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Record Stores face extinction

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BBC NEWS | Scotland | Record stores 'facing extinction'

hardly surprising but good to see some positive action from them instead of sitting around waiting for it to happen. though i'm sure the likes of One Up could do a lot more than they are to increase their business but that's a whole other discussion that i'm not really going to get involved in.

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I notice from reading the BBC article that once again all research seems to be based on single sales alone, and that they don't present any hard evidence of a direct correlation between downloads and a decrease in record sales. It's a fundamental logical flaw to assume that an increase in downloading is the only reason for a fall in CD and vinyl sales.

I don't doubt that downloading has an impact on record sales, but there are plenty of reasons why singles might not be selling as well now as they did 30 years ago. All research on the impact of downloading seems to be concentrated on singles released by mainstream artists, and there's an argument to be made that the internet is in fact helping music fans to discover lesser-known acts who don't necessarily release singles. I'd like to see some data on ALBUM sales across the board.

That said, it's undeniable that smaller record stores are being edged out - and not just in this country. Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater (yes, I know everyone here hates them) has been helping to organise a "Record Store Day" in Long Island to draw attention to the plight of "mom & pop" record shops in America.

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I would never dream of buying a single. There's nothing out there that I would particularly want to buy as a single song. Generally it's full albums and eps that I'm most interested in owning. That means having a physical copy with the art work. Yeah, it's nice to have music to stick on my ipod, but I love being able to go to my shelf and picking out a cd and listening to it. Why buy a single for about 3 when you could have that artists whole album for 6-10? I dunno. I'm sure there's people out there who love owning everything by the artists they adore and that's cool.

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I agree with the person above. I rarely buy singles unless it's coloured vinyl ltd ed. ones and they usually only cost 99p.

I've never bought a digital album and I don't intend to unless it's absolutely necessary.

Hard copies are the way I like it and I'll probably get round to buying more vinyl when I actually have a vinyl player to listen to it on haha! But in the mean time cd's will do for me :up:

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IWhy buy a single for about 3 when you could have that artists whole album for 6-10? I dunno. I'm sure there's people out there who love owning everything by the artists they adore and that's cool.

Hit the nail right on the head there... There are very few occasions that I buy singles, but it is usually for my favourite bands (anyone care to hazard a guess?) so I can get the bsides and stuff...

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Once upon a time the tracks on singles never appeared on albums.....now the first 5 or 6 tracks from a bands album are released as singles, with the 5 or 6 remaining tracks released as the B side. ANy wonder why no one is interested in singles anymore? :D

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Yeah. Or it's the one song remixed 6 times! It gets boring when a band releases so many tracks from an album.

I blame Radio 1. I listened to it most of today (uni work sucks) and each show started with almost the same 3 or 4 songs. If I heard Madonna or Panic at the Disco one more time... Lol.

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I can honestly say that I never, ever buy singles. This is partly because pretty much every band or artist I like doesn't bother releasing them, but even if they did I doubt I'd fork out money for a track that's on the album anyway. Even if the single's got a non-album B-side, 3 is a lot of money to pay for one song.

As such, this is where the problem with the music industry's criticism of downloading lies. They are always banging on about SINGLE sales, whereas with most bands/artists worth their salt, it's the ALBUM sales that matter. This leads me to believe that the research is entirely focused on "mainstream" artists, because if the media bothered to do any in-depth research, they'd maybe find that downloading has in fact helped many lesser-known musicians to build a fanbase.

We're getting a bit off-topic, so to bring it back to record stores I should re-iterate that the crux of my argument is that downloading is not the only reason that independent shops are having a hard time.

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downloading is not the only reason that independent shops are having a hard time.

Yeah, maybe shops like tesco and asda stop a lot of people bothering to go into a record shop.

If singles weren't shit from albums with a couple of filler tracks I would buy them, I actually prefer the idea of a good single to a good album. Albums are too long, imo, I never listen to them all the way through and maintain concentration.

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I agree with the person above. I rarely buy singles unless it's coloured vinyl ltd ed. ones and they usually only cost 99p.

I've never bought a digital album and I don't intend to unless it's absolutely necessary.

Hard copies are the way I like it and I'll probably get round to buying more vinyl when I actually have a vinyl player to listen to it on haha! But in the mean time cd's will do for me :up:

I like your way of thinking. I just don't get people who pay for downloads. I'd rather hear a song I like before buying it, and if I knew I liked it before hand, gimmie a CD copy anyday over a low quality MP3 that can be deleted with a mouse click

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gimmie a CD copy anyday over a low quality MP3 that can be deleted with a mouse click

Exactly... The delete button is like the ultimate bargain bin... Buy a song for 79p and then if you don't like it..... delete.

I think it depends on how you've been introduced to the whole listening to music thing. If you were first given vinyl you might feel some sort of attachment to that, same with cds (or even tapes). Today's young music listeners are sooooo clued up that buying music with a click of a mouse is not an alien concept. I'm not saying it is to any of us, I'm just saying that I think it's weird to pay for a whole album that you don't even get to hold it.

It might depend on lifestyle choices though. You know, the convenience of purchasing online or just picking up a copy when you're doing your weekly shop in Asda. I like browsing through cds looking for a bargain or a gem. OneUp and Avalanche are really good for that. And you don't feel pestered or watched on, like in HMV etc.

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It'd be a grand shame if record stores did lose out to digital releasing. MP3's are so volatile and can easily corrupt or be deleted. How can you pay money for something so disposable? Besides, MP3's are such an inferior quality output and it really renders great production completely redundant. Are bands and artists going to continue to record and produce their records at top quality levels if they are to just be compressed to a scrappy, tinbox treblefest format? Sure, I have an MP3 player for when I'm on the go but it doesn't compare to a CD or a record playing on a Stereo. It has no character or warmth.

Television is striving to make the quality of the picture better and better at a ridiculous pace. Why is audio output going backwards?

But it's not just the quality of the file. You don't get the awesome packaging or the mindless browsing in record shops, or the buying records on a whim because it's on a cool label, or someone from some other band played drums on it, or because the artwork is just fucking great. You get 10 or 12 files in your My Music folder, and your CD rack is empty. You don't get to browse through the inlay on the bus home, or fight with those shitty annoying white things at the top of the jewelcase, tearing it off and sticking it to the unsderside of a bus seat. You just get 80MB less of your hard drive and quality that sounds not dissimilar to the shit those neds play on their phones on the bus.

It's just not the same. It's crappy.

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It'd be a grand shame if record stores did lose out to digital releasing. MP3's are so volatile and can easily corrupt or be deleted. How can you pay money for something so disposable? Besides, MP3's are such an inferior quality output and it really renders great production completely redundant. Are bands and artists going to continue to record and produce their records at top quality levels if they are to just be compressed to a scrappy, tinbox treblefest format? Sure, I have an MP3 player for when I'm on the go but it doesn't compare to a CD or a record playing on a Stereo. It has no character or warmth.

Television is striving to make the quality of the picture better and better at a ridiculous pace. Why is audio output going backwards?

But it's not just the quality of the file. You don't get the awesome packaging or the mindless browsing in record shops, or the buying records on a whim because it's on a cool label, or someone from some other band played drums on it, or because the artwork is just fucking great. You get 10 or 12 files in your My Music folder, and your CD rack is empty. You don't get to browse through the inlay on the bus home, or fight with those shitty annoying white things at the top of the jewelcase, tearing it off and sticking it to the unsderside of a bus seat. You just get 80MB less of your hard drive and quality that sounds not dissimilar to the shit those neds play on their phones on the bus.

It's just not the same. It's crappy.

Well said :up:

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How to watch the market:

Rule 1 - If Richard Branson sells all his interest in something, the bottom is about to fall out of it.

"Why hello Mr Zavvi, how would you like to buy all my record shops?"

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i never think my mp3's sound much worse than the proper CD version, really youd have to get pretty anal about it to notice, and if it doesnt sound AS good, at least i dont have to walk about with 150 cd's in my backpack........because its all on my mp3!

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i never think my mp3's sound much worse than the proper CD version, really youd have to get pretty anal about it to notice, and if it doesnt sound AS good, at least i dont have to walk about with 150 cd's in my backpack........because its all on my mp3!

im with u on this one.yeah ok mp3 might have a bit of deteroration in quality but its not that bad that it completetly ruins a song.if a band i really like bring out a new album then yeah i like to have it on cd cause its looks good sitting there in the collection will all the others but if iv only heard 1 or 2 tracks of some new band the last thing i want to do is drive through to aberdeen or wait about 5 days for it to arrive through the post just to discover i dont like it so i just download it and then if i do like then i'll think about picking it up the next time im in abdn

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Ripping your own CD's to MP3 is a completely different kettle of fish to ALL music releases becoming digital only. I'm all for MP3 if it's as a back-up format, to put on your computer or MP3 player ripped directly from your CD's and records, but when it shifts completely to just ONE output, then that's just not right. People who don't have the internet are alienated. The figure of how many people have the internet is staggeringly high, but there are still a shit tonne of people who don't. Are they not allowed to buy music? The people who don't have an MP3 player; are they only allowed to listen to music through their Soundblaster 1.1 and Tinbox speakers?

And I can definitely tell the difference when I plug my MP3 player into my stereo in comparison to playing a CD on it. It clips at higher volumes, as I like it loud! But that's not the point. It's still a deterioation in quality, and a step backwards for technology. It doesn't make sense.

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I think downloading can make for lazy listening, too. With an album, often some songs take a lot of plays before they really sink in. I've seen me coming back to an old album and suddenly 'getting' a song I hadn't give a really careful listen to at first......so, if I was only downloading I wouldn't have picked them in the first place. Plus, really good albums have sequenced the songs so that they fit well alongside the others.

I like a record shop where they have new releases which I really want.....it doesn't happen often in HMV or Zavvi. It still happens sometimes in One-Up, but I've got a wee list to take with me when I visit Monorail on Sunday....hopefully they'll stock some of my 'wants'. The last place I visited which seemed to really cater for me was Alt.Vinyl in Newcastle, which I visited last year.

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You just get 80MB less of your hard drive and quality that sounds not dissimilar to the shit those neds play on their phones on the bus.

If that's not total exaggeration, you could probably do with trying a different mp3 downloading thingumy. I download the odd album to play at neighbour-friendly volume and don't notice any real difference.

I think the customer service in good record shops needs to be emphasized. I got some marvelously enthusiastic Stevie Wonder advice yesterday that you just don't get anywhere else.

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It'd be a grand shame if record stores did lose out to digital releasing. MP3's are so volatile and can easily corrupt or be deleted. How can you pay money for something so disposable? Besides, MP3's are such an inferior quality output and it really renders great production completely redundant. Are bands and artists going to continue to record and produce their records at top quality levels if they are to just be compressed to a scrappy, tinbox treblefest format? Sure, I have an MP3 player for when I'm on the go but it doesn't compare to a CD or a record playing on a Stereo. It has no character or warmth.

Utterly misinformed rubbish. 320kbps MP3 properly encoded will be indistinguishable to anyones ears from a 16bit 44khz CD. Anyway, if you really worry about it, lossless encoding like FLAC or even straight up WAV downloads are becoming increasingly common.

Television is striving to make the quality of the picture better and better at a ridiculous pace. Why is audio output going backwards?

Again, this is just complete nonsense. Digital distribution is a huge step forward, it's also a huge democratising force in that anyone now can cut out the entire chain of middle-men in the tradional cd/vinyl based industry paradigm and sell direct to their customers.

But it's not just the quality of the file. You don't get the awesome packaging or the mindless browsing in record shops, or the buying records on a whim because it's on a cool label, or someone from some other band played drums on it, or because the artwork is just fucking great. You get 10 or 12 files in your My Music folder, and your CD rack is empty. You don't get to browse through the inlay on the bus home, or fight with those shitty annoying white things at the top of the jewelcase, tearing it off and sticking it to the unsderside of a bus seat. You just get 80MB less of your hard drive and quality that sounds not dissimilar to the shit those neds play on their phones on the bus.

It's just not the same. It's crappy.

Yep, times sure change don't they.

When I buy music, I don't want to pay for gimmicky "value adding" packaging, or fill my house up with bits of perishable, evironmentally questionable plastic, letalone pay a premium for a product where the price reflects a chain of money grubbing middle men rather than its actual value.

The browsing randomly and buying things on a whim experience is even richer when you buy music online, given that you can easily listen to the stuff beforehand, find out anything you want about the band/artists and so on with absolute ease.

I think the great thing about all this is that it's eating away at the false perception of the worth of music that the record industry over the last 40 years or so has deliberately fostered. The new paradigm that is emerging is good for the consumer, good for the artists, and good for music itself.

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Thats fine, but I sort of miss the interaction there used to be in record shops when you'd take something to a counter and the guy would go "woh...nice choice....hey have you heard of this band who are similar they're coming to aberdeen..." "yeah, my band are playing with them..." "cool....I'll see your band then!" :up:

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Agreed...the whole social thing is fun. I can usually find someone to natter to in One-Up. Plus, the physical experience of 'raking' through the racks is good exercise.

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Thats fine, but I sort of miss the interaction there used to be in record shops when you'd take something to a counter and the guy would go "woh...nice choice....hey have you heard of this band who are similar they're coming to aberdeen..." "yeah, my band are playing with them..." "cool....I'll see your band then!" :up:

I've had similar kinda chat in OneUp where I've bought something and been told that they're playing or that it's a good choice and general comments on the album that I've bought. I've always found the service to be pretty good... The feeling that they usually know what they're talking about and that they enjoy what they're doing always makes me want to buy the music I do from OneUp. Simple as that really. Going into larger chains or supermarkets I don't get that feeling and if I was to ask a question I think I'd be worried about the look I'd get! Lol.

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