Music is a constant in my life, and it is probably the same with anyone reading this. Of course, you may not actively seek out to listen to music, but it is still there. It is in the shops you visit, it accompanies your favourite TV shows and is on the radio station you listen to in your car. It is everywhere. Music is that one think that helps give everything rhythm.
A lot has changed in how we get music, to purposefully listen to.When I was wee, people taped songs off the radio. Something that was a bit of an art-form, if I were to be honest. Trying to get as much of a song as possible, without the voice of the station DJ. I remember swapping my tapes with friends, as everyone had different mixes. It was fun, and I could see myself listening to the Pepsi Chart show, spending the large portion of my Sunday, waiting for my favourite songs. I was young and daft, but weren’t we all
As soon as I had my own money, I would by music magazines and any album (at that point CDs) I could afford. The thrill of new music, and getting to read the liner notes made me feel like I was getting a snippet at a band I liked. It wasn’t long after that things changed forever. The internet came into public use, and friends I knew started using services like Napster and Limewire to download songs. It was the first time, for many, that they could access an artist’s entire back-catalogue with a few clicks, and it didn’t cost a penny. I, myself, tried Limewire, but a virus and incorrectly labelled music files, caused me to opt put of that option. I still liked my CDs.
Eventually things progressed. The torrent sites were forced offline or became unreliable, and online digital music stores like iTunes, reaped the benefit. However, with today’s faster internet speeds, people are opting into streaming content. To the stage, where most radio stations stream live content from their websites. It means that you can now pay a monthly fee, if you want to, and stream your favourite artists to your games console, smart TV, mobile, or almost every device that can get an internet connection. It is getting to the stage, where a lot of people who consume music, don’t even need to purchase it anymore. I find that sad.
I use streaming services, like Spotify and Amazon Music, but I use them for either ‘music-on-the-go’ or to find new music to listen to. The last few albums I purchased, was for artists that were on my recommended playlist on Spotify. These services are smart, they know what artists you listen to most, and give you new music based on that. It’s very intuitive.
I am friends with a lot of musicians, all of which make the most money when someone buys an album or some other merchandise. So, as a result, I have always bought music.I like to try and get the physical CD, or even vinyl record, to put money back into an artist I enjoy. I think that is only fair. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks the same. For every legitimate streaming site, there are 3 or 4 illegal streaming services. Now sites like Putlocker maybe are more about movies and TV shows, but the point still stands. Is it really fair to enjoy something, but not pay for it?
Maybe it is because I have been stung by people wanting things for free, myself. A few years back, when I was on my last year/ just left college, I tried to get a graphic design business up and running. It was actually the main reason this very blog was started, to promote the development of my new company. Unfortunately, it didn’t take off quite like I expected. I struggled getting clients, because I was on my own, and had no experience. But I would get interest from people, mostly from established local companies, requesting some work to be done. Unfortunately, these people wanted everything done for free. I kind of excepted this was going to be part of starting up myself. I had a part-time job, but stepped up to full time, to pay for bills and things. The people, who wanted the free labour, would send me emails when they knew I was working (I gave every perspective client my work rota, so they knew when I’d be available). I would finish working a long day in a call center, and would have several emails from people, all sent during that day, asking why I was ignoring them. I was working, my phone was off, and I couldn’t access my private emails, something I had already explained. I would get dog’s abuse off these people, who said that they were doing me a favour. But I worked on, and sent them the final work and they refused to acknowledge me. They had previously said that the publicity would be good for me, so they shouldn’t have to pay. It was horrible. I lost all confidence, and to-date, I kind of put everything on hold.
And that is why, I don’t think I could sleep at night, knowing that I was taking in the work of other creatives for nothing. So no Kodi boxes for me, you can keep your ‘chipped’ Sky systems, and I’ll pay for what I can afford. And I will appreciate it all.