Some of us have been preaching for years that a person never owns mp3s the way you own CDs, cassettes, vinyl, etc. And in an age when you can stream digital music to your smart phone, PC, or TV, and pay just $10 a month for access to millions of songs (MOG, Rhapsody, Rdio, etc.), there are fewer and fewer reasons to purchase mp3s rather than to subscribe to them.
Yes, Jason Hughes, the co-owner and primary operator of Seattle's Sonic Boom Records is biased. But he does own/has owned an iPod, and he just sent out a mass e-mail that includes, among other things*, the best reasons why you should stream the music you want to try, and buy hard copies of what you want to keep.
Check it out:
Technology can be a real pain in the ass!
Okay, forget that the store's video camera's memory disc had an error and needed to be reformatted (losing all the photos/video from the last 3 months). I have (or had) an iPod. I'll admit it. It's just handier on road trips than my portable record player. I've never actually downloaded music (shocking right?) and have my CD collection on it. Well, the CD collection was on it until the hard drive fried a few weeks ago. So I went and bought a new iTouch for a small fortune. Fine right? Not really. Turns out you can't use the new generation of iTouch or iPod with a computer that is older than 6 months and doesn't have the current 10.5.8 software. Apple doesn't allow new technology to work with older software. Nice catch right? Is there an easy fix?...not really. It's a $200 software upgrade and you have to back everything up to install it. I took the iTouch back. I'm not about to pay $500 for a new music playing machine and waste more time updating my software. I'm only slightly out of my mind.
Where is this rant going? Technology can be, and usually is, a real time and money sucker. I still have my CD collection and all my vinyl so I didn't lose any of my music. I lost a playback device that lasts 2-3 years and which I'm expected to upgrade everything to keep Apple in business every time it dies. I guess my message is this: physical goods exist/digital goods don't...plus it's nice to get stuff like this off my chest. So I'll keep hocking physical goods here at Sonic Boom. Shop Local, support physical.
OK, Mr. Hughes doesn't mention streaming, but you get the point. If you buy mp3s, you're admitting that you're eventually going to lose them. When you subscribe to digital streaming services, you're admitting that you've never owned mp3s, and that you don't need to.
*I should note that one of the other items in the e-mail is that a ton of records from artists on 4-AD records (The National 's High Violet, Tune Yards' Bird Brains, The Big Pink's A Brief History...) are all on sale for $9.99. Hey, if you're buying physical, buy cheap.