) free music, but most people I know, including my teen-aged nieces and nephew, find the easy and aboveboard $1 song quite satisfactory.

With iTunes, you pay $1 for a song that you can copy/transfer a limited number of times. Some other mp3-sharing systems are free, and you can make as many copies of the song as you want. Free music wins.

By the way Brendan, if you want your nieces and nephews to remain law-abiding citizens, do NOT suggest they google "Hype Machine." It will turn them into hardened criminals in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, it is quite possible that they'll develop better taste in music than if they only had iTunes' crappy selection to choose from.

bjkeefe
01-08-2008, 01:35 PM
With iTunes, you pay $1 for a song that you can copy/transfer a limited number of times.

Can't you burn a CD with songs purchased from the iTunes store, and then make as many copies as you want from that? Also, most people that I know who buy from iTunes mostly just want to fill their iPods. They don't care about sharing that much.

By the way Brendan, if you want your nieces and nephews to remain law-abiding citizens, do NOT suggest they google "Hype Machine."

I'd be amazed if they didn't know about it already.

Thus Spoke Elvis
01-08-2008, 02:43 PM
Can't you burn a CD with songs purchased from the iTunes store, and then make as many copies as you want from that?

No, the songs have an encryption code that allows you to make something like 4 copies, total.

Also, most people that I know who buy from iTunes mostly just want to fill their iPods. They don't care about sharing that much.

I find that hard to believe. The making of a mix-tape is an essential rite of passage that must occur in any boy-girl relationship.* Assuming you want to have more than four girlfriends in your lifetime, you better not purchase your favorite song via iTunes, because prospective girlfriend number 5 will be receiving an inferior mix-tape, totally ruining your chances with her.

*I can only speak to the role that mix-tapes play in boy-girl relationships. I don't know what role they play in boy-boy relationships, though I imagine they're important (though such mix-tapes probably contain a bit more Erasure than I'd deem optimal). And I'm guessing mix-tapes aren't that important in girl-girl relationships, since girls have terrible taste in music.

uncle ebeneezer
01-08-2008, 03:04 PM
I just got an I-pod yesterday (I'm a little behind the curve on tech stuff...just got a cell phone 6 months ago) so this diavlog/discussion was very timely for me.

I thought both of these guys were great and I hope BHTV will have them back. It was nice to lighten things up with music/culture discussions every once in a while. I found the discussion of the change in the music industry very interesting. It would be nice to get a real music insider (label, reporter, agent etc.) to really get into the details of how much the game is changing. Though it would probably be very hard to get someone who wasn't ultimately pushing an agenda.

I wish the damn TV strike would end soon because I need $ and had a side job involved in a sitcom. However, I must agree that, sadly, actual "writing" appears to be disappearing from the tv world at a rapid speed. Part of this is great, since as these guys pointed out, the tv world of writers is largely compsed of "have nots" with a handfull of "have alots". It seems like HBO and Showtime are the only places left where scripted tv still is profitable and high quality. I can't really stand reality tv, so I'm afraid I will soon be the cranky old man who gripes that "there's nothing good on tv nowadays." And I'm only 34. But then again, I like to read and watch BH so obviously I'm an outlier to the main bell curve of the population.

David Brooks is full of shit. Every day I hear my co-workers yapping about Dancing with the Stars or American Idol etc. I'm never a part of the discussions, but to say that we are lacking grand culturally shared events seems pretty inaccurate to me. There are YouTube videos out there that everyone and the mother would all know about. He's just playing the old codger angle, much like I did in the previous paragraph.

I would love to see the demographic breakdown over time of $ vs. illegal downloads. I suspect that Brendan is right, that as a person ages and has more disposable income the prospect of downloading tunes illegaly doesn't seem as advantageous as it does when you are younger. Kinda like how we all stole candy when we were kids (I did at least) but as I've gotten older, paying $.89 for a Snickers doesn't seem quite the "outrage" that it was when I was a kid, so I pay for it and avoid the embarrassment of being caught shoplifting.

Amen on the TV/Computer hybrid. This is something I have been wishing for for a while now. Honestly, I'm surprised we still don't have it. Although I do love to comment on BHTV or read blogs while I have sports playing on my tv about 3 feet away, so I guess for now the severability is kinda nice.

allbetsareoff
01-08-2008, 03:20 PM
Excellent diavlog. But if you're going to use people who talk as fast as Jon Fine, you'll need to offer 0.5 speed playback.

anexpat
01-08-2008, 03:23 PM
Plus there is a problem with sound quality. Hirschorn is speaking clearly into a mic but Jon Fine doesn't appear to be close enough to one.

Joel_Cairo
01-08-2008, 04:01 PM
...Videodrome? (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/7460?in=00:18:46&out=00:18:55)

uncle ebeneezer
01-08-2008, 05:30 PM
Thus: I just laughed my ass off on the Erasure line. Very nice.

Although mix tapes were very important to my generation in our dealings with prospective mates, I wonder if that phenomenon still carries over into cds. The thing is (as either Nick Hornsby or Chuck Klosterman noted) that because there was no "skip" button on a tape player (at least none that worked well and fast), listening to a mix tape that someone made for you was a whole experience because you had to listen to the whole thing one song at a time. Also it was built on the foundation of the "album" concept that we were all used to. Dark Side of the Moon wasn't just 9 amazing tracks (or cuts as the kids might call them) it was a layered experiience in and of itself. Even less "concept" albums were still much more than a compiled group of singles. I know one of the funnest things we used to do was put together hypothetical alternate track orders for our favorite albums or bands catalogs, and eventually (Vwahlah) we had actual mix tapes of our own intended experience. I wonder if in today's environment where the focus tends to be more on singles or tracks, whether kids still have that romanticism towards the experience of listening to an album (or mix) end to end.

I know that some of them do, and some of them actually make mix cd's for their peers and potential gf/bf's. My ex-girlfriend (who gave me an amazingly touching mix cd for our 2nd anniversary) had a 16 year old son and I remember that he made a mix cd for some girl that he liked at the time and we thought that was kinda cool/cute from a nostalgic perspective. But he was much more interested in our ways from the past than many of his friends (on many levels) so I'm not sure if he was just following in the footsteps that his mom had told him about.

Anyways, i say all this not to (again) sound like the old codger, but because I'm honestly curious as to the changes from one generation to the next and the way media can influence them.

Either way I'm glad I did get to enjoy the thrill of a good mix tape whether it was a mushy one from a girl or an aggressive metal, workout mix from one of my buddies. It seems that nowadays, the fact that everyone has an Ipod with 000's of songs and quick access to mix, that the process of burning a special cd for someone would hardly hold the value that it used to hold when it required an hour or two of "dubbing".

Now I really feel like Jasper from the Simpsons ;-)

Thus Spoke Elvis
01-08-2008, 06:24 PM
I've made my share of mix-tapes/CDs, including as recently as a few months ago. Though improvements in technology mean you can burn a mix in a few minutes, rather than spending 90+ minutes in front of the tape recorder, it is still a time-consuming process if done properly, IMO.

Nonetheless, I share your fear that it's a dying art. Especially in a time where it's easy to skip from one song to another, you have to make sure that the listener isn't bored. I find my mixes to be a lot more uniformally poppy than they were just five years ago.

If I do make a more eclectic mix for someone, I generally make them promise to listen to it all the way through at least once, and usually at a particular time when they'd in the proper mood (e.g., when they're reading in the park, or lying in bed waiting to fall asleep).

Lars
01-08-2008, 08:03 PM
Good discussion!

Yes, things will change! Already has. For me.

Broadcasting is out, on-demand is in. I don't watch any "appointment TV". The only TV I watch is thru Tivos and then mostly movies. I still have Cable, for $50 a month or so, but it is mostly a looong commercial interrupted by some programming. HBO is the only light in this darkness - it's the best on TV.

If I could choose btw cable and HBO, I'd pick HBO
If I had to choose btw cable and Youtube, I'd pick Youtube. Not for its "funny clips" but its real recorded video/TV.

I don't listen to random music on FM, not even in the car - iPod. But I listen to internet radio and podcasts more than I ever listened to FM/AM radio

No newspapers made out of paper.

If I had to choose btw the internet and all other media....

I would not buy any shares in legacy media.

Incompetence Dodger
01-08-2008, 10:16 PM
Loved Michael's nod to Glen Gary Glen Ross (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/7460?in=00:00:42&out=00:00:49).

Coffee is for.... wait a second...

bjkeefe
01-08-2008, 10:28 PM
TSE:

Minor point:

No, the songs have an encryption code that allows you to make something like 4 copies, total.

As direct burns from iTunes, yes. But there's nothing stopping you from burning one CD, and then making unlimited copies from that, as far as I understand.

The making of a mix-tape is an essential rite of passage ...

Wasn't for me. 'Course, the wax cylinders were a little harder to carry around.

bjkeefe
01-08-2008, 10:29 PM
I agree. I found Jon hard to understand.

bjkeefe
01-08-2008, 10:35 PM
Lars:

I'm pretty much the same as you in my tastes. However, I don't pay for cable, since I find more than enough to fulfill my appetite for video online. The only thing I miss is basketball.

Oh, one other difference. I still listen to the car radio. I don't have an iPod, though I do have a CD player in the car, but I find radio preferable at times. First, there's the news. Second, I like to hear some new stuff every now and again, and I'm fortunate to live near some good college stations. Third, on long trips, I sometimes find the DJs and even the commercials help keep me alert, compared to just music.

garbagecowboy
01-09-2008, 02:21 AM
Yea... the first thing I do when I buy an album off iTunes is to burn it onto a CD. You now have totally unprotected music files which you can use in any way you please.

What I like even more is Amazon.com's new store where lots of albums (or at least jazz albums, which I am interested in buying) are available as MP3 downloads. This is great and is the step that would make me buy all my music.

For some stuff... rap and rock and other modern stuff, I find the easiest way to get it is bittorrent. I try to go see these acts when I can, since a)concerts are fun and b)for the less popular acts I see, I feel like I'm supporting the band, getting involved in the scene, and am often trying to win the band converts.

For me it's all about convenience; if the easiest way to get it is by bittorrent, I'll do it. If it's a trusted E-Commerce website that lets me search thousands of albums I want and then lets me buy unprotected MP3s, that would be my format of choice. The only time I feel bad about taking money away from artists is with relatively niche groups; in the cases where I do pirate music from a relatively small group that I actually like, I try to see a concert to generate some revenue for them. I have done this recently with Ween and Metric.

My prediction is that copy protection will go the way of the dodo as consumers get sick of it and Amazon style mp3 downloads will be the main way I get music within a few months or years.

donroberto
01-09-2008, 06:41 AM
I was amazed and impressed at the speed at which Jon talked. I couldn't understand a word he said, but at least I enjoyed the half of the diavlog I could understand. Bob Newhart proved you can often learn all you need to know from just one half of a conversation.

donroberto
01-09-2008, 06:47 AM
It's interesting to me that not many people consider good ol' Usenet as a constant treasure trove of downloadable music.

opposable_crumbs
01-10-2008, 09:20 AM
I really enjoyed the diavlog. I would love to see simlair diavlogs dealing with the impact of technology and the web on society and culture.

By the way if you are looking for guilt free music downloads, there is a project at openmusicarchive.org (http://www.openmusicarchive.org/) which allows you to download music out of copyright, most of which is over 70 years old.

bjkeefe
01-10-2008, 11:30 AM
By the way if you are looking for guilt free music downloads, there is a project at openmusicarchive.org (http://www.openmusicarchive.org/) which allows you to download music out of copyright, most of which is over 70 years old.

Thanks for the link, OC.

garbagecowboy
01-11-2008, 12:00 PM
As much as I love Sousa and my old Victrola, I don't think this site is gunna cut it for my music needs.

Cool site though, there are some real gems (http://www.openmusicarchive.org/browse_tag.php?tag=waiting%20for%20a%20train%20gui tar) on there. Also there are a few like this one (http://www.openmusicarchive.org/browse_tag.php?tag=1985) that appear to be among the first recordings of all time. Still recorded near Edison's workshop and on his label. Now that's some old-school shit. If I was a rap producer I would totally be sampling that song, "At The Ball That's All."

Thus Spoke Elvis
01-11-2008, 02:06 PM
As direct burns from iTunes, yes. But there's nothing stopping you from burning one CD, and then making unlimited copies from that, as far as I understand.

Geez, all this time I had no idea. Well that makes iTunes a bit more palatable. Nonetheless, I stand by my position that its song selection kinda sucks.

ledocs
01-13-2008, 07:36 AM
V. interesting. Hirschorn was v. knowledgeable.