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Author Topic: Document getting out of the CD business  (Read 1909 times)

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Offline funkapus

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Document getting out of the CD business
« on: June 18, 2016, 06:14:07 AM »
Well, crap.

Document sent out an email this morning indicating that they are leaving the CD business and switching to an entirely digital format.

I understand that marketplace pressures seem to require a move like this if they are to stay alive -- in particular, the email mentions that their U.S. distributor collapsed while owing them money.  But as someone who likes holding the music in my hand, reading liner notes that way, only ever rips to lossless formats when I do rip and only for backup purposes, etc., this is a massive bummer.


Offline Alexei McDonald

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2016, 07:18:38 AM »
Me too. But apparently people like us are dinosaurs. :(

Offline Adam Franklin

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2016, 12:45:36 AM »
Me too. But apparently people like us are dinosaurs. :(

We're not dinosaurs, we're a species that is 'almost' extinct. 

Truly a sad e-mail to receive, I got it yesterday. I've been getting a ton of stuff recently, so helpful, an invaluable service.

All cds at ?1.99, get them while you can.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2016, 11:37:24 AM »
We're not dinosaurs, we're a species that is 'almost' extinct. 

Truly a sad e-mail to receive,...

My thoughts exactly, Adam. It certainly was a discouraging e-mail. I agree that there probably aren't enough of us buying re-issue CDs to make it a viable business to be in. Hopefully Document will move beyond the MP3 format and offer their catalog in FLAC and other lossless formats at some point.

I've done business with the retail end of Allegro Music in the past--they're right down I-5 in Portland, Oregon and it looks like their site is still up.  (I ordered Document CDs from them--it looks like some are still available.)

http://www.allegro-music.com/

However, I don't know anything about what went on (and is going on) behind the scenes. It's a cash flow world and ultimately the money has to come from somewhere. My guess is that there just isn't enough of it coming from CD sales of re-issued music like there used to be.

Offline One-Eyed Ross

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2016, 08:22:29 PM »
What truly worries me, and I will readily admit to being a Luddite. is that our world is one big solar flare away from the early 1800s.   To me, the loss of vinyl records, and now CDs, while a "good thing" (in that I can carry hours and hours of music on a tiny little MP3 player)....I worry that my grandchildren might wake up one day in a vastly different world.  The loss of music, or literature, because the media has changed (E-books, MP3, etc)....it worries me.  But, l am known to be a Luddite...
SSG, USA, Ret

She looked like a horse eating an apple through a wire fence.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2016, 09:09:12 PM »
I hear you, Ross. We're one "proper" CME away from the days of old--but  the low tech of the days of old no longer exists as backup. It's all been superseded by...you guessed it.

http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/04/06/473238503/when-the-sun-brings-darkness-and-chaos

Offline Adam Franklin

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2016, 01:11:25 AM »
The biggest problem is not the format, after all we haven't had recorded music for very long, it's that all music has been belittled, it's no longer a pastime or form of entertainment.

As a teacher I've seen a big change in people's attitude to music, adults too. When I suggest they look up music to listen to, it's as if I've asked them to read and memorise the works of Shakespeare. I would say only 20% of my students have any collection of music. I've always taught whatever people want to learn, now I have to suggest tunes/songs.

Bloody spinning jenny.......

A.

Offline Blind Arthur

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2016, 05:58:44 AM »
Yes, got the email as well. Throughout the nineties, as a "poor student", I have saved and sent so much (relatively, but also objectively, speaking) money all the time for parcels filled with Matchbox Bluesmaster LPs and 5000-series CDs (paid via "Euroscheck"), weeks of waiting, the thrill, I had Paul Oliver?s Songersters and Saints as guide, underlining each title in my copy of Dixon-Godrich, these CDs are so wonderful and i have spent over ten years studying this and still love it and hear them every day. First via Red Lick, then a local CD shop (now also defunct...) was able to import them for me (with some additional weeks of waiting), that was before the Euro-era (2002), then with the help of my then partn?rs CC card, we could import them direcly. I still remember the record waiting length of my CD shop, thzat record was 5 months for "Ramblin? Thomas and the Dallas Blues Singers" but I didn?t mind then, it was really part of the fun ;) Document really was a discovery for me because musicians I loved, I have always wanted as complete as possible (so I bought also the Ma Raineys just because of the Blake accompaniments) ;) still remember how genuinely "annoyed" I was when finding out that the BBF gospel group titles were (almost all) in an extra issue (as by "Brother George and the Sanctified Singers), a fact which helped me to discover Reverend Gary Davis etc.
Each CD was a new recovery and never a disappointment among them!
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 06:00:31 AM by Blind Arthur »
You canīt trust your baby when the ice man comes hanging around :D

Offline funkapus

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2016, 07:43:31 AM »
I hear you, Ross. We're one "proper" CME away from the days of old--but  the low tech of the days of old no longer exists as backup. It's all been superseded by...you guessed it.

http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/04/06/473238503/when-the-sun-brings-darkness-and-chaos
This is actually the field in which I work these days.  But I'm honestly not so worried about the loss of culture that exists in only digital form; if we get whacked by another Carrington Event before we've adequately prepared, we'll have far worse problems.  Without electric power and any ability to restore it for the forseeable future, how long will civilized society exist in a world full of people who have no idea how to get by without it?


Offline Stuart

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2016, 08:35:59 AM »
I've been reading about CMEs for decades, but in the last 20 or so years the warnings have been increasingly about the loss, not just of the power grid, but of the data and information that is increasing stored on magnetic and/or electronic media and that is crucial for running much of manufacturing base and the modern tech dependent world. Imagine trying  to reprogram much of our tech dependent world from scratch once the power is restored. It makes the loss of our mp3s insignificant by comparison. Not fear mongering,  but a "word to the wise"...


Offline Adam Franklin

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2016, 08:40:06 AM »

"Without electric power and any ability to restore it for the forseeable future, how long will civilized society exist in a world full of people who have no idea how to get by without it?"

This is when I start shouting, "I told you so.....", wearing jeans unencumbered by the the outline of a mobile phone, brandishing a tuning fork.

Offline eric

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2016, 09:18:27 AM »
After the next CME, I will down in my bunker with my four milk crates of 78s, my Victor III  and my guitar.  Y'all are welcome to join me, as long as you bring your guitar...
--
Eric

Offline One-Eyed Ross

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 09:24:28 AM »
Makes being a poultry farmer and shepherd a worthwhile activity....
SSG, USA, Ret

She looked like a horse eating an apple through a wire fence.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2016, 10:24:10 AM »
Hi all,
Maybe it is a factor of my age, but I don't see not being able to buy the CDs themselves as being a crucial loss, if the music is otherwise available.  Getting the CDs presupposes that one has the money to purchase the CDs--that certainly is not the case for many of the people who love the music.  Acting like the loss of information is so horrendous also neglects to consider what a relatively brief window in time it has been when all of this music has been relatively easily available.  Somehow or other, people managed to make it through the '60s through '80s when the first wave of Country Blues re-issues occurred, and there might be a period of several years in between instances of a title by a favorite artist being made available again.
Living plants and animals are not the only things that die--cultural artifacts are lost all the time, and music is especially susceptible to being lost.  Before the advent of recording technology, no musical rendition was ever re-heard, except in the minds of those who happened to hear it played the one time it was played.  And I suppose it might be heresy to say it here, but I don't think all of recorded Country Blues is exactly deathless.  A lot of it, especially '30s stuff, just to my taste, is pretty formulaic Pop music of the day.  In general, I've found myself feeling that the more titles a musician recorded, the less important it is that you hear and have all of them.
I see youtube as being hugely beneficial in this regard.  It allows people who don't have the money to purchase the CDs to listen to the music and that's pretty great.  I spent most of my adult life trying to "own" all of the music that I was interested in; I've come to realize that it is more important to me to be able to listen to music than to own it.
All best,
Johnm
 

Offline Stuart

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2016, 02:48:42 PM »
Hi John:

Point taken.

IIRC, the printed Document catalog said something to the effect that the purpose of reissuing virtually everything available was in part to aid people doing research. But that was back before downloads became widely available. And Stan Werbin once wrote in the Elderly CD catalog that even if a person could afford it all, s/he'd never have the time to listen to it all. Availability and accessibility (and marketing).

But music isn't just entertainment. To some, it is part of the fabric of social and cultural history (or biography) and is studied as such, in addition to being played and/or simply enjoyed. I'm of the "live and let live, to each his or her own" school on this one. Better to have it and not need it (or not have any interest in it) than to need it and not have it.

I liked when you wrote, "A lot of it, especially '30s stuff, just to my taste, is pretty formulaic Pop music of the day." True enough, but how would we know with any certainty that it wasn't to our tastes if it wasn't available to listen to (if only once)? Reviewers?

Hope to see you Friday night.

Regards,

Stuart

Offline dunplaying

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2016, 04:37:57 AM »
I have enough recorded music to keep me going and I will certainly not be downloading anything.


Offline funkapus

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2016, 06:37:36 AM »
Hi John,

Maybe it is a factor of my age, but I don't see not being able to buy the CDs themselves as being a crucial loss, if the music is otherwise available.  Getting the CDs presupposes that one has the money to purchase the CDs--that certainly is not the case for many of the people who love the music.  Acting like the loss of information is so horrendous also neglects to consider what a relatively brief window in time it has been when all of this music has been relatively easily available.
(snip)

I don't know that anyone has said that the loss is horrendous per se -- well, there was some commentary that way with respect to the possibility of a Carrington Event happening, but if that happens we've got bigger problems :) -- but more just that it sucks on a personal level.    For me, the physical aspect of recorded music is part of the experience -- less so with CDs, given that the size of the artwork doesn't help it entrance me the way LP covers did.  And while a particular source of downloads might make liner notes, or even a formatted booklet in PDF form, available for download as well, it doesn't grab me in the same way.  It's an irrational romantic thing, and I don't expect anyone else to feel just the same way.

Quote
I see youtube as being hugely beneficial in this regard.  It allows people who don't have the money to purchase the CDs to listen to the music and that's pretty great.  I spent most of my adult life trying to "own" all of the music that I was interested in; I've come to realize that it is more important to me to be able to listen to music than to own it.
I think this is eminently sensible; I've been trying to train myself to think the same way with respect to other things too, like with guitars/having GAS (the Walter Becker quote of "Would you rather be known as a guitar player, or as a guitar owner?" sticks with me).  But there are a couple of additional reasons why owning physical copies of recordings is important to me.  The first (and less important, especially in the case of most country blues) is that most music available in downloadable or streaming channels is only provided in a lossy compression format; sound files available for download from iTunes or Amazon, or streamed to you from YouTube or Spotify or wherever, are degraded in quality from the digital sources from which they were derived.  In the case of pre-war recordings, obviously there's already so much degradation between the original performance and the sound recoverable from the 78 that this doesn't seem like something worth caring about very much; but to me, it is for other musics.

The other (and much more important, to me) reason why I find owning physical copies of recordings to be important is that it gives me control over the process:  the recordings I own, I can listen to when I want and I don't need anyone else's OK to do so.  This isn't such an issue at this moment:  obviously right now, if you download an MP3, you've got it and you can listen to it whenever you want.  But Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, and many others are all on record as saying that they want to move the world to a model in which no listeners ever own rights to listen to any music, where content providers hold all the music and we pay to hear it on a per-listen basis, or pay for a day or a week's worth of listening (at which point the downloaded file becomes unplayable).  They set the rates for how much it costs us each time we want to listen to our favorite song; and if they don't want to make that song available, we can't hear it and there's little we can legally do to change that.  It's not something from dystopian fiction:  they've said this is what they want, and the technology already exists; the phase of the model they're in right now is getting people used to the idea.  Maybe it's inevitable; and certainly my continued purchases of physical media aren't going to sustain the industry enough to prevent such a tide.  But still, that's a future I don't want.  So I still buy CDs.  :)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 06:42:43 AM by funkapus »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2016, 09:23:18 AM »
...But still, that's a future I don't want.  So I still buy CDs.  :)

Me too. Well written, Funkapus.

There's a lot of detail and a fair amount  of complexity in the subject, but one thing we should be aware of is the wolf in sheep's clothing--or wolf in wolf's clothing--aspect. In the past, I've even heard complaints about libraries--"If the public couldn't borrow it, then they'd have to rent or buy it." It probably applies more to film and best selling books, but for some, the goal is to monetize everything to the greatest extent possible.

So for now, I'm a book, CD and DVD guy.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 01:57:23 PM by Stuart »

Offline Adam Franklin

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2016, 10:30:33 AM »
Here, here Funkapus!

I said it before I'll say it again, with the advent of streaming, people aren't listening to music. That's a sad thing. Things will change though, they always do.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2016, 02:08:01 PM »
For those who might have missed it the first time around, I've attached, "The Impact of Radio on the Recording Industry," by Stan Leibowitz (2004).

Yesterday's news: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7408970/taylor-swift-paul-mccartney-180-artists-signing-petition-digital

Offline Johnm

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2016, 02:22:44 PM »
And I'll say it again, buying CDs and listening to music are two different things.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2016, 04:08:33 PM »
And I'll say it again, buying CDs and listening to music are two different things.

But not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Offline Adam Franklin

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2016, 12:22:18 AM »
Not ownership, no you're right John. The ease of acquisition though, from my observations over the last 10 years, that is related.

For an experienced music fan and musician like yourself, the internet is a goldmine. For a young or inexperienced person, it's a needle in a haystack. I wonder what would come up on a youtube search of "best blues player"?

I am a bit behind you John, although I do see a time when I'll get rid of my collection. I'll always be glad I had it though. Otherwise, my music library* would've been a dining room.

* I have to call it a library or it's just an untidy room with stuff in.

Offline StoogeKebab

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2016, 01:13:41 AM »
Having only lived in an age of CDs and the internet I still find the acquisition of music extremely important. At school for example, nearly everything is done via streaming, the purchase of records is generally for display purposes, and the purchase of CDs for my friends with older cars. I am one of very few that likes to know I own my music and have it. I have spent the better part of the last two years listening to music, iTunes tells me I have spent 174+ days worth of hours listening to music since September 2014 and I see this discussion a few different ways. I love the access to music that my Spotify has given me, without it I wouldn't have been able to hear Tampa Red's 1960-61 Albums without shelling out for the original pressing (I believe, I could be mistaken) or Lonnie Johnson's complete 1947-1952 Recordings (Without buying the Chronological Classics CDs), but I am wary of it.

First streaming prices go up, then there are more and more ads, then there's the pathetic amount of Streaming Revenue one receives (I personally made a whopping $1.60 last calendar year), which doesn't support living artists so well, such as Leo "Bud" Welch, who may be my favourite living performer. I find it a little shifty.

In support of the ownership argument, one needs only to observe my iTunes Library to determine that I am a supporter of music ownership. Pooled from my own record collection, my Uncle's extensive and very specific collection (Primarily from right after his migration to Chicago) and most of all, the obsessive acquisition of probably over 100 Document CDs - as well as others of course, it's 212GB or 30,439 songs in total that are meticulously organised, artwork and liner notes, on my computer, my 6,403 favourites phone and most importantly, backup hard drive.

I love my music, I love listening to it, which is where I take most of my enjoyment, as much as I love the stuff around it and it's always with me in some form and I love technology and the access it has given me to it, but I am concerned for the future of music ownership.
Confident that I'm probably almost definitely the youngest record label owner in my street

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Offline funkapus

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2016, 01:23:20 AM »
And I'll say it again, buying CDs and listening to music are two different things.
They are indeed two different things.  But for me, one makes sure that I'll continue to be able to do the other.  :)

Offline Adam Franklin

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2016, 01:45:30 AM »
That's really interesting Stooge. I don't think anyone I've met under 30 thinks that way.

The newer Tampa Red and Lonnie Johnson stuff never used to appeal to me. I've had a change of ears recently though, I rather like it now.


Offline StoogeKebab

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2016, 04:00:35 AM »
That's really interesting Stooge. I don't think anyone I've met under 30 thinks that way.

The newer Tampa Red and Lonnie Johnson stuff never used to appeal to me. I've had a change of ears recently though, I rather like it now.

Hah, I don't think anyone else my age has the same mindset as me either. Surprising number of friends and musicians I play with aged 15-20 that like some Country Blues, musically they think similarly, but all of them, the moment I mention a 'new' song or artist, goes straight in the Spotify playlist. I have a teacher, he's 26 and used to have a massive CD collection but has switched totally to streaming and show off vinyl and is now completely dependent on it. If something happened to his streaming, he'd be out of music to take with him pretty quick.

As for the Lonnie Johnson/Tampa Red stuff, I'd say that the energy is largely gone from the music as a whole without a band for Tampa Red, that to me was part of what I love so much about his music. Also my love for the not so subtle suggestiveness  >:D - though having professional audio tools at my disposal, sometimes I like to rig it up and Jam with Tampa - something I can only do with the Stereo recordings on these albums.

Regarding Lonnie Johnson, I'm also a huge Jazz, Swing and Traditional Pop fan, it makes up probably 35-40% of my music collection (just over 50% being Blues) so his later ballads I really have a soft spot. I love his version of 'This Love of Mine' - one of the three songs written by Sinatra and I think Lonnie did it better!
Confident that I'm probably almost definitely the youngest record label owner in my street

Live Acoustic Wollongong - LAW Records

https://www.facebook.com/law.nkjc/

https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/james-r-cooper/id992309035

Offline Adam Franklin

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2016, 06:30:57 AM »
Stooge, are you me?

hahahaha.

No one plays like a young person, except a young person. That's why anybody's early out put is 99.999993% the best, from Louis Armstrong to Oasis. David Bowie being an exception (and I really like his early stuff). And loads of others I'm sure........I'm off to check......

Offline Johnm

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2016, 06:59:38 AM »
Hi all,
A couple of really good sources on youtube are the channels of Nico Fournier, Random and Rare and Ragtime Dorian Henry.  Edith DeRonde and Traveller Into the Blue are also good, and BBLCOTTON is really good for Old-Time.  They've put up tons of good stuff I've been very happy not to have to buy to hear, and in some instances transcribe.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 08:03:06 AM by Johnm »

Offline Adam Franklin

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2016, 08:25:23 AM »
 Totally agree John, it can be a very useful resource for teaching etc.

Offline StoogeKebab

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2016, 08:55:06 PM »
A couple of really good sources on youtube are the channels of Nico Fournier, Random and Rare and Ragtime Dorian Henry. 

I owe a lot of my buying patterns to Ragtime Dorian Henry, just that beautiful YouTube spiral into new discoveries - fantastic.
Confident that I'm probably almost definitely the youngest record label owner in my street

Live Acoustic Wollongong - LAW Records

https://www.facebook.com/law.nkjc/

https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/james-r-cooper/id992309035

Offline alyoung

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2016, 03:01:42 AM »
I don't have a big collection by world standards, but I've gathered a fair bit of stuff over the years. A while ago I got a patronising put-down (on Farcebook) telling me how old-fashioned and unnecessary it was to have all those old records when everything was so readily available online. My response was to ask how these online services would have ever obtained all this wonderful material if it hadn't been for all those boring old-fashioned collectors. Didn't get a response.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2016, 09:43:55 AM »
Al: It was the result of what is commonly referred to as "The arrogance of the present." --Something that's not limited to music.

Offline oddenda

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2016, 08:44:41 PM »
stuart -

          It is normally confined to the young who think that they know everything and do not need to bother with the past. It's also known as the tyranny of the present.

pbl

Offline jostber

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2016, 12:18:21 PM »
Hi all,
Maybe it is a factor of my age, but I don't see not being able to buy the CDs themselves as being a crucial loss, if the music is otherwise available.  Getting the CDs presupposes that one has the money to purchase the CDs--that certainly is not the case for many of the people who love the music.  Acting like the loss of information is so horrendous also neglects to consider what a relatively brief window in time it has been when all of this music has been relatively easily available.  Somehow or other, people managed to make it through the '60s through '80s when the first wave of Country Blues re-issues occurred, and there might be a period of several years in between instances of a title by a favorite artist being made available again.
Living plants and animals are not the only things that die--cultural artifacts are lost all the time, and music is especially susceptible to being lost.  Before the advent of recording technology, no musical rendition was ever re-heard, except in the minds of those who happened to hear it played the one time it was played.  And I suppose it might be heresy to say it here, but I don't think all of recorded Country Blues is exactly deathless.  A lot of it, especially '30s stuff, just to my taste, is pretty formulaic Pop music of the day.  In general, I've found myself feeling that the more titles a musician recorded, the less important it is that you hear and have all of them.
I see youtube as being hugely beneficial in this regard.  It allows people who don't have the money to purchase the CDs to listen to the music and that's pretty great.  I spent most of my adult life trying to "own" all of the music that I was interested in; I've come to realize that it is more important to me to be able to listen to music than to own it.
All best,
Johnm
 

I think this is really stupid. How can you ean that streaming is the future? Mp3?

Offline Johnm

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2016, 02:38:08 PM »
Well, jostber, I suppose anyone can ean anything he wants to ean.  Speaking of stupid.
All best,
Johnm

Offline One-Eyed Ross

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Re: Document getting out of the CD business
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2016, 09:53:40 PM »
Well, jostber, I suppose anyone can ean anything he wants to ean.  Speaking of stupid.
All best,
Johnm

Well played, sir, well played.
SSG, USA, Ret

She looked like a horse eating an apple through a wire fence.

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