I didn’t write last week because I didn’t feel well and I had a sermon to prepare. This week I’ve gotten a little tired of slogging through the bad news, so I thought today I’d try to find something lighter to write about.
Shortly after joining Facebook last year I found the Living Social application. Being a book and music lover I took to it right away and started adding my collection. Both the book and music collections now reflect just a small fraction of what I own, have read, or have listened to, but I enjoy sharing as I find new things.
The thing that got me thinking about this topic was that they want you to rate each album. That makes sense, but I then began to wonder who listens to complete albums anymore. I suppose a lot do, but in the age of MP3, that number has to be falling. Even if I by a CD, the first thing I do with it is load it to my computer. I listen through the album one time, rating and categorizing as I go. After that, I may never hear the album from start to finish again.
I think it is entirely possible that I bought my last CD a few months ago. I used BMG for nearly twelve years, but the service they provided is now replaced with a new one and I don’t like its terms. My last few purchases have been MP3 only from Amazon. I refuse to buy anything with DRM. It’s not that I intend to share with the world. I simply see no reason to tolerate restrictions on how and where I can play a song. Now with DRM free downloads readily available, my last reason to own CDs is gone. I have redundant backups of my MP3 collection.
I still buy whole albums for the most part. I only cherry pick old stuff where I already know what I like and what I don’t. Sometimes good songs take a while to be seen for what they are, so I buy the whole thing in hopes that beyond my first impressions lay hidden gems.
Are people who download their music buying whole albums? If so, are they listening to them that way? I don’t. I have thousands of titles mixed according to my preference of the moment. So when Living Social asks me to rate an album, I have no idea unless it’s one I’ve had for a long time and particularly like. Even so it may have been years since I listened through it on a CD player. I think a song based model that could tap into one’s personal library to pick up titles and ratings would be a better system for the way music lovers are interacting with their collections today.
On the other hand, maybe I make a false assumption that other people are processing music the same way I do. Do you still think in albums?