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The Golden Age of Infinite Music

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the in-the-air dept.

Music 294

Over at the BBC, music journalist John Harris speculates on what may become of the music business now that we have entered the golden age of infinite music. "I've just poured the music-related contents of my brain into a book, and I would imagine that 30-ish years worth of knowledge about everyone from Funkadelic to The Smiths has probably cost me a five-figure sum, a stupid amount spent on music publications, and endless embarrassed moments spent trying to have a conversation with those arrogant blokes who tend to work in record shops. Last weekend, by contrast, I had a long chat about music with the 16-year-old son of a friend, and my mind boggled. At virtually no cost, in precious little time and with zero embarrassment, he had become an expert on all kinds of artists, from English singer-songwriters like Nick Drake and John Martyn to such American indie-rock titans as Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. Though only a sixth-former, he seemingly knew as much about most of these people as any music writer. Like any rock-oriented youth, his appetite for music is endless, and so is the opportunity..."

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294 comments

All you need to know about music... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29939989)

MADONNA IS THE BEST!

MADONNA FANS DO IT BETTER

Now go fuck off while I listen to Madonna - Celebration. =)

Re:All you need to know about music... (1, Interesting)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940159)

Once again, I disagree with the moderators who did this.

Not because it's spam, and because it's spam it should be modded down, no, I get that.

Redundant? Where are the throngs of ACs clamoring for more Madonna albums?

I am also an AC... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940187)

And I love Madonna!

tales of the golden dong (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29939999)

has anyone ever heard of this legend?

It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (3, Insightful)

soporific16 (1166495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940007)

This is exactly why 'piracy' is such a good thing. Before, when there were tollbooths before all the artists of the world, we could only really sample the delights of a few. Now, there's no where on earth most of us could afford to pay for all the content we consume. How can we be convinced that it is GOOD to be able to only taste a tiny fraction of what is out there? The Big Music enforced tollbooths are a plague of this planet, and it is PIRACY, resolving the contradictions of digital content in the age of private property, that is the cure.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (5, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940123)

I know this is an unpopular opinion and... my own behavior makes me a hypocrite here, but let's stop pretending that piracy is awesome and great just because some of the claims about it are exaggerated.

Making music--good music--takes time and resources. Time that you can't really make money on, and instruments and (nowadays) computer equipment that is not free. Unless you sell the music you're essentially losing money, in most situations. And no matter what some slashdotters CLAIM, yes, many people will not buy albums at all just because they can get them off soulseek or bittorrent or, god forbid, limewire.

If I had to wager I'd suggest the more popular the band, the more they're hurt, relatively, by piracy, with the completely unknowns actually benefiting because then they get exposure--if you haven't yet proved yourself, who is gonna buy your CD? Most stuff is crap. But those that have proved themselves... "hey, I know I like this guy's music but I'm a cheapskate so I'm going to download that anyway." So the unknowns probably benefit in getting a reputation and thus being able to sell CDs. The semi-knowns, the guys most people won't ever recognize and aren't played on the radio, probably hurt the most because they tend to be on smaller independent labels and don't get the big gigs and such well-known groups do--and their CDs are generally less visible, too, this day and age sometimes sold only over the internet.

Now, I have bought CD albums I'd downloaded that I wouldn't have if I'd not. Yes, that happens. But most people just want free mp3s on their portable music player, they aren't concerned about supporting the artist or even having a pressed CD as a collector's item or for preservation. But quit pretending that one counterpoint on the piracy issue or the fact that the effects of piracy are exaggerated by the RIAA especially for famous bands means piracy is universally a "good" thing. For many artists, it's not.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940215)

If I had to wager I'd suggest the more popular the band, the more they're hurt, relatively, by piracy, with the completely unknowns actually benefiting because then they get exposure

Assuming that that's an accurate assessment then it certainly sounds better than if the already popular bands were being boosted by it and those struggling to breka through were being held back. The question is whether it's a net good or a net bad. Is the overall effect such that more people can afford to dedicate time to creating music although fewer or none of them will become millionaires or is the overall effect that fewer people can afford to dedicate time to creating music. If the former then it's hard to see a problem with it. If the latter then it potentially raises issues to be resolved. But only potentially. Is there an optimum level of resources to dedicate to creating music? How do you tell what it is?

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940249)

I know this is an unpopular opinion and... my own behavior makes me a hypocrite here, but let's stop pretending that piracy is awesome and great just because some of the claims about it are exaggerated.

Piracy is awesome and great because copyright no longer serves to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts".
Or do you really think the Berne Convention's life + 50 minimum accomplishes that goal?

In the USA, life + 70 literally means that, at best, anything created in your lifetime will not become public domain until you are 70.
More likely, you'll be dead and your children might see it fall into the public domain.
I saw "might" because if the artist signed away their rights to a corporation, your grand-children will be the first to see it become public.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (0)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940309)

In the USA, life + 70 literally means that, at best, anything created in your lifetime will not become public domain until you are 70.
More likely, you'll be dead and your children might see it fall into the public domain.

Er - life + 70 means *exactly* that. You will NOT live to see the copyright expire, no matter how long you live. Assuming that a child of yours is born the day you die, *he* will see the copyright expire when he hits the age of 70.

I saw "might" because if the artist signed away their rights to a corporation, your grand-children will be the first to see it become public.

It makes no difference who buys the rights after creation - the term is set based on the author's life + 70 years. The only exception is a "work for hire", in which case the term is either 95 years from first publication, or 120 years from date of creation, whichever is longer.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (5, Interesting)

onallama (515297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940347)

Er - life + 70 means *exactly* that. You will NOT live to see the copyright expire, no matter how long you live. Assuming that a child of yours is born the day you die, *he* will see the copyright expire when he hits the age of 70.

The original poster's statement was incorrect, but so is this. Life + 70 means the creator's life + 70 years, not mine. I could very easily live to see the copyright expire on works created in my lifetime, assuming that they were created when I was very young and that their creators died shortly thereafter. All I have to do is live seventy years beyond the age I was when they died, and pray that Congress doesn't extend it further...actually, you're right, I'll never see it happen.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (5, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940531)

Life + 70 means the creator's life + 70 years

So... to give our (great?) grand-children a free world, we should be killing off all the creators now right? :)

"Well you see son, there used to be this thing called a 'rock star', and they made music. But we had to kill them all to set the music free. It was the only way."

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940773)

...this thing called a 'rock star', and they made music. But we had to kill them all

Where can I sign up for this insanely great plan of yours?

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940703)

Where is all the free music from the 1930s? Surely some of those people might have died soon after. Has their stuff gone into the public domain? Any of it?

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940349)

In the USA, life + 70 literally means that, at best, anything created in your lifetime will not become public domain until you are 70.

I recently gained a new perspective on this when I reflected on the following:

Let's say a 20 yo composes a new song. It's not unlikely that the person might live to be 90. That's 70 years right there. Add another 70 after the composer's death and you have 140 years of "protection". That means a work entering the public domain this afternoon would have had to be composed in 1869 -- four years after the close of the Civil war, given the current US term of copyright.

Ken Burns wold barely have been able to produce his PBS series as all the letters he quoted would have just been coming off copyright at the time he was working on the series.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940281)

And no matter what some slashdotters CLAIM, yes, many people will not buy albums at all just because they can get them off soulseek or bittorrent or, god forbid, limewire.

Of course. But the solution to that is to sell to people who want to buy it, either to support the author, or to have a physical copy.

People have been writing good music for fun (and for free) throughout history, just so that people can enjoy it. In fact, my suggestion to anyone who doesn't want me to listen to their music is to get a real job.

P.S. I do buy music, mostly from local groups.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940923)

Of course. But the solution to that is to sell to people who want to buy it, either to support the author, or to have a physical copy.

If you're going to make this argument, please use words precisely. What you mean when you say "buy" is actually "donate". Almost by the definition of capitalism, if you are "selling" to somebody who doesn't have to pay you (in fact, probably won't) then you're actually operating a charity and relying on donations to survive.

This isn't necessarily a bad model - as you point out, it has worked before. But it resulted in a stifling and uninnovative musical environment (good for religious folks though). If we're going down that road, society should be entirely clear about it to the musicians of the future. If a child ever says, "when I grow up I'm going to be a musician", we need to tell them - no you're not. Being a musician is a hobby that you do in your spare time.

And if we're going to do that for music, then really we should be consistent and say that for every job that is based on people getting paid for copyrighted works. For instance, if that child says "oh well. in that case I want to make video games!" - same thing. No you're not. You will get a job where you are paid per hour of your labor like the rest of the world.

Ditto for movies, books .... who knows what else in future.

But in reality, nobody wants to take that position. You claim you do, because "people have made music without being paid before", but that logic doesn't really generalize to other things like movies or video games. Music might well survive through the power of the amateur, but the rest probably won't. The popularity of big budget movies and games strongly suggests that most people are not willing to let it go just yet.

And that is why I think you are wrong.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (5, Interesting)

Nossie (753694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940321)

you know what I LOVE about piracy?

What I REALLY REALLY LOVE?

All the Spice girls and Brittany spears of this world will burn the quickest. No more bullshit bands manufactured, spliced and merged together for a 'formula' that will make [money/music]. The smaller bands will make more money from gigs and merchandise from the fans that actually support them. The local bands will get more notice and the record industry will become a small advertising house.

I love VNV Nation, I've never bought an album... I did however see them in Glasgow last week and bought over £100 in merchandise because I want to ADVERTISE them... if they come back here again I'll do it again

Who is the biggest fool? paying for the music and paying to advertise your favourite band? I dont think so .

Gone is the era of the multi-millionaire superstar (although they will still make money) and why the hell not? they are just doing a job like anyone else - and as a bonus they actually like doing their job!

Now I need the same to happen to sports stars and I'll be happy. NOBODY is worth millions of dollars/pounds and I'm sure the fans would love to knock 60% off the already inflated ticket prices.

People will pay for what they believe in, the main difference here is that most of the music out there now is shite. You talk about all the small bands losing the most... why? they already make sweet F all as it is. Music will become what it should be for most - a part time hobby. Lets also be honest here, it does not matter how little you people artists... music will ALWAYS be made (and people will always play football).

Let them burn, we are over it already.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940415)

you know what I LOVE about piracy?

What I REALLY REALLY LOVE?

All the Spice girls and Brittany spears of this world will burn the quickest. No more bullshit bands manufactured, spliced and merged together for a 'formula' that will make [money/music]. The smaller bands will make more money from gigs and merchandise from the fans that actually support them. The local bands will get more notice and the record industry will become a small advertising house.

I love VNV Nation, I've never bought an album... I did however see them in Glasgow last week and bought over £100 in merchandise because I want to ADVERTISE them... if they come back here again I'll do it again

Who is the biggest fool? paying for the music and paying to advertise your favourite band? I dont think so .

I'm not sure I get the logic. Ok so you are willing to go to a VNV Nation concert and buy their merchandise. That's fine, but a million times as many people are willing to do exactly the same for Brittney Spears and likes. How is that hurting them the most? Do you think the millions of people that like and prefer that kind of music will suddenly stop to do so?

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940623)

a million times as many people are willing to do exactly the same for Brittney Spears and likes.

The only reason a million times as many people prefer Spears and the like is because of advertising and promotion.
Even for the big acts who like to spend it up on coke and hookers it costs less than $100K to cut an album, but it costs millions to promote that album.
If you take the big money out of music, the massive over-spending on promotion will be the first thing to go.

Now you've got hundreds of millions of people who have to figure out on their own what music they like. It will cause a renaissance as the big acts will no longer be there to hoover up the lion's share of audiences.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940683)

Look at where the big money gets spent. Marketing, promotion, and tacky video clips.

It's just like the pharmaceutical industry - basically all the costs are adding no value to the product, just getting the product out there. Something that would be far easier if the product was cheaper.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (2, Insightful)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940915)

Something that would be far easier if the product was cheaper.

But the goal isn't to make a cheap products. The goal is to maximize profit. And that is done by using your artificial monopoly (allowing for high margin profits) combined with huge amounts of advertising (supported by the high margin profits) to increase sales.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940781)

a million times as many people are willing to do exactly the same for Brittney Spears and likes.

The only reason a million times as many people prefer Spears and the like is because of advertising and promotion. Even for the big acts who like to spend it up on coke and hookers it costs less than $100K to cut an album, but it costs millions to promote that album. If you take the big money out of music, the massive over-spending on promotion will be the first thing to go.

Now you've got hundreds of millions of people who have to figure out on their own what music they like. It will cause a renaissance as the big acts will no longer be there to hoover up the lion's share of audiences.

I disagree, I think people will still like the same type of music, and that is more than a little arrogant and elitist to assume that people that don't like the same music as you onlyn do it because they are brainwashed to.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940799)

I disagree, I think people will still like the same type of music, and that is more than a little arrogant and elitist to assume that people that don't like the same music as you onlyn do it because they are brainwashed to.

I have the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on music marketing to back up my opinion.
What basis do you have for your beliefs?

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940903)

The only reason a million times as many people prefer Spears and the like is because of advertising and promotion.

And incidentally, the reason advertising and promotion is so effective, is because IP has a high margin profit, so it is profitable to spend a huge part of the product cost/price on advertising and promotion.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (5, Insightful)

manicb (1633645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940755)

The smaller bands will make more money from gigs and merchandise from the fans that actually support them. The local bands will get more notice and the record industry will become a small advertising house.

What is a "local band" when people discover their music through the internet?

The internet equivalent to a local band is a band that is big on whichever sources you use, i.e. myspace, Jamendo etc. It's the bands that your friends have found and link you to. For practical purposes that's a huge difference. Thanks to the internet, I've discovered bands that I love, who will NEVER EVER tour the UK. Why? Firstly because they may be playing a relatively niche genre of music, and would not be able to pull in enough people to make it worthwhile, even if they are excellent in that niche. Secondly because being a "part time hobby" band is pretty incompatible with touring.

Music will become what it should be for most - a part time hobby. Lets also be honest here, it does not matter how little you people artists... music will ALWAYS be made (and people will always play football).

You want to see bands live, and you're happy for all musicians to be part-time? Ok, say I blow a couple of weeks' holiday to tour... I'm not going to be touring anywhere near you, am I?

I write/record/rehearse/perform in my spare time. I know I would be able to write far more, far better music if I was dedicated to it full-time. I have the utmost respect for those willing to make that leap, because it's quite a gamble and a sacrifice they are making, especially in this age. Is that good for music? Do you think a band like Radiohead could exist if they weren't 100% dedicated to it? You risk advocating quantity over quality.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

ergean (582285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940839)

Thank you!

Never heard about VNV Nation but I love this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu-8wGbWMro [youtube.com]

Ahrrr!!! Here I go to pirate it. :D

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940345)

I don't really know about that. The time is cheaper than it's ever been. So are the resources. You only have to buy an instrument once, but you can play it as long as it works. These days the most important tool you can have for music production is a laptop (and not all of the software is expensive - some of it's free).

Besides, you forget that the majors would loan you that money - then take it out of your royalties, with interest. Yet another way they try to screw over the artist far more than a pirate ever will.

Music doesn't need a budget. Never did. Overproduction, that needs a budget - but that's the major's gig. Piracy hurts the major labels, but it often (not always, but often) doesn't hurt the artists as long as they get known by it. Go on, ask Coulton, or Weird Al. Or Trent Reznor, or Radiohead. Things have changed, and are still changing. If you want to support them, actually go and see them; that does way more than the few pence they'll get skimmed off your iTunes download or CD purchase. Go on, go out and see a band you might never have heard of if you hadn't downloaded their MP3. Yeah, not many people do, but it doesn't take that many. You might not be a superstar, but you can play music and survive on it, and that's more than many have.

And those semi-knowns? They get better known via the internet, not just the unknowns. Hell, it's one of their main promotion opportunities. It can be hard after the 15 minutes, true, but even the radio's becoming more open now. (Another reason we should resist killing net radio, and use licences on our music that don't let ASCAP/BMI collect from our music.)

Besides, being a dick about piracy isn't going to help your reputation on the internet, because it's like being the dude at the party who doesn't let anyone drink. Swallow this: most music fans download MP3s. Hell, a lot of artists do. Getting in their face about it is not the relationship you want with your fans. You want them to share your music because word-of-mouth is the best damn kind of advertising. You want to be on Youtube or Myspace or Facebook... because can you go viral without it?

It isn't always a positive thing, that's true. It's disruptive, and by their very nature disruptive things end one thing and start another. It's up to you to figure out how you can benefit from change, and get a nice viewpoint to watch these dinosaurs wail about like they're dying - while still posting profits. Now that's hypocritical...

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940471)

Making music--good music--takes time and resources. Time that you can't really make money on, and instruments and (nowadays) computer equipment that is not free.

There are many things in life that are potentially worthwhile to boatloads of people, but don't have a workable business model (at least, not compared to selling out arenas). Cures for things - the money is in treating symptoms, not coming up with a cure. Teaching people how to live within their means, or warning them about the realities of Scientology, or Amway. Advancing the frontiers of science. Creating some sorts of FOSS.

I know you have not made the argument that musicians are entitled to do what they do as a profession, but it is implied by many. Why should legislation be crafted specifically and at the expense of the public's freedom to make it relatively easy for musicians to make money?

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940487)

Piracy isn't a good thing, but let's face it, these bands of which you speak are never going to make any money. the *only* people who make money out of cds are the super famous and the record companies.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

nvivo (739176) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940521)

I like the approach of the Gov't Mule (www.mule.net). They are a really great band, one of the best I have ever heard. And they allow people to record and publish their live performances for free (usually available at bt.etree.org).

So, they have the studio albums they sell, and don't allow people to distribute it. And people usually don't, because the live versions are available for free. And still, they have a huge fan base, enough to do about 20 shows every month. This probably works very well for them. Not everyone can do it, but it surely works as an alternative model for a lot of bands.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940499)

I completely agree with you. Now, there is a factor that acts upon the rest of the world that is probably not seen inside the US, and completely ignored by most publishers. We usually pay A LOT of taxes to get some things imported. I live in Brazil (one of the countries that have more taxes in the world), and my friends in the US can't believe how much I pay for some things like CDs and books.

An example is the Andy McKee albums. I really admire that guy. His album costs 14.95 at his publisher's website, a very reasonable price. When I look at sites to buy this in Brazil, I get the price of R$ 95 for the imported version. At a conversion rate of almost 2:1, this would be about USD 45. Now, remember we are in a third world country, and you can assume that we get paid half (for a good job, and I am being very optimistic here) of the average in the US. If you look at the percentage of money you spend in this things in relation to how much you earn, its a huge price. I would go to his show to support him, but travelling to another continent to do this is not an option.

You in the US may imagine as well paying $100 or $150 for each album you want. Of course, not everything costs that much. All big artists are redistributed in scale by local publishers, and the price drops to $15 - $30. But most of the bands I like are not big, and the only option is to either import or buy the MP3 online, which I do sometimes. Books are more of a problem, since they need to get translated to be re-published, and this is much harder, specially the ones for very specific topics.

Still, the parent post is right at the fact that we simply have too much choice. Yes, I would love to have money to pay for absolutely everything I download, but I simply don't have. And its not a matter of getting a better job, its simply impossible for a regular person that pays all the taxes, support the family, etc. I pay for some, I support them when I can. Its just impossible to support all of them. Also, I can read english and have an international credit card to buy PDFs and MP3. Its not the case of the majority of the people, specially regarding music.

And I'm sorry, but I won't stop listening to music or reading books just because I don't have money to buy them. It may sound unfair, but its the truth.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (5, Insightful)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940559)

I want to know where this idea has come from that making music should make you a millionaire.

Before the 20th century it didn't. Even some of the most respected composers in history earned only enough for a comfortable life, and the talented musicians could only expect a livable wage. Somehow, though, somewhere in the 20th century came the concept that every single mediocre pop act should earn 6 figure sums, and the "best of them" should be earning millions, into eternity.

Traditionally, artists were expected to earn their crust from live shows- something which is not only not harmed by piracy, but actually bolstered by it. And traditionally, recordings and covers and such (insofar as they happened) were sold at only a little above cost.

And somehow, despite this lack of monetary incentive, magnificent music still got made. Musicians made music because it was what they loved to do, and the music scene was a lot better for it.

So enough of the painful regurgitation of the myth that "if you don't pay £10 for an electronic download of the latest album, music itself can't happen". When the music industry returns to a realistic business model, piracy will end.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (2, Insightful)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940837)

What business hasn't focused increasingly on wider distribution, lower quality, and powerful marketing to multiply profits? Do the guys at Google or Microsoft or Berkshire Hathaway or Walmart deserve their fortunes that make rock-stars look like blue-collar laborers? Sure, musicians are overpaid, but it's a little unfair to expect them to work in the name of pure art when everyone else in the post-industrial age is getting filthy rich. Even office workers expect to retire millionaires, doctors multi-millionaires; performing before hundreds of thousands of people and having your songs on millions of ipods should qualify you for some riches.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940979)

I want to know where this idea has come from that making music should make you a millionaire.

I want to know where this idea has come from that making anything should make you a millionaire.

While too small income differences are bad for motivation, too large income differences are bad for general health and morale (Not "moral"). It is a difficult balance to walk, but I think the US and many other countries lost it in the late 20th century. The top margin income tax percentages plummeted, and it didn't take long before the vultures came in to feed, transferring capital from productive companies to themselves.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940721)

While I agree that just taking the music isn't right. Who says music should be the price that it is? It's only a relatively recent thing where most musicians could be rich spoiled jerks.

We have to assume society deemed them worthy of it. Maybe things have gone too far and people have realise they're not worth it. I see a legitimate reason why, for example, Madonna deserves to have millions as do the people working for her record label.

Surely not having a job where you have to scoop shit out of a public toilet should be payment enough.

Musicians are just doing what any other employee would do once their job has been devalued but I don't think they'll be able to stop it. Mainly because so few of them can actually sing and play an instrument without the computer doing the bulk of the work. Quite frankly, I'd be happy to what they're asking as long as the money goes towards the one doing most of the work - the computer.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940739)

Making music--good music--takes time and resources. Time that you can't really make money on

Hold on now. Why can't you make money on that time? If your labor as an artist is valuable, then you can sell it, just like a house painter or a gardener or a lawyer sells their time. Find some people who want you to write music, and convince them to pay you.

and instruments and (nowadays) computer equipment that is not free. Unless you sell the music you're essentially losing money, in most situations.

You don't need to sell the music any more than a house painter needs to sell painted houses, or a gardener needs to sell gardens, or a lawyer needs to sell trials.

The act of writing and performing the music is what's valuable. Making copies, on the other hand, is something anyone can do with no special training or equipment. It doesn't make sense for the public to rely on artists to distribute copies; they should leave the distribution to whoever can get it done most efficiently, and right now that seems to be P2P networks.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (2, Interesting)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940171)

I'm not sure piracy is a good thing: the costs to society, especially in terms of legal enforcement, are immense. I hope it becomes irrelevant over time. Frankly I dunno why people are still so enamored of pirating music when there is so much GOOD stuff out there that's 100% free, legal, and sanctioned by the artists that you could listen to new music every moment of your life without spending a dime.

Music, like other types of creativity, is in a race to the bottom because there's so much more content available than people can possibly listen to in their entire lives. I guess the only reason the music industry hangs on while the newspaper and publishing industries are dying is because music is harder for people to substitute... they hear a song on the radio or whatever and become enamored with particular artists, but the same doesn't really happen for particular writers.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

Dysphoric1 (1641793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940381)

I'm not sure piracy is a good thing: the costs to society, especially in terms of legal enforcement, are immense. I hope it becomes irrelevant over time

If I were Bill Gates rich, I would make it irrelevant myself.

I would create two monstrous supercomputers. The first would create musical melodies based on the number of notes required by copyright statutes to qualify as unique; the idea being to try and copyright all possibilities of note/time combinations for that level of uniqueness through brute force computing over time.

The second supercomputer would analyze as much new music on the market as possible using the data from the first to determine infringement and automatically send out subpoenas to cease and desist.

The eventual goal would be to crash the copyright system by eventually making it difficult and eventually impossible for anyone to create non-infringing music.

With copyright no longer tenable, piracy would no longer exist and music, a performance art, would go back to being just that; a PERFORMANCE art.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

bobintetley (643462) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940597)

I would create two monstrous supercomputers. The first would create musical melodies based on the number of notes required by copyright statutes to qualify as unique; the idea being to try and copyright all possibilities of note/time combinations for that level of uniqueness through brute force computing over time.

Except you can't copyright music and melodies.

You can copyright lyrics and you can copyright sheet music (as both are written works). Copyright covers the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. That's why recordings of songs get copyright protection, but not the songs themselves. People seem to have forgotten this somewhere along the way, or recording companies would try and have us think otherwise.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940735)

You need something quite a lot more powerful than a "super computer". Lets just for simplicity assume that you can only have 100 distinct places to place a node, assume there are only 4 distinct nodes, to cover all combinations you got 2^101.

Lets assume you can cover 4 billion distinct "songs" every second, and for simplicity lets do it like: 2^32 which is larger than 4 billion. That means you need 2^69 seconds to cover everything, you might as well try to calculate the answer to life, universe and everything...

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

nvivo (739176) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940551)

Frankly I dunno why people are still so enamored of pirating music when there is so much GOOD stuff out there that's 100% free, legal, and sanctioned by the artists that you could listen to new music every moment of your life without spending a dime.

Well, that is quite of an stupid argument if you think about. The reason is very simple: because people want to hear that specific person singing that specific song. I could open youtube and get 50 covers of pink floyd, but listening to Davig Gilmour and his feeling is much better.

I agree that there are good stuff out there for free, but that doesn't exclude the good paid stuff that is already out there too. Having the milk available doesn't stop people from wanting cookies.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (4, Interesting)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940339)

Now, there's no where on earth most of us could afford to pay for all the content we consume.

Perhaps because we consume so much more because we aren't worrying about paying for it.

My father sits most of his days off in his chair reading and listening to an oldies station that plays the same 20 or so albums every day. I sit in my office at work and listen to a 1000 or so albums I've "acquired" sorted based on last listened to. That means I only hear the same song about once every couple months. We are listening to more music I'd say than previous generations just because we have convenient portable music devices, but we consume vastly more music than the previous generation just because we don't re-listen to things as much. Instead of getting an album a week or whatever instead whenever an artist we like, or even just an artist is recommended to us comes around we hit the internet and grab everything they've ever made. Maybe we only listen to it once and delete it but we don't care because we didn't pay for it.

As for "music literacy" improving: perhaps. However I'd dispute most claims that it has any value. Very few people have work related to music, or even do any sort of critical thinking about the music. Heck most of my friends will even admit they don't care about the lyrics and haven't ever read them for their favorite bands. Music is just background noise that sounds good to us, that is about the extent that must of think about it. Being able to identify a band and name a song are very unlikely things to come up in a job interview or even in a social situation where people's view of you would depend on whether you know the answer or not. Its just trivia like people that can quote batting averages: no one really cares except the drunk idiot in the bar that is going to fight you during an argument over it.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (2, Interesting)

nvivo (739176) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940583)

Well, I'm sure your dad listened to a lot of other bands in his time. Maybe not as much as you do, but he surely did listen to more things.

What happens is that some music gets stuck in your mind, and as you grow old, the rest of the world changes and you can't find new music that you like anymore, so you stick with the ones you already like.

I bet in 40 years or so, you will be like this too, listening to the same old MP3 you have for 30+ years while your son and grandson make fun of how you listen only to that old crap and how the new format is much better because you can change the instruments while you listen, or change the singer... and you will wonder why the hell they care about that.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (0, Flamebait)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940375)

Now, there's no where on earth most of us could afford to pay for all the content we consume.

Could you repeat that, I'm afraid I couldn't hear you over your self-entitled whining.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (1)

Jewbird (596227) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940443)

Because, you pretarded dumbshit, all music is dead and buried and irrelevant thanks to worthless bum-ass loser shits like you.

Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940899)

50++ comments, yet yhy is yhy spelled yhy in all of them?

Not quite.. (2, Insightful)

wanax (46819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940011)

This is the age of infinite access to music that is considered popularly or culturally relevant. In times before recording, music was played constantly, but to see the critical acclaimed required one to buy a fairly expensive ticket. In the age since recording, the popular and acclaimed required purchase of a fairly expensive to make medium. Recently, the price of access to popular or acclaimed music has been some technical savvy. While DRM and legislative action may eventually curtail access to popular or acclaimed music, it will do no such thing to indy, modern or any un-acclaimed pieces or groups, because in such an environment enforcement will be expensive.

Careful now... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940023)

That kid is likely destined to become an "arrogant bloke who tends to work in record shops".

Re:Careful now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940987)

That kid is likely destined to become an "arrogant bloke who tends to work in record shops".

Which is tragic, because there won't be any record shops when he grows up.

I'd Rather... (2, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940095)

I'd rather put my money in a tip jar of garage bands in Japan, South Africa, Germany or elsewhere rather than spend another dime funding the RIAA's accusations that pretty much everyone who uses the Internet is a criminal. And funnily enough, every time I say this on Slashdot there always seem to be several replies telling me to check out some dudes and I end up doing just that.

Re:I'd Rather... (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940127)

Not going to advice any particular bands, there are great internet services you can use to find and discover new artists and new types of music.

Sadly, due to copyright laws, none of these I can actually use in my country. Yay copyright! Copyright; protecting us from culture for over 50 years after death now!

Re:I'd Rather... (4, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940179)

Okay, maybe you can't use them, but that doesn't preclude you from actually telling us what they are.

It's surprising really... (3, Interesting)

pyr02k1 (1640167) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940099)

When you get down to it, it is quite surprising the kinds of music my generation will listen to when given the chance. As was stated in another comment, in the past it was limited to what they wanted you to hear. You would be limited to the selection on the radio and nothing more. Now, with piracy galore and plenty of music services, such as Pandora, you get a taste of other varieties and artists you would never have heard before. I can go from listening to Heavy Metal to Techno to Country and then into Classical. My taste is open, simply because of piracy and the free services available. As time progresses, it'll be interesting to see how this shapes. Mainly because of how much the various MAFIAAs are trying to kill piracy in its whole, without an alternative, and yet refuse to decrease the price of a media that costs 1/50th to produce and distribute as they charge for it in a retail store. They continue to push and shove for people who pirate music to pay hugely outrageous fines, and yet they dont make it available at a reasonable price. Imagine having to go to a store and pay $15 for a loaf of bread, simply because they can charge that much and get away for it. It's a matter of time until fat people galore go running out of the store with 8 loaves stuffed in their pants. It stuns many of the people I talk to when they ask how I can go from one genre to another without being phased, and enjoy it all just the same, and I answer that without being forced to listen to only popular media and having the ability to open my horizons more then most, I can find more music and movies to enjoy then most people would ever dream... well, except everyone here. Not that any of us would ever pirate anything in our lives... of course not. Yayyyy Piracy! I mean ... ehh, heck with it

John Harris writes... (1)

mcwop (31034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940105)

the album replaced by endless individual songs and music rendered pretty much worthless by the fact that it's universally free.

Disagree. I have downloaded, and paid for, several full albums that are great - for example Polvo's new album "In Prism". What I think is about to change is live performances. Bands will tape high quality audio and video of live performances for easy purchase. This is not as widespread as it could be, and for indie bands is often relegated to audience tapings.

"in precious little time" ... "an expert" (2, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940131)

Which indicates that either the domain is rather small or the semantics of 'expert' has changed dramatically.

With regard to "all kinds of artists" (which probably should read 'various kinds of musicians' — but probably it takes longer to become an 'expert' writer) I suspect the former, the latter otherwise.

CC.

Infinite music (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940135)

From Funkadelic to The Smiths?
From Nick Drake and John Martyn to Pavement and Dinosaur Jr.??

Your point may be good, but christ, these examples of infinity and endless appetite for music cover a really, really small range of what music is.

No wonder you were always so embarrased in the shop.

On second thought, I'm not sure point is so good.
On the evidence, the interwebz really just provide an opportunity to imagine one's broadened oneself by becoming even more deeply enmeshed in one little thing.

Re:Infinite music (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940971)

I agree. There have been a lot of studies that show that the more choices we have, the more difficult it is to make the choice - and the choice is virtually limitless now. Having so many choices, our options are to either become enmeshed in one little thing, or know very little about everything.

Choice (3, Interesting)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940145)

Choice under these conditions has been studied. The stndard example is something like, someone goes into a store to buy a new tv - is confronted by 50 models, can't choose and walks out again. Whereas going into a tv store where there's only 5 models available, quickly makes a choice and walks out with a tv. The point is, more choice does not neccessarily mean easier choices. I have this problem myself - I want to listen to some new music, refresh what's on my iPod, but confronted by this vast ocean of music, almost limitless possibilities, I get exasperated and end up either not bothering or downloading another album from someone I know. Now, however, I have a new name to explore - Pavement - I don't have any of thier music. Anyhow - the point of this story was to say that infinite music is not neccessarily a good thing. I personally find I listen to the radio more and more... leaving the music choices to someone else.

Re:Choice (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940181)

This is precisely why services such as pandora, last.fm, Imeem and the rest exist. Put in a few names from bands you know, and pandora will pop up half a dozen or more suggestions, more often than not, they are pretty good.
 
it doesn't broaden your horizons all that much, but Imeem will, because it's idea of suggesting music is to load the page with the best ad income, even if it's an entirely different genre. However, while this practice is less than savory, it does tend to expose you to things you would otherwise not be aware of. I also find that streaming radio station that have good DJs tend to be an endless source of new music.

Re:Choice (1)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940291)

But even with Pandora you have to give it something and it finds similar... I'm kind of holding onto the idea that, out there, somewhere, there's a punk for cello quintet doing covers of hip hop classics that will just bowl me over... I kind of need a Pandora in reverse. Something that will look at what I like and, taking into account the dross I suffer on local and national radio, take me to places where I've never been before.

Re:Choice (1)

Phurge (1112105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940425)

check out last.fm

Re:Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940407)

Now, however, I have a new name to explore - Pavement - I don't have any of thier music.

This prompted a trip down memory lane for me. How did I discover Pavement? This is, in some ways, a pathetic story-- in other ways it echoes the article. No, i didnt hear them live. No, my buddy didn't bring them in the car on a cross country road trip. No, their beautiful music was not the soundtrack of my first kiss.

Actually, I read a review of their first album [allmusic.com] online about five years ago. Downloaded it, put it on my mp3 player, went for what I thought would be a short walk to the grocery store. Actually, I never made it to the grocery store. I walked to central park. Past the park to the river. When the album finished I sat for a while. Then I listened to it again on my walk home.

Seriously this band changed my life.

And get this. They are reuniting to play for the first time in years. Where? Central Park. Guess who bought a ticket during the absolutely ridiculous 1 year advance presale? Yep. See you there?

Re:Choice (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940475)

I don't buy the current research because it doesn't study the effects of learning. Currently, we have a population who have not learned how to deal with a large number of choices. That doesn't mean that fifty years from now, the general population will remain so undecided. Large numbers of choices require different strategies. For example, the use of random selection to cull the list. With but a coin, I can trim a list of any size down to a few on the order of log_2(N). IPod has "shuffle" which automates the selection process of picking music to play by randomly selecting songs from a large list. Or chose from the top few on a huge list.

Re:Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940529)

I want to listen to some new music... but confronted by this vast ocean of music... I get exasperated and end up either not bothering or downloading another album from someone I know.

I think I know what you mean. A wizard once told me, "That's what Ritalin's for.".

  In his strange white robes. There was a dullness to his eyes, he glanced to the window but didn't focus his eyes on the ocean outside. A fly was circling overhead and the wizard suddenly noticed me, "Are you my grandson?". "No.", I said with a sigh. He blinked a few times, then nodded to my backpack, he asked "Did you bring my record?". "Record? You mean CD?". With raised eyebrows, he torted back, "I don't speak your young, coded, halfling hip-hop nonsense. Why would I need a condom anyway? At my age I'm lucky if can remember what I'm doing, where I'm doing, when I'm doing it, what I'm doing." Losing his train of thought, "That's what Ritalin's for!". The disturbance began drawing attention. A robed healer looked up from treating a female hobbit.
  Seizing this opportunity to change the subject, I asked, "What is the Labyrinth?". Realizing he followed my pointed hand to gaze at a picture on the wall, I shook my head and gestured more broadly. He seemed to understand now. His mirrored shades giving an emptiness to his face. "The Labyrinth is all around you; the air you breath, the food you eat. It is the poison baked into the cookie-uhhh, the prison you were born into. You are a slave. A slave to the Matrix.". -"Labyrinth!", I corrected. "Oh, yeah. What did I say?" "You... Nevermind." "Well, where were we. Okay, yes! Cowboy Neal has some good songs for all you kids, the-" "NOOO!", I shouted. "Get back to the correct plot!", I begged. Again realizing where he was, the wizard calmly said, "Ah, it doesn't matter, nobody will ever read to this point.". The wizard leaned forward and burned the remaining words onto the screen, "Take the blue pill. You'll thank me later.".

Re:Choice (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940675)

I use Spotify, and especially the radio feature to find new music.Spotify's radio can be narrowed on genre and time, so I can set it on techno & house from the current decade to find new elecronic stuff.

As interesting stuff comes along I just add it to one of my playlists or make a note of the artist. When crap comes along I press 'next'. ;)

Good thing I just downloaded ANOTHER full CD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940147)

For free.

TPB BITCHES!

Already loaded on the jailbroken iPhone too. Life is good when you are not a sorry little bitch and slave to ink sprays on paper. :D

It's an evolution, not a revolution (2, Interesting)

gordguide (307383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940167)

Certainly I can't argue with anything in the parent post: the youth of today are, often amazingly, and always re-assuredly, listening to music and learning about music that is "not of their direct experience" (which is, admittedly, a clumsy construct ... I'm not sure I really know how to describe what I mean by that; I'm hoping most people just get it).

I remember going to the "record store" when I was a young pup. Here I was, amongst a seemingly limitless array of music, and I was, I thought, emperor of all that was before me. All I needed was $9.98 and I was there. It was much better than a library, and much more interesting than a class.

Today, you need much less than ten bucks. You can sample what it took my money, or a friend's money, or an older brother's money, or a hip station to throw out there, today it costs what could be essentially described as "nothing but time". And time invested is not without cost, by any means.

I sense a hint of failure, or resignation: something along the lines of "I invested all that and kids get it today by investing much less."

But, that's what I enjoyed too, and so did the author of the parent. It's how he came about to know enough to write the book in the first place, a book his older brothers or his parents probably could not have written.

And the kids still need you; they still help to find what they enjoy in a similar way. What's different is they listen to what their parents like, whereas I thought my parents were musically bankrupt. They value the music, and from that they put a higher value on the investment in time to explore the music, whereas we still had to figure in a larger investment in earnings balanced by that time.

It is, in so many words, and example of what limited distribution cost us all; what the RIAA cost us by it's business model of days gone by, and what the music industry needs to learn to exploit, if it's to survive, rather than rail against.

It's a good thing.

Re:It's an evolution, not a revolution (1)

cs96and (896123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940921)

Well whatever. Because that is me. I evolve, but I don't revolve. Or vice-versa. I suppose what you're trying to say is, you don't want another Chris Evans on your hands.

It really is a golden age (3, Interesting)

steveha (103154) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940217)

I'm finding new music I like at a far faster rate than I was ten years ago. The biggest difference is that now, I have Rhapsody [rhapsody.com] . (Just like the guy who wrote TFA mentioned that he has Spotify [spotify.com] .)

I can find an artist I like, and there are links on the page. Hey, you like Genesis? Check out Steve Hackett, Brand X, and Mike + the Mechanics, and Alan Parsons Project and Yes; check out "Art & Progressive Rock"; check out playlists that other users made that relate to Genesis; in short there are literally dozens of links. Some of the links are tenuous and unlikely, yet I have used them to branch over to music I really like: Genesis to Peter Gabriel to Synergy (Larry Fast) to Zero 7 and Infected Mushroom.

Even if you don't sign up for a music service, you can do something similar with a large online store such as Amazon. You can only hear short samples, not the full song, but you can still navigate a web of connections.

It used to be that to even hear about obscure music, you had to subscribe to music newsletters or hang out in non-mainstream record shops or at least have a friend who did those things. Now you can click around from song to song, and if it takes you nine songs you don't like to find one you do like, you are still only out a couple of minutes. And if you are like me, and you listen to albums many times if you like them, it's totally worth spending a little time branching out. Add in a little bit of time looking bands up on Wikipedia and other sources, and you too can be as much of a music expert as someone who writes for a magazine.

The RIAA and the big labels fear this new world. They want to keep charging for music as if it were a scarce commodity. I read an interview with a guy from a studio, and he defended the high price of CDs: the price is fair because it's really hard to be a studio; you have to try to find new acts, and when you guess wrong, a whole bunch of CDs go into a landfill. Well, guess what: on the Internet, you can just provide the music, and if nobody likes it, it will just sit there; and if people do like it, you make pure profit. No CDs need be produced and then landfilled. The costs go way, way down with digital distribution. They want their costs to drop, while still charging the same inflated prices they try to justify on CDs; that won't work.

The future of music is: everything available on the Internet, at lower prices than if you buy CDs. Most artists will not bother to sign their fortunes over to big record studios; they will retain control of their music, and deal more directly with the customers. There will still be middle-men, but fewer of them, and they will make less money (which doesn't sound good if you are a middle-man but sounds pretty darn good to me). And absolutely nothing will go out of print. If an album sells two copies a year, it has paid back the costs of letting it sit on a server and it is already slightly in the black.

I remember, when I was in high school, how truly huge and popular certain bands were. Whether you liked them or hated them, you recognized Styx or Van Halen when you heard them. In the future, new bands may find it impossible to reach the same level of success and recognition, because everyone will fragment themselves into small sub-markets. It will be hard for any one act to capture everyone's full attention and hold it for more than a very short time.

steveha

Re:It really is a golden age (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940969)

I read an interview with a guy from a studio, and he defended the high price of CDs: the price is fair because it's really hard to be a studio; you have to try to find new acts, and when you guess wrong, a whole bunch of CDs go into a landfill. Well, guess what: on the Internet, you can just provide the music, and if nobody likes it, it will just sit there; and if people do like it, you make pure profit. No CDs need be produced and then landfilled.

No offense intended but you completely misunderstood the guys point. Pressing CDs is cheap. "Throwing them in the landfill" was a metaphor for "losing the money invested" not for actually throwing away pieces of metal and plastic. The cost of producing a CD is mostly in the production, studio time, paying the people to sit around and compose all day, then the marketing costs needed to tell the world about this new act they might like. If the guess is wrong, that money is lost.

The future of music is: everything available on the Internet, at lower prices than if you buy CDs. Most artists will not bother to sign their fortunes over to big record studios; they will retain control of their music, and deal more directly with the customers.

Well we'd like to think that wouldn't we. But it doesn't actually seem to be going that way. What's the first thing all these bands that got big on MySpace did? Ah right, sign with a label. I listen to a lot of net radio, especially BassDrive [bassdrive.com] . I heard a great track there the other day. Once I finally tracked it down, it turned out that it's unsigned. That means you can't buy it anywhere. I asked the producer why he doesn't sell it direct through CDbaby or on his own website, answer:

if you can give me 250 euro. yeah sure xD

no bro .. i only sell my tracks to recordlabels sorry

Huh. So much for the internet revolutionising music. Here is an obscure DnB producer that I found through internet radio, whos website is on MySpace and .... guess what. He only uses the "legacy business model". So though I'd love to see this frustrating and archaic system disappear, I do realize that it fulfills a purpose - musicians don't want to fuck about with distribution. They want to make music and have some semblance of financial stability, with other people absorbing the losses from failures and making it back on the hits.

Beat Your Own DRM (1)

flaptrap (1038180) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940223)

Music is one way we find our cultural identity, and the information age created a way to reproduce performances and not just the sheet music, but compare this to the history of Bach and Telemann. While the music 'industry' rode a wave of new technology to fame and fortune, as times change there will be another way for another culture to show its own identity. I just hope this is in a way that reinforces individual freedoms of expression rather than conformity to a distant power, and the recent music explosion is doing just that. Pay for Play you say?

(Trivia) knowledge? (1)

dragisha (788) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940227)

He's probably into subject since he was 3 or 4, kind of Mozart phenomenon :).

Seriously, I just hink you were blitzed by trivia-type expertise. To become expert in anything, time's required [norvig.com] .

Singles vs Albums (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940229)

With so much music to listen to, will such a person bother listening to a whole album from that artist, or will that person just listen to a playlist of singles? I'm inclined to believe that with infinite music available, you'd skim the top of the best hits of each artist, and omit discovering other songs on the album that would be worth investigating. Infinite music doesn't mean you have infinite time available to listen to it all. Wheras when you had limited amounts of music, you probably spent more time with each one of your limited number of cd's, and probably grasped aspects of it that you never picked up on the first or second listen. Even with itunes, will artists bother to make "albums" anymore? Maybe just a single every now and then is the way it's headed. It's too early for me to say whether that will be a good or a bad thing though.

Re:Singles vs Albums (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940419)

Again, this is probably a result of the "mass-produced" crap that gets churned out these days.

Back in the early 80's, I'd head up to the record shop with my savings, buy an album that I knew already had 2 or 3 good songs on it, and be fairly certain that the other 7 or 8 would also be good. I was rarely disappointed and usually felt like I'd got my money's worth.

Nowadays, albums consist of the 1 hit wonder that made the artist famous, 2 or 3 "remixes" that cost nothing extra in studio recording time, (or worse still the same 1 hit wonder "featuring Beyonce" singing the backing vocals - she does this a lot), and 7 covers of other peoples songs ?

Albums today have no originality past the 1st song, that you probably already own on single anyway.

Why in God's name would anyone *want* to buy an album these days ?

Re:Singles vs Albums (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940435)

Since at least the 80s, the origin of being able to only make one hit, most performers could at best muster two good songs for a single album. The average seemed to be a single good song on an album full of filler garbage and that one good song was usually written by another person and just performed by the performer. For all the flak Milli Vanilli got for lip syncing this is almost exclusively what happens with most produced music these days. Now some bands do have some songs they wrote completely themselves and some bands do it all themselves still. But the usually result still is usually only one song worth listening too out of 12-14 filler tracks of audio torture. With such a dismal record, they should just abort the whole album model and go back to trying to be original and with quality.

While there also might not be infinite time to listen to music, there is a great deal of it available and with devices like the iPod and iPhone it is easier than ever to have your selection with you and easily change out how you want to stock up your gigs of available space. Commute time, exercise time, cooking, showering and with the real music of old you can even have it playing while you read.

In my opinion, profiteering off of music directly will become a thing of the past like a computer with no math co-processor. Performances will be a chance of course to make money but the days of the truly disproportionate money piles for the one hit wonders and one hit albums is heading the way of the giant dinosaurs. I do not see this as a bad thing either and not just because it will humble the ones who live high and mighty in pure arrogance nor even because for many of them the money just went right back to Medallin, Columbia and overpriced distilleries. I do not see it as a bad thing because it will once again pull quality and talent back into the equation instead of just media hyped and all tits and ass. Musicians will once again become musicians in it for the music and the art instead of the romanticized stereotype. A purification if you will of the corruption that has ruled the music industry and is personified by RIAA and nearly identical in the film industry with MPAA. (Not to get off topic but the lack of talent in Hollywood screams as they have to remake/ruin things like "V" or recycle old Latin America shows like "Ugly Betty" and their best movies are ripped right from video games and comic books and old cartoons and those are mediocre at best.)

It is in the hopes of bringing down this profiteering that I personally never pay anymore to see any movie I want and listen to any music I want. This is why I always teach the new generations where and how to find things the same way that I do so they can never feed these monsters of no talent and greed either. The overall lack of quality that so many have lowered their standards to is sickening and this will never change so long as money is there to drive it. Anything involving art and expression in an artistic manner really should never have gotten in bed with corporatism just like turning everything into China*Mart is a bad idea.

Re:Singles vs Albums (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940513)

i don't think so, personally i think with the removal of the more blatant commercialism from music you'd probly get more people listening to bands than singles, but it's a dice roll.

The endless present, the endless enigma (1)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940265)

Half of my lifetime is dedicated to listening to music, as well as a significant percentage of my income is spent on LPs, CDs and audio-centered equipment. I can say with certainty that I do not envy today's teenagers that can have it all "for free". In my humble opinion, TFA expresses emotional and pseudo-economical musings, without addressing the key philosophical (and political) issues:

1. What is today (and what was in the past) the relation between quality and quantity? How is society, especially the young ones, to discriminate between trash and masterpieces of music (or books, movies, art, knowledge, "information", at that matter)?

2. Can there be value without scarcity? Can there be wisdom without suffering? If the author had that abundance of free choice when he was growing up, would he be the same person he is today?

3. Isn't the highlighted quote "there's no longer any past - just an endless present" the most frightening of all, signaling the end of history, the end of capitalism and the end of the world as we know it?

The key question today is whether and how an individual can survive the over abundance of "free" without alienating himself. Humanity has changed irreversibly thanks to the Internet and IT, making knowledge accessible to all (mostly for free), but is this really a good thing (TM)? Does free access to libraries make society better? Does (free) radio educate listener's ears? Do free books at school make better students? Or free grades?

I am not a luddite, nor a posthuman condition evangelist, but I firmly believe that Education must reform itself drastically to equip pupils with tools for learning to navigate through and past noise, against thermal death due to overinformation, fostering individual diversity and creativity against consumerism (especially the consumerism of free stuff). Otherwise "there will be no future, just an endless present".

Re:The endless present, the endless enigma (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940445)

Does free access to libraries make society better? Does (free) radio educate listener's ears? Do free books at school make better students?

It perhaps gives the whole of society the same opportunity, instead of limiting it to the select few with money or privilege ?

Oh, I think I just realized why the RIAA don't like it !

Re:The endless present, the endless enigma (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940501)

The key question today is whether and how an individual can survive the over abundance of "free" without alienating himself. Humanity has changed irreversibly thanks to the Internet and IT, making knowledge accessible to all (mostly for free), but is this really a good thing (TM)?

The net has enormous breadth, but it's never had depth. You can get a *synopsis or summary* of pretty much anything, especially thanks to Wikipedia, but if you want truly in-depth information on most subjects, you're still going to have to get up out of your chair and look for a print book, in many cases.

Short, generic stuff with a copyright that nobody cares about, can be found online, yes. UNIX man pages and most cooking recipes are a good example of what I mean there. Longer, more in-depth books however, no. Book piracy is also still largely theoretical for the most part, as well. You can get some reference books on p2p, yes, but they're obsolete as soon as they are scanned, in terms of IT books at least, so there's not much point to them.

Wikipedia is also, as always, exceptionally untrustworthy. It is virtually impossible to find a biographical article that isn't biased in one direction or the other, (especially of living individuals) and as I've noted before, the site continues to display a strong atheistic/pseudo-rationalistic bias, as well.

Re:The endless present, the endless enigma (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940595)

I have to question the received wisdom about the net being entirely full of dross. It has the tendency to grow in breadth before it grows in depth, but that does not mean that the depth is entirely lacking. You slam Wikipedia, but it is generally considered reasonably accurate for non-contentious technical subjects, and compared to a set of search results from, say, 10 years ago, often goes into quite a bit of depth.

Its still just encyclopedia articles, but those are supposed to be brief. If you bother to look beyond Wikipedia there is a large and growing body of in-depth information on many subjects. For instance:

focus.ti.com/lit/ug/slau049f/slau049f.pdf

This is a >400 page user manual for the MSP430 micro-controller, provided as a free and legal download from the manufacturer. Having worked on a device using the MSP430 for over a year now I can attest to the fact it is pretty in depth information.

Oh, and a Google search for 'free journals' turned up this list of scientific journals that make the full texts of their archived articles, not just the abstracts, available online:

http://highwire.stanford.edu/lists/freeart.dtl

I've clicked on a few of those and confirmed they do indeed supply free, peer-reviewed, scientific papers online. Exactly how much depth do you require?

I know it is popular to slam the Internet as being a shallow resource, but it is only so if you are lazy and just go directly to Wikipedia. Just because something is free does not mean it has no value.

Re:The endless present, the endless enigma (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940877)

You slam Wikipedia, but it is generally considered reasonably accurate for non-contentious technical subjects, and compared to a set of search results from, say, 10 years ago, often goes into quite a bit of depth.

Sure. As long as a) the topic you're looking for is non-contentious, and b) you're a fashionable neo-atheist, Wikipedia is fine.

I've clicked on a few of those and confirmed they do indeed supply free, peer-reviewed, scientific papers online. Exactly how much depth do you require?

You've been to some different sites. Most of the ones I've seen along those lines were pay. Mind you, scientific papers aren't the sort of stuff that I spend a lot of my time seeking out, either...but occasionally I come across a research study that someone has cited, which is of interest.

Re:The endless present, the endless enigma (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940881)

1. What is today (and what was in the past) the relation between quality and quantity? How is society, especially the young ones, to discriminate between trash and masterpieces of music (or books, movies, art, knowledge, "information", at that matter)?

Price and quantity was *never* related to quality. Having access to more culture means they'll listen to more quality works, as well as trash. Discrimination will come from studying the subject and having a huge cultural background, as it always did.

2. Can there be value without scarcity?

Yes. The correlation between value and scarcity is only one theory of value, the one expressed by the neoclassical economics. There are more theories for value setting, including "use-value", which expresses a value based on "a certain relation between the consumer and the object consumed". Supply and Demand is just a theory, not a fact.

If the author had that abundance of free choice when he was growing up, would he be the same person he is today?

Of course he wouldn't. But if that's good or bad is a different matter.

Isn't the highlighted quote "there's no longer any past - just an endless present" the most frightening of all, signaling the end of history, the end of capitalism and the end of the world as we know it?

So it was when Gutenberg invented the printing press. Are we worse because of that? I don't think so.

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine. It's evolution, baby!

Why listen to music anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940395)

I realized recently that most music I listen to is to keep me focused during coding, or avoid boredom while driving or sitting around at home. The point is that it's utterly irrelevant whether the music that I listen to is popular or not. There are certain milieux in which it's important not just to listen to music, but also to listen to the same music your friends are listening to, as a point of common reference. I just wonder how often that matters these days. In my case it matters not at all, so even though my musical tastes are a bit fussy, I can just about completely satisfy my listening appetites with free downloads from archive.org, magnatune, and so forth. Those sites don't have the popular big-label stuff, but they have other stuff of similar style and quality, so it works out fine.

What I hate about music (today) (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940411)

Is that it attempts to capitalize on something that is based on an emotional response, perhaps even an emotion need, some may argue. There is something about music gets us moving, or thinking, or crying or something. It's just uncanny how it works out sometimes. But music just gets whored out to the masses these days and no one even thinks twice about it. No one questions lyrics that don't even begin to make sense. No one questions why melodies haven't evolved much in the past 100 or so years of mainstream music. It's just something that inexplicably fills some emotional void that they probably were not even aware existed because music has always been here for us to listen to.

So much music! (1)

toby1 (998516) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940423)

i love my music and have far more available to me now than at any time growing up and it takes a toll just keeping it all in my head! I once would seek out and purchase an album and then listen to it over and over for weeks before I was able to get something new. now i get new tunes daily and it is a different experience - which i think is great. electronic acoustic and amplified all available practically on demand :) how much information can any of us take in and absorb before the internet eats our brains

Re:So much music! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940639)

how much information can any of us take in and absorb before the internet eats our brains

No, that could never happen. It has no mouth, just bytes. It would never eat. our. ...aghe!@#$% *slurp*

Your brain will be joined with the collective. We are the Bored. Rest is futile, you will be ASCII'd.

John, Paul, George, Ringo who? (2, Insightful)

Bazman (4849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940481)

Now he should try asking that kid about The Beatles. He may well find that the infinite music is not a continuum.

Re:John, Paul, George, Ringo who? (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940505)

Now he should try asking that kid about The Beatles. He may well find that the infinite music is not a continuum.

Simple test to see if pirated music is truly infinite online.

As two examples, try finding either of these two albums:-
Serenity, by CultureBeat.
You Gotta Believe, by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

Re:John, Paul, George, Ringo who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940641)

Re:John, Paul, George, Ringo who? (1)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940643)

in flac, ogg, and three bitrates of mp3 just in case you are picky. ;-)

Re:John, Paul, George, Ringo who? (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940661)

Apparently this is a semi-underground site...which puts it out of the hands of most people, including myself.

Thanks, though. :) I'm actually surprised, given its' apparent nature, that someone would even mention it on Slashdot.

Re:John, Paul, George, Ringo who? (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940667)

The real test is finding Music For Supermarkets by Jean Michel Jarre.

[he made one vinyl copy then destroyed the multitrack tapes and the masters]

Re:John, Paul, George, Ringo who? (1)

Qu4Z (1402097) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940785)

Is that because it's actually called Music Of Supermarkets, or is that a separate album?

http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4041934/Jean_Michel_Jarre_Full_Discography [thepiratebay.org]

Re:John, Paul, George, Ringo who? (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940909)

I suppose technically it's "Musique pour Supermarche" (with an accent on the last 'e'). Wikipedia says it was played on Radio Luxembourg once and that bootlegs exist, so I guess the pirate bay torrent is one of those.

Re:John, Paul, George, Ringo who? (1)

mgvrolijk (215830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940789)

I just found it on Usenet (Easynews).

Infinite Music! (0, Flamebait)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940571)

Infinite music? Great! Who's paying?

Re:Infinite Music! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940761)

Your mother, with her dignity.

Re:Infinite Music! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29940805)

So, asking reasonable questions is baiting flames? Oops, I think I did it again!

It's a reasonable question because someone needs to provide the infinite music. So what's the deal? Are we planning to ask artists nicely, clap them in irons, wait until they get the money and time spare between jobs to put together an album, or just trust and hope that they'll throw their current careers away and begin touring full time? They seem to be the ideas du jour.

No need to pirate music (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940811)

I'm 54 yrs old. I have dozens of albums/cds, collected over the years of my life. I spend a LOT of time listening to public radio as well as music borrowed from the public library.

I've not pirated a piece of music. I have downloaded music from the internet - but each piece is something free that groups I have found have made available for free. Sometimes, the group makes it available on their web sites. Sometimes, they make it available to someone doing reviews, or their labels make it available.

Do I hear every piece of music being made in the world? Nope. I don't _have_ to. Would I like too? Sure - but I'd like to taste dishes from every dining establishment in town, but I wouldn't walk in and steal their food because of something I wanted. I'll either buy a meal there, or I'll wait for someone to invite me out to dinner.

There is no need - or justification - for stealing music that an artist does not wish to make available for free.

I would, however, love to see sites being used by artists to make their music available for free be better known. "In the old days", I could rely on visiting myspace to pick up free downloads from groups. These days, that doesn't seem to be as common, but facebook iLike's app does provide some free downloads. Other sites, like download.com, as well as other genre specific sites, also regularly do so. And of course there are occasionaly singles available on itunes for free.

It would be great if there was one site which was sort of a 'clearing house' for any legit free music download on the internet. That would be a great invention! And of course, the legit internet radio sites are another wonderful source to at least hear the music (even if I can't put it on a personal machine for later enjoyment).

The business model has just changed. Hurray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29940835)

Like with Coal in the UK, every business model has its day. Before the records existed artists earned their fare by e.g. performing or from a rich patron.

Nowadays, kids and adults spend more money then ever on music. Only not for records. Mostly for performances, but also for subscriptions, etc. Just a technology that led to a boom, and disappeared. Artists earn not only from performances, but also by e.g. working with radio or tv stations.

.

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