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a new era for music


Jenni.
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65% of teenagers now regularly use live music streaming services such as Spotify and last.fm, and many more are set to follow. This free file sharing and live streaming has meant illegal file sharing between 14-18 year olds has dropped significantly from 42 to 26%. Leading artists such as Kings of Leon sold over 100,000 copies of their album digitally, whereas physical CD single formats plunged 43.5% last year.

We are entering a new era for music. It is an arena that is constantly evolving with technology, and the behaviour of music consumers. Where we used to only be able to buy physical formats such as vinyl records, cassette or CDs with cover artwork and lyric books, we now have a very different experience of accessing and buying music. We can now listen to music before we choose to buy it, or not buy at all by listening to live streaming on Spotify. Music now exists as digital files, transferred from computer to MP3 player.

What do you think is the future for browsing, buying and listening to music?

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I hope it's not gonna end up being just files on a computer. How awful! No album covers and packaging. HMV are already downsizing their music CD sections so it doesn't bode well for us who prefer a physical single or album. Also the death of the CD single could spell the end of B-sides which is very sad. Hope it doesn't come to that.

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It's bollocks!

i have a bunch of old records here, the one thats in right now is ELO.

in the case theres 2 records, all the lyrics and a massive poster...

Now what do you get? an email saying "thanks for buying these electronic songs which you aren't legally allowed to put on disc"

FUCK YOU TECHNOLOGY!

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It's bollocks!

i have a bunch of old records here, the one thats in right now is ELO.

in the case theres 2 records, all the lyrics and a massive poster...

Now what do you get? an email saying "thanks for buying these electronic songs which you aren't legally allowed to put on disc"

FUCK YOU TECHNOLOGY!

I'm with you! And Twilight by ELO has just come on my Last FM radio! But I'd prefer to have the actual record in my hand - have Time on CD.

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I use both but if I like music I buy it on CD. I seriously hope physical music doesn't die out. Having the lyrics and artwork in a book is brilliant. As is inventive packaging.

Also from a sound quality perspective CD's and especially vinyl's shit all over MP3's. When I get some money together I want a vinyl player. Due to the wider sampling range than cd's they sound sooo much better. And MP3's are worse quality than CD. A convenient but second rate music format.

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Also from a sound quality perspective CD's and especially vinyl's shit all over MP3's. .

This is a common misconception. Vinyl may be an analog signal so is lossless, but that is before it goes through the digital sound system you use to listen to the record, so usually there is very little difference between the clarity of a CD and vinyl except the crackling.

I don't think I have ever bought music digitally, and probably never will. Owning the physical record is like having the trophy. Why the hell would you want to pay for a collection of digital files?

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I don't think I have ever bought music digitally, and probably never will. Owning the physical record is like having the trophy. Why the hell would you want to pay for a collection of digital files?

I agree; I would especially be worried about losing music due to some kind of computer mishap. A digital file doesn't seem real to me (I know this is a bit daft really).

Even though I do now generally listen to music digitally, I still love buying a CD or LP and looking at the artwork and liner notes etc... I am also quite aware that I am in the minority of people as I am a sad music geek.

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I agree; I would especially be worried about losing music due to some kind of computer mishap. A digital file doesn't seem real to me (I know this is a bit daft really).

Even though I do now generally listen to music digitally, I still love buying a CD or LP and looking at the artwork and liner notes etc... I am also quite aware that I am in the minority of people as I am a sad music geek.

Same here. I generally listen to music digitally for convenience but their is nothing better than putting on your favourite album through a decent set of speakers when cooking etc :)

I love buying album for the artwork. I almost get annoyed when a band puts no effort into the booklet or doesn't include lyrics! Must admit I am a geek too though :p I buy limited editions and get stuff signed just to say oh look this is rare!

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I don't think I have ever bought music digitally, and probably never will. Owning the physical record is like having the trophy. Why the hell would you want to pay for a collection of digital files?

Depends what volume of music you're buying. I'd rather spend 40-50 on MP3's than the vinyl equivalent of 200-250. Digital only releases, no waiting time....etc

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I Believe the only money to be made in preforming music (If that's what your interests in making music are)

Is to be made from Merchandise and touring alot.

Its far to easy to download full albums, i find myself in HMV Or One-Up and as im buying an album and waying up how much i can afford to spend per week and then think to myself, "I Could buy this CD, or i could have a night out with friends instead,"

A perfect Example of this is Set Your Goals new Album "This Will Be The Death Of Us," its currently steaming on myspace, and Ive head that i like a few tunes, i know its not out for a few weeks or so, but all i have to do it search "This will be the death of us blogspot download" in Google and along as i have a WinRAR Extractor then i can have it within a half hour.

I Believe that as much as the industry wants technological advances, it gets Pissy when these new Techs make it easy to steal music, still many people will buy there favorite bands CD's, but they are not prepared to wait when they can get it now, and for free.

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I quite like the digital age, I like having my collection in an easy to manage Ipod. I've got stacks and stacks of CD's from the Nineties and early naughties, but they are all out of site in a cupboard. I haven't played a CD pretty much since I got my first Ipod.

I also like the power is going to the people that make the music and not the record labels. For example It costs less than $20 a year to host an album on Itunes for a year.

I do think however that the CD sleeve should be better represented in the digital world or at least superseded. At the moment you just seem to get the cover of the album and that's it.

They could make the digital age of music more appealing by offering, videos, animation, lyrics, interviews etc all available with the Digital versions of the tracks.

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i have to admit my trends regarding music have changed over the past year. thanks to this thread, last night i downloaded spotify and very impressed! over the past year i've had less money to buy physical CD's and all they do is clog up the flat (and i dont even have my whole collection here). with spotify i can listen to a wide range of music, as and when i want.

i guess i've grown out the trainspotting thing where i had to have the cd for artwork etc. i've paid me money to the music industry over the years i feel! having said that i did pre order a copy of the new cornershop album last night, first pysical cd i've bought this year.

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Music is free now - like it or not. Via Spotify, LastFM or the slew of others on the way, plus illegal downloading, the revenue from selling music is dissapearing.

Trent Reznor did a good quick rant on the NIN boards recently and discusses a model I think is pretty good - no lables, make an album, give it away, sell deluxe physical copies with super-dooper artwork extra content etc for those who love it/want a physical copy, and tour like buggery/sell merch. You won't be selling millions, but you retain control as an artist, plus the public get what they pay for - or not if that's the case.

I just stuck all my CDs in storage as I don't use the physical CDs anymore - and have even PAID for some mp3s recently (download only releases), but I'[ll continue to pay for something I can hold for the bands I love.

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Spotify is ace. Despite having a tremendous amount of material already, it is still in its preliminary stages. It's absolutely ridiculous to think it is even less than 6 months old. Perhaps when wireless connectivity exists literally everywhere, ipod players will be replaced by Spotify players, and instead of uploading your collection, it will always be connected, and you can listen to whatever the piss you want, whenever. If we're all being forced into embracing a completely digital era for music, then that really should be the overall aim. You can get fucking fucked if you think I'm paying for individual mp3's. Balls.

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I posted this as a discussion question to try and not steer the conversation, but as most people moved to a "Save Fopp!" mentality I'll try and steer a little!

For the generation who previously bought the physical formats there is a romanticism about owning the CD or vinyl for various reasons. Whilst some people justify it because of the added value or artwork or lyric books, the biggest reason is technology aversion, it's a generational thing, myself included.

Similarly to delboy, I had heard of Spotify but wasn't aware of the extent social media sites had come on. For the generation of new music listeners (14+) they have literally never bought a CD, never mind a casette or vinyl, so why would they start?

30+ music streaming sites

My intitial post is in fact a design brief. I used last.fm occasionally, but checked out a number of these sites for research. I was particularly impressed with we7, and grooveshark because you don't have to sign up to anything and spotify is impressive too. Even my younger brother who is admittedly a bit cooler than me these days wasn't really aware of the range of sites out there. Using them, it is easy to see a future where physical music is considered old fashioned, even downloading could become outdated as these streaming services improve and the Government continues pushing to improve connectivity around the country.

So what does that mean for design...

I do think however that the CD sleeve should be better represented in the digital world or at least superseded. At the moment you just seem to get the cover of the album and that's it.

This was a point that was raised in the brief. If you accept the fact that digital music is the way forward, then how can you add value in the same way as with a CD that encourages people to download legal files? There are limitless opportunities, ilike is an application where artists can send special video messages to people who buy their tracks, people recieve tour info, etc. What about free tour tickets, wallpapers? What I'm trying to think of is how you can add value (artwork, lyric books, secret tracks) to a digital file. The growing trend is to add value through the service itself, better recommendations, and the ability to purchase or stream for free.

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to add value, how about track-by track commentaries or something like on movie dvds? that would be pretty cool and may give insights into recording tricks or what certain lyrics mean.

anyways, i'm not too fussed about the decline of the cd. as long as no idea and vinyl collective still ship me 12 inch pieces or circular wax for the forseeable future, i'll be a happy chappy.

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spotify is just brilliant, even the odd ads they chuck in dont annoy me! and it saves me looking through piles of cd's for an album. considoring its so new (i didnt know that as i did think it was a bit short on some artists) it will only grow. tbh eventually i would considor paying for this kind of service. i have my computer rigged up to my stereo so i'm not listening through tinny, crappy speakers. this way of listening to music is the future for me.

i'm suprised at myself having moved away from buying physical cd's as i never throught that would happen, all the information i need about a record is usually available on wikipedia or the band's website. yeah this is the future for me!!!!

i'm not overkeen on last.fm as you can only listen to one track at a time (correct me if i'm wrong here thats how it works here) and after you've played a song a few times it only lets you listen to a 30 second snippet. is this the same with spotify?

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Love the digital age, work is more bearable than ever and I can learn about new music every day. I don't have to carry a record player, my boom box or my 5 disc changer to work any more in order to listen to great music non-stop. When I'm on lastfm radio listening to a new genre, or even one I already know, I come across new acts and songs I've never heard and note them down so I can go back and explore them further on something like Spotify. Amazing.

All of these other formats are still available should you really wish for it anyway. You may have to pay a little more in the future but sure this is a small amount compared with getting music for the cost of air.

I'm not saying musicians shouldn't get money for creating music, without the backing of a label it can be costly, but perhaps they need to look at different ways to get that money, use some of that natural imagination to create money opportunities on top of great music. Good quality bands, given the correct promotion, can make money from live performance, then merch - perhaps signed copies of CDs sold at the shows they put on. There is money to be made by the astute musician/businessmin.

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Depends what volume of music you're buying. I'd rather spend 40-50 on MP3's than the vinyl equivalent of 200-250. Digital only releases, no waiting time....etc

That's understandble, although I usually tend to avoid grabbing brand new vinyl for that exact reason. 2nd hand is much cheaper, especially in bundles (although you do have to waft through the shite to find decent tunes).

I think the most I paid for an LP was Leftism (the 3 x 12" version with exclusive mixes) and that set me back about 30 because I had to import from Israel.

On the plus side though, the same guy sold me 2 Hallucinogen LPs that are practically impossible to find.

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Guest droid

I'm not saying musicians shouldn't get money for creating music, without the backing of a label it can be costly, but perhaps they need to look at different ways to get that money, use some of that natural imagination to create money opportunities on top of great music. Good quality bands, given the correct promotion, can make money from live performance, then merch - perhaps signed copies of CDs sold at the shows they put on. There is money to be made by the astute musician/businessmin.

Money advanced by a label is recouped with them taking a percentage of your royalties,and often taking a percentage of your publishing.Better off with a distribution deal thus retaining full control.

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