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February 6, 2012

Digital Downloads

   It took me a long time to get over the idea of not owning a physical CD.  I bought a digital music player, eventually an iPod and now use my phone to play music - but I always bought the CD and converted it to digital format.  In the last couple of years, I found that my digital purchases have replaced the physical.  I no longer have to find a place to put all those cases, and I can still buy a hard copy of bands that I really love...Counting Crows!!

   Why was it so hard though?  There was something in me that felt that if I really owned it, then I had to hold it in my hands.  Having a copy on my player wasn't enough and the cloud was definitely not enough.  Amazon is responsible for changing my thoughts.  When they started selling music and gave me the option to keep it on the cloud, I thought I'd try it out.  The fact that they are pretty much always consistently cheaper than iTunes kept me coming back.  Then I got the option on my Android phone to stream it for free.  I'm sold!

   Now, I'm testing out the newest thing, Spotify. Six months of free streaming with annoying ads thrown in is over, but for only $5 a month, I can get rid of the ads.  I pretty much listen to music at home or at work.  $5 isn't that big an issue for so much access.  But now, I'm debating again because I don't actually get to own anything!  Should this matter to me anymore?  Don't even get me started on movies.

   Read a really interesting article (read it here) on how piracy isn't the problem with's service.  Growing up, we went to the movies all the time.  Now, I could hardly afford to take my whole family to the theater.  The quality continues to decline, but the pricing keeps going up.  I'd like to see more options like Amazon offering $5 digital albums, or Spotify giving cheap access to everything.  How long until the industry realizes people will pay for something if it is not overpriced and is done well?