Posted in Music

The changing music world

What do you prefer? To buy physical albums or listening to music digitally?

It is clear to say that the music world is constantly changing. Gone are the days where we would buy cassette tapes and load them into a CD player, on the way out is the days of buying CD’s and we are now splat bang in the middle of an era of illegal downloads and digital music being the only source.

Both digital music and physical copies have their advantages. If you love a specific artist you can buy their full album as a physical copy and anticipate that magical moment when you get it home to listen to or it arrives in the mail. For example, I am a huge Girls Aloud fan and when I found out Sarah Harding was releasing her debut solo EP I was more excited than words can describe. I had been hoping for a solo Sarah Harding album since Girls Aloud split. Ordering that hand signed copy and opening it in the mail was one of the most magical moments for me.

When it comes to digital music, more often than not you don’t even get the hope of a signed copy of any albums you buy. Unless the artist has advanced technology allowing them to digitally sign your album. Despite this, digital copies do have their advantages. For example, if you own an iPod like myself it allows you to download the digital copy to your iPod, then you can listen to your favourite music away from home. Another example is if there is an artist, you’re not the biggest fan of. For example, you may like a specific song, or a few songs but not the whole album. This means you can download the song(s) you like without having to download the whole album and therefore save money.

All this aside, what will happen to music in the future? Face it, most of today’s generation download their music by ripping it of YouTube or similar sites. The result? Music doesn’t sell as well. For example, my love, Sarah Harding, the signed copy of her EP was selling for months after it went on sale, in fact, even 5 months after it went on sale there was still signed copies out of 2500 left. It pains me to look at Sarah’s YouTube channel and see that the lead single: “Threads” got 121,105 views. That is over 45 times how many signed copies there were available. I feel that, in the future, music sales are going to decline even more if we don’t do anything to change this.

Music Streaming Sites – In the early days of using music streaming sites, I remember using Groove Shark in high school. When my administration teacher in my early years of high school discovered that she could get us to be quiet while actually doing our work by letting us listen to music, that is exactly what she did. Once a week in her class she allowed us to collect a pair of over ear headphones from the front of class and listen to music while doing our work. I remember using Groove Shark, simply because it was about the only music streaming site that the school computers did not block! Oh yes, I remember the agonising days when you couldn’t access YouTube while in school.

Recently I have really got into Spotify. I had heard of it for a while but only began to use it at the start of March. So far I am really loving Spotify. I have found so many decent songs to mix it up a bit from the songs I tire out repeatedly. Before Spotify, I found it really difficult to find new music that I actually enjoy. I don’t really like the chart music so for me Spotify is my go to. I like to click on “browse” and then browse by Genre. This allows me to pick a Genre of music which I really enjoy and explore the playlists within that to find new music that I actually like. Country is one of my favourite genres and I have found many good songs on the country playlists. Spotify also allows me to save the playlists I like and even create my own with the new music I find.

Chart music is making it increasing difficult to find good music, so much so that I have stopped paying attention to music that is in the charts. It’s no good! In order to find quality music, you have to be prepared to venture further than you would normally. I enjoy discovering new finds that none of my friends know about and growing my list of favourite songs. Recently I took a glance at a list of top 100’s to be disappointed when I found that Justin Bieber had about 3 songs in the top ten. Seriously? The current generation don’t tend to know good music when they see it. I feel that the young generation of today are pleased easily by music to the point where they will accept anything into the charts. In order to change this we need to be committed to searching constantly for the latest great tunes. Only then will we regain that sense of good music that is missing from the charts!