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Who buys music anyway?

Recently, I read a blog post on how Spotify makes buying music obsolete. While I enjoy streaming music (as long as I don’t have to pay for it) and online radio, I do think there are still reasons for buying records and/or music. In my case, I don’t buy music through iTunes or any other digital service, but I buy the physical albums (either online or in a music store) and I pride myself very much in my music collection. Now filling two CD cupboards, my music collection has been quite an investment during my studies and now as a poor graduate student – and a weight and volume of stuff that I have moving along with me (except for the year I spent in the US, and along with my cat Pasha (and friends and family, admittedly), my CD collection is what I missed most having around me). Why would I still stick to buying entire albums, on a real CD?

1. The artwork and lyrics
I love artwork – and I think it provides an additional dimension to the music you are listening to. Can you imagine, for example, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon without its artwork? Moreover, I enjoy flipping through the booklet while reading the lyrics.

2. The collection element

Because music is important for me, collecting CDs feels very natural to me, just like buying merchandise of bands I like. And then there is the real collectors urge in there to “complete” series and own the entire discography of a certain artist – all these neatly arranged together by artist, and for every artist arranged in chronological order.

3. A library of my past and current taste in music
While I sometimes forget about an artist that I used to like very much for a certain period of time, having the albums out there and visible makes it easy to rediscover artist that you haven’t listened to in a while.

4. A little project
For over a year now, I’ve been listening to all my CDs by starting at the very beginning of my collection (Abba’s “18 hits”) to the very end (“Woodstock 40”), and at the moment I am at the artists starting with “R” (Renaissance – Day of the Dreamer). So far, it’s been a fun little project that made me discover past likes, but also made me listen to entire discographies of artists and thus discover new lines in their music. I’m now at the letter “R”, with 2 more shelves to go until the end of my collection.

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This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. How about choosing the even more old-fashioned option: buying music on vinyl – if you really enjoy the artwork, CDs are poor fare.

  2. True – my parents have a lovely collection of vinyl, and I am planning to invest in a good LP player some times over the next months (and then hopefully I can buy some of those lovely artsy pieces from Svart Records)

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