Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The End of Owning Music

Noel Gallagher tells the NME exactly what he thinks:

[...] speaking to the Varvet International podcast, Gallagher has said that while he admits that streaming is "clearly the future" because "people wiser than me tell me that it is", the lack of record sales in modern music "makes him sad".

Gallagher explained his feelings: "If you tell me now that the record buying era is over that makes me sad, that the culture of buying and believing in a record is over. That era is over and the belief is that music is for hire and for rent, the money that you pay lets you access everybody’s music but own none of it. I think that’s a sad day. I understand that it’s the future, but it’s a sad day."

At any given point, I could probably replace 75% of my music collection with a streaming service. I could not replace key chunks of it though--singles, bootlegs, rare things by artists like the Jazz Butcher, and things of that nature. Bands that failed that I happen to really like have been left in the dust long ago. Is everything from Slowdive on streaming services? No, well to hell with that, then.

This would disrupt the organizational scheme of how I manage music. I could labor for months with a paid streaming service to formulate playlists, but that would mean their suggestions might bleed over into what I listen to or it could mean the loss of key artists and tracks. Browsing through what I have means discovering overlooked gems and eliminating things I don't want to lose that I don't want to hear right now.

All of this doesn't even get into the vinyl I own and the physical CDs that I have stored in rubber containers. You can't sell that stuff anymore, except perhaps on Amazon, but even then, you'll never make money from doing that. I'm not taking $.50 for my deluxe edition of Heyday and I'm not interested in tossing those things out, either.

It is sad, but that's technology. It kills indiscriminately and the joy it was supposed to bring leaves a stench in the air and a foul rot in the soul. All you can do is carry on and keep trying to figure out what works.

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