All You Need is to Download?

Happy Monday, everyone.  It’s a gloomy drizzly day here in Southern California where I live…so it makes for perfect Monday weather, in my opinion.  I’ve spent some of my morning getting caught up on the news of the weekend, and I’ve been reading the recent “news” from DD’s make up artist (am I the only one that believes the housekeepers are going to be the next to give interviews??) that the new album will be available for download in December, and the physical copy will be released in January.

As my partner mentioned in her blog – this is being talked about on the boards, and of course the speculation is running wild.  Everyone wants to know if there’s a label, they think this is a risky move on the part of the band, some believe that the sales will be even worse under these circumstances…etc….etc…..because in true Duranie fashion….”We are NEVER satisfied.”   (insert my laughter here)

I’m not really here to speculate on the reasons or how it’s going to effect sales.  Others have done that rather well (see Gimme a Wristband for a fantastic blog on that subject!), and there’s no need for my input here.  My interest lies with the fans, and more specifically – are we a part of the downloading generation?

When I grew up (born in 1970), I remember the Sony Walkman being all the rage…and I’m not talking about the CD version.  Then it did become the CD version, and as I’m sure many if not all of you remember, vinyl became less and less important.  (never mind the dreaded 8 track or tape – my kids ran across one the other day and asked me what it was.  *sigh*  I love turning 40. I really, really do.)  Nowadays, we have iPods and MP3’s, and a good many of us wax nostalgic over vinyl, and even CD’s!

Of course, CD’s are still available.  I can go down to Target and find a pretty small selection of CD’s to purchase.  I don’t shop at Walmart, but I know they do still carry CD’s, as does Best Buy and several other stores.  Naturally I remember the days of Tower Records (I miss Tower Records…I could shop in there for HOURS!) and even Wherehouse Records, where I not only bought my very first Duran Duran album, but also stood in line to buy concert tickets back in the day when there was no internet!  Someone get me my cane, please.    I digress…  My point is, CD’s are still around, as are albums, they just aren’t as widely available as they once were.

What has most assuredly taken the place of my beloved Tower Records is iTunes.  Personally, I have mixed feelings about iTunes.  I cannot argue the convenience of being in my home (or anywhere these days!), hearing a song somewhere and immediately being able to download and listen to my hearts content.  I also cannot argue the fact that it’s much cheaper to buy one song off of an album than it is to buy an entire album and only listen to one or two songs.  What bothers me about iTunes is that we’re buying an MP3 – which definitely has a loss of information from the original music file, AND we’re not getting the full product that a CD would have. (liner notes, pretty pictures, etc!)  In my head, an MP3 is like really cheap fast food, while a CD might be a decent restaurant – and vinyl?  For me vinyl is a great dinner at a fantastic restaurant.  You linger, you have a great bottle of wine, and you enjoy.

I don’t think I’m much different from any other fan of my generation – but I have to wonder, how many of us love downloads?  Do we download because it’s the option given to us, or have we learned to love them yet?


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