View Full Version : Internet music...or...The death of consumer CD's

01-04-2004, 06:06 PM
Well, it's here, and apparently in full swing. LEGAL internet music downloads, streaming radio, playlists and on and on. There are now a host of different internet site that people can subscribe to with a host of different features and options. Here are some of the main options:

1. Individual song downloads as low as 79 cents, whole album downloads for $9.99, with the ability to burn to CD and keep it forever and load on as many as 3 different computers at once!

2. Catalogs with as many as 500,000 plus songs

3. Streaming radio and playlists with minor subscription fees ($4.95-$9.95).

4. Non-subscription services that charge by the download.

5. Downloads in WMA, MP3 and other formats.

6. Direct downloads to the latest greatest new players, featuring miniature hard drives that hold hundreds of hours worth of music and play for 12-24 hours continuously.

Some of the more well known sites are itunes (apple's little diddy), Musicmatch, Rhapsody and yep, you guessed it Napster aka Napster 2.0!

Maximum PC recently reviewed these 4 contenders and rated Rhapsody number 1, but it really all comes down to user needs.

My wife recently handed me a list of 17-18 CD's she wants us to buy and I priced them at $14.99 almost everywhere we went! That's $270.00 plus tax! Compare that to the much more reasonably priced $180.00 and you can see why I would consider going this route. That could buy me 18 new Star Wars figures! Not to mention the other advantages, not buying whole albums for a few songs!

It happens to everyone, you hear a kick butt song and think, I gotta get this CD! Then you buy it and hate 1/2 the songs on the CD! Well, no fear here, most sites will let you preview songs before you buy/download them, so just throw out what you don't like!

With the music industries problems and the cost of CD's, not to mention lawsuits...on both sides, I believe online music services like these will be the way of the future, it will be a way for onliners to get the music they want at a reasonable price and it will allow the music industry to make money off individual songs and albums with reduced costs for distribution, etc.

Don't get me wrong, they still have a long way to go, but I see great things on the horizon for this new online service. If the recording industry was smart they would have caught on to this long ago.

Online music will probably never completly replace the standard CD, some peole just like to have the product in their hands. They like to hold the CD cover and read the lyrics, etc. But for me, this seams like a wonderful and cheap alternative.

I plan on hooking up to Rhapsody or Napster in the near future and will be happy to give everyone the down low.

But I am curious, has anyone here subscribed to any of these online music services? If so what is/was it like? PLMK, I am very interested.

01-04-2004, 09:39 PM
if the market will support this and if it helps put a stop to stealing, i'm all for it, but i think almost $10 for a download of an album is too much. maybe $5 per album download, and about 25 cents per individual song might change my mind. :p

i don't buy as many cd's as i used to, but when i do buy one, i'm glad to do so. i recently bought the "Return of the King" soundtrack, and i'd much rather have this store bought CD in it's leather-like book case, extra DVD with a super trailer and a neat collectible mini book over some download i got off the net and burned onto a blank disc.:)

01-04-2004, 10:15 PM
Yeah, but when it comes to buying Justin Timberhead's new CD "Justinfried" do you really want to take the chance of having someone see it in your collection. LOL Even if it is for your wife. LOL

I think 79 cents is a fair price (50 cents would be better), and paying 2/3 the retail price for a full album is reasonable, IMO.

I have only bought 2 CD's in the last 4-5 years, but I would buy a lot of individual songs.

It really all comes down to individual prefrences.

Darth Jax
01-05-2004, 11:18 AM
i'm all for the pay-to-download music. i haven't listened to an actual CD in some time. all my music is stored on a hard drive so i listen to it straight from my computer. in the car i use my mp3 player (iPod - so cool). i'd rather download a couple of tunes rather than be stuck with the whole album. example i'd like a copy of limp bizkit's behind blue eyes (i love remakes, the cheesier the better), but would never consider buying the entire cd.

if sales of music in this manner continue to increase won't be long before the pre-recorded and packaged cd goes the way of vinyl.

01-06-2004, 01:31 AM
I like how unrestirctive a lot of downloads are in terms of how many times you can copy it, if you can share it, and some other factors I can't think of right now.

Like what some of you have said, I also like that you can pick and choose the songs. But for some stuff, I'd rather have a physical CD I can hold. Even tho I just burn it to the HD anyway.

Exhaust Port
01-06-2004, 11:03 AM
I think the online music universe is only beginning to open. It would suprise me if it surpasses conventional CD/tape purchases in 5 years. Will it kill off CD's? Doubt it. Just like vinyl there will always be a market for it as collectors and music buffs will prefer to have a studio made product with the artwork and other stuff. Once that happens we could very well see CD's selling at lower prices that we have now. Since online music makes up the bulk of their sales the CD's will be sold for near cost, rather than at a mark up. Before artists got paid per album sold but with that benchmark gone the pressure to recoup money with those sales will dry up. Even though only audio buffs purchase vinyl the cost of an LP album is less than a CD (at least the few LP's I've purchased over the years).

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
01-06-2004, 10:01 PM
It seems like music websites that require small fees, such as Apple and others are the key to the new trend in online music.

I just read an article that stated that websites like Kazaa and BearShare saw an over 10% decrease in user traffic in the last few months of 2003. These music sites are the ones that record companies have gone after with a vengeance, because they offer copyrighted music to be shared illegally to many computer users. Ever since the lawsuit filing against individual downloaders, thousands of people have steered clear of these sites for fear of being sued.

It seems that sites like Apple are a win-win situation, for the record companies are getting paid a bit for every song downloaded and users get to compile a list of through the plethora of songs they have to offer without paying an excessive price.

My only question is if the artist is the one getting screwed? I am not sure how much of the money per song will go to each artist. Will the inevitable sink in CD sales mean they will lose some of their hard earned money? Of course there are other venues they could rely on like concert sales, but for some artists, they might be losing their only source of revenue.

Exhaust Port
01-06-2004, 11:23 PM
My only question is if the artist is the one getting screwed? I am not sure how much of the money per song will go to each artist. Will the inevitable sink in CD sales mean they will lose some of their hard earned money? Of course there are other venues they could rely on like concert sales, but for some artists, they might be losing their only source of revenue.
My guess is if this online music purchasing takes off then artists could cut out the studio all together. In house digital studios are affordable now and can be similar to the million dollar professional versions. Perhaps an artist will end up producing their own music and sign a contract with an online music company to promote their work. It could happen.

01-08-2004, 11:09 AM
Yes, it is a good thing... the "industry" will have to be the ones taking the lion's share fo the "loss"... I think that the reality of the current situation will become more clear in light of this "revolution" and a lot of the bloated infrastructure will become obsolete... the artist's (especially smaller ones) don't really see any money from CD sales anyways, if you do the math it makes sense... for non mega-acts the real money is in touring (look at the trends, the more blue-colar style REAL bands are the ones on the road the most, the more phoney media constructs are the more "gala" style, only the big cities/venues acts)

This is truly a good thing, it may take years but it'll make many things better for the smaller guys(and girls)