When I was reading this ask.metafilter.com thread the other day, something I’ve been thinking about for a while finally clicked. What caught my eye was that a few respondents mentioned the volume of music, in gigabytes, that they had downloaded from emusic.com back when it offered unlimited downloads.
I got an iPod last November, and since then I’ve ripped twenty years worth of CDs to MP3 and have started buying music online. I joined emusic.com a couple of months ago. I love finding music similar to my tastes, but I’m having a somewhat difficult time finding forty songs that I think I’ll like enough to purchase each month.
Part of my difficulty is due to my expectation that music is an expensive purchase and I must buy carefully. But my emusic.com subscription amounts to about $.25/song, a fourth the price of iTunes and even cheaper than CDs. At that price, I could easily afford to ‘waste’ part of my subscription on music that I end up not liking much after a few listens.
But I think there’s more to it than just frugality (though my frugality is well known). And this is where the ask.metafilter.com comments come into play. Back in the day, I tried out the filesharing applications to download music. My primary strategy was to find music by artists I already liked. But I found it too much of a hassle: inconsistencies in quality, the time it took to download music, dealing with organizing it, etc. wasn’t worth the effort. So, even when I could do so, I didn’t download gigabytes of digital music.
I’ve come to realize that the people who download gigabytes must do so as much for the idea of collecting the music itself as for actually listening to it. I’ve never been a much of a collector of anything, and with entertainment media, I don’t spend my time and money on something unless I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy it. This goes for TV, movies and books as well as music.