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Do you buy more of your music from a store or off the Internet?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on January 6, 2006

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Photo of Joy Kelley

“Off the Internet, because I like weird music and it’s easier to find on the Internet.”

Photo of Scott Grimsley

“I get more off the Internet, because I get iTunes gift certificates and I have an MP3 player.”

Photo of Paul Bell

“I actually get it from a store. I usually preview a sample of the artist online, and if it’s good, I’ll give them some money to support them.”

Photo of Susan Metenosky

“At a store. I work in a music department, so it’s much more convenient because I’m always looking at the music there.”

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Nikki May 12 years, 2 months ago

store. I Like to have the disks and then if I want to use it on an mp3 player or whatever, I can do that too.

grubesteak 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm not sure what bennyoates means when he says itunes won't let you play your copies of downloaded music on other players. I do it all the time.

I've stopped buying CDs at the store because I was tired of being ripped off. After purchasing Coldplay's "X & Y", hoping to get lyrics with it (and didn't) I realized downloading is more my style. My CD collection has dust on it, meanwhile my iPod has everything I own and I have that backed up on an extra external hard drive.

I love downloading music. Now we just need downloadable movies so we can avoid Hollywood Theatre's cramped seating!

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 2 months ago

Scott Grimsley looks SUPER excited about his MP3 player. And with good reason, too. I just found out my PDA plays MP3s and I've been in Cole Porter Heaven ever since. The only CDs I buy are off of the Internet because most stores around here don't quite appreciate the type of music I'm into.

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

I do not buy music, and will continue to boycott the RIAA until the pigopolists stop being hypocritical. It screams about being ripped off by piracy, yet has been price fixing for 20+ years. It is a dead industry that only makes its money by keeping consumers repurchasing new formats for the same songs. DRM is a consumer's worst nightmare.

Should you be able to share music on the internet? Definately. You bought. You do what you want with it. That rule applies to anything else you might buy, so why is a music CD any different? I didn't notice any EULA on a CD that must be agreed to.

Boycott continues...

average 12 years, 2 months ago

Note for note, I've probably bought more music on vinyl/cassette/8-track at Goodwill and Half-Price Books that anything else. I rip them to MP3 for portability and easy retrieval. A fair lot of used CDs from various sources, too.

As for download... I've never spent a cent on a music download. I do have a lot of totally free music from: Several bands I like (the Flecktones, Eddie from Ohio) encourage online live show "tape"-trading. I support these bands by buying concert tickets and full-price CDs (preferably at the concert). I've found some other good variety there.

I also listen to several good internet radio stations (which I support financially).

gccs14r 12 years, 2 months ago

I haven't bought any music since RIAA started suing people.

conservativepunker 12 years, 2 months ago

Having worked in record stores (back when such things as records were still the thing)..I support indie shops, so I always buy from stores never online. Keep money local and help the small business person. It's a little less convienient, but so what?

cutny 12 years, 2 months ago

Way to go BlueHarley....keep it up and we won't need any local stores. Just keep feeding that corporate machine, man.

Topside 12 years, 2 months ago

If I want something cheap I go to CD tradepost and buy it for 5 bucks. Or, I fing someone else who has it and rip it to my ipod. Seriously, folks if you don't have an ipod, get one. It is not just an expensive walkman. WIth the right accessories it is a portable music library that can be played almost anywhere (car, home stereo, computer) A close second is satellite radio. The only thing worse than the record industry is the radio industry, which is basically owned by the recording industry anymore. It is a sad note that most people would rather pay for something that should be free. Too me, that is the ultimate slap in the face at how bad you've screwed up.

But hey, listen to what you want and how you want. Just listen!:)

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

The last ten albums I bought, now that I think of it, I bought at the show from the band - except for The Cat Empire, who offered their entire album for free download on their website with their blessings to trade and share (they make most of their money at live shows, so the more people they have listening, the more people come to their shows).

Most of the music I like, I like because I've seen the band play, and it's pretty easy for me to take the extra money to a show in case I really like it and want a t-shirt or copy of the album. I don't know how much more the artist gets if you buy it from him directly, or off of his website, but I try to do that. I suppose that if I wanted music for a band that doesn't tour any more or have its own website, I'd go to Waterloo Records and get it. The box stores give me the heebie-jeebies.

Manson 12 years, 2 months ago

I'll buy used cd's but for the most part I'll download songs for free on the net via shareware. I don't dont allow my files to be shared and won't be doing it for long. The recording industry so far has only prosecuted and went after those that shared their illegally downloaded music.

I love techonology. I love the fact that now cousumers have the tools to take advantage of the Recording industry. When i was 14 CD's cost 20.00-23.00 now they still cost only about 20.00 and I'm 27. How can the industry still be in business without raising the cost of their product for 13years? No adjustment for inflation? and a reduction in sale price?

The RIAA isn't just another big corp. screwing the little man. When you have 90% of the industry in a collective association generating a "standard" it's basiclly a monopoly. These companies rip off consumers, clientes, the production and labor staffs.

The American dream is a dream that fullfills the common needs for a comfortable life not take as much as you can from everyone you can. This isn't a protect my investment issue for the RIAA. It's a protect my ass from consumer retribution issue.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

I buy off the internet. It's cheaper to buy one or two songs that I know I like than to buy the whole album. I also "share" with family and friends. We burn copies all the time. Illegal? Yes. Do I care? No. I grew up taping songs off of the radio onto cassette and so making copies just comes natural for me.:) Besides, you give a 9 year old a will only last 2 days. SCRAAAATCH! I need plenty of backups. The music industry doesn't seem to be suffering. When Brittany Spears has to move into that trailor, maybe I'll stop.

I actually agree with neopolss. It's rediculous to charge us tons of $ for a cd that cost 25 cents to produce.

kshaff03 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm taking my Sirius radio back. Don't get one unless you like hearing music and speach being played into a tin can.

MusicMatch/Yahoo on demand is way cool. Click and listen to "almost" any song you want. I would say 5 out of 6 bands that I want to listen to are on there. I do not ,however, listen to a ton a of mainstream music so I can't speak for that.

For everything else... bitTorrent --> "My freind"

justathought 12 years, 2 months ago

I buy off Itunes because I usually only like some of the songs on a cd and I don't want to waste my $$ on them.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 2 months ago

I buy CDs from a store. I don't know anything about iPods or downloading music online, and I don't care to learn, thank you.

Younger people are plugged in far too much anymore. It's like they can't deal with real life without the tunes. You rarely see one that doesn't have an iPod or stuff sticking out of their ear.

Fishman 12 years, 2 months ago

Grubesteak said: "I love downloading music. Now we just need downloadable movies so we can avoid Hollywood Theatre's cramped seating!: Man, does this person have it right or what!! When they built Hollywood, I was all excited. I've been to a grand total of 3 movies since they opened. I think the architect must be really short! What a waste to build such a nice theatre, and try to save money by cramping everyone into the seats!!! I would say they've lost at least $2,000 from me, because of it. But, I really doubt that they care at all either. I buy the cds, because I've never gotten into I-tunes yet.

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

I have never purchased from the internet. I used to download a few favourite songs but quit that because it seemed immoral to me. Like stealing. I have a very specialized taste in music and don't listen to the radio except for special world/folk music programs. Sometimes I buy a CD for 1 song and then after several playings I get to like and appreciate the other tunes also. Some songs just grow on you. Try it. I would buy from the internet if someone could tell me of a venue that has a large variety of music. Anyone?

trinity 12 years, 2 months ago

speaking of music...i'm not gonna but i am just agog over this;

anybody else heard that the nbc affiliate in wichita isn't going to air that new show about the minister&his dysfunctional family/life?

what ever happened to the OFF button?? sheesh.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Quitbitchin: I said "I buy OFF the internet." And yes, I do that. Just purchased 9 songs this morning...all from different artists. I loved not buying 9 complete albums. That would have cost a fortune. I got by for less than $10.

Brent Cagle 12 years, 2 months ago

I am a computer technician and work with state-of-the-art technology on a daily basis, but there are three things I still refuse to use a computer for:

  1. Paying bills: I like writing checks and knowing what my actual balance is without having to go online

  2. Preparing taxes: I do mine with a pencil and calculator, takes about 15 minutes

  3. Buying music: I still buy CDs. Even though I do rip them to MP3s so that I don't have to deal with the actual disk after that, there's something about owning something tangible that appeals to me.

trinity 12 years, 2 months ago

ahhh, thank you TOB! i bow to your greatness! ;)

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

lilchick 12 years, 2 months ago

I love my Sirius Radio, and my entire family has it too. kshaff03, I think that you are the first person I've heard that hasn't loved it. We also do a lot of driving when we travel on the weekends and it's great in the car. I still buy cd's but usually after I've heard several of their songs on sat. radio. And, I usually buy my cd's and occasionally recoreds from the artists webpage.

Manson 12 years, 2 months ago

"there's something about owning something tangible that appeals to me."-kujayhawk93


leme ask you Kujay. Do you feel that consumers are being taken advantage of by companies like MS? MS owns 95% of the market or more on operating systems yet, I feel that, the price is too excessive for lets xp pro. Now it's more affordable, however from release date to now the price was unaffordable. It's insane to issue a OS for 180+ dollars. MS has more than made it's profits to pay for the design of the system and for future OS's like Longhorn. The consumer has no options unless it linux ou unix. And the average consumer dosn't have the nessisscary skills to use either of those 2 OS.

So what we have here is an identical situation with regards to the recording indusrty. A virtual monopoly exists through an association in which price is controlled among competitors. Much like MS corp which it's just one monopoly the RIAA is effectivly a monopoly as far as product pricing goes. Do you believe the situatuions are similar? Do you believe the consumer has no hand in the game? Should they have a hand all together?

The government arbitrates pricing for comodities like fuel for cars and heating to ensure that gouging dosn't occour. When does right to profit exceede affordibility? How can we establish affordibility? I think it lies in the profit margin. If it costs .25 to manufacture a CD and an artist sees only a minor fraction of the sale, which could be anywhere from mere cents to a few dollars depending on the success of the artist. CD costs .25 artist take is 1.00. the Record label makes 18.75. Seems like a gouge to me.

What am I missing ?

Chrissy Neibarger 12 years, 2 months ago

I will download off the internet ocassionally, but usually it's only to preview the artist's new album. There is nothing like having the actual cover art that goes with an album to compliment the album. You can't get that when you download. Of course, there are execptions to that, but there are some bands that actually take the time to make it worth owning the actual CD. Those are the ones you want to support directly by purchasing the album.

Manson 12 years, 2 months ago

Good points. The RIAA and companies involved with the RIAA like sony are making money on all sides including making it eaiser to download music illegally. Sony manufactures recordable cd's and dvd's all of which are used for downloading not only legitimate copies of purchased material but moreover illegally copied material like mixed cd's. Sony manufactures the recordable cd's for X ammount of cents then sells them for overpriced dollars. The sales of these recordable cd's have sky rocketed with the advent of recordable music online and have profit margins much like actual CD's by recording artists. It's a win win situation. Sony gets to battle the internet download monster and profit off of it at the same time. If there was ever a successful way to stop downloading music online sony would see a major drop in the sales of their highly profitable cd accessories. I can see where the $ lies in the Artist's CD's because the mark up is so high but it ain't stopping them from making money on the very act that they so despise. Big double standard.

Manson 12 years, 2 months ago

" Those are the ones you want to support directly by purchasing the album."-fleeba

The artists make next to nothing on the CD. The profits are from concert venues, merchandise, and the cents on albums. Thats why concerts have become so expensive. Bands have to raise ticket prices to offset the $$ they don't make on the actual sale on the CD. The record industry has it all. The money, the contracts, and oh yeah more money.

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

I buy music all the time, from all types of sources. Last purchase was Candye Kane's "White Trash Girl," when she was playing a local venue. She signed and personalized the cover -- that is something you can't get from a download. Out of partial fear of getting a virus, I don't download music (call me a wimp). Putting my computer at risk isn't worth saving a few bucks. I also like listening to an entire cd. Most of my favorite songs are things I never would have known had I not listened to the total package.

As far as $20 cds go -- where are you people shopping? When I shop in stores, I don't spend anywhere near that much. The recent Kate Bush double cd cost me just $16 new, and most cds around $11 to $14.

I have also been part of the BMG Music club thing for years, and I regularly make purchases that average around $6 a disc. You just have to know how to work their system, and wait for the specials with no shipping charges. I just put discs in my cart at my leisure, then wait for a special to place the order. The hassle of responding to monthly letters has been eliminated, since they now send their info via email. Piece of cake. The selection is pretty good, though not spectacular.

Since the topic has been brought up, I also hate how expensive concerts are now, and I refuse to spend more on a ticket than it would cost me to purchase the band's entire cd collection. Especially with how controlling the guards are anymore at most venues. I miss the days when frisbees and beach balls would float through the questionable air, people would dance in the aisles, and you could see a band like Led Zeppelin for $15. Those were the days.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Am I the only one that thinks "cover art" is long dead? If it was actually made by real artists on a nice large square so that you could do something interesting with it...maybe I'd be tempted to buy "something tangible." As is, I burned the 9 songs I downloaded (and paid for) this morning onto a plain white (and very tangible) CD-R. If I want lyrics, I'll get them off the net, also...just so I can have some more tangible things cluttering up my already cluttered life.:)

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

btw, what's with the OTS photos the last few days? Do we really have people the colors of Dorothy's rainbos in Lawrence?

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm with you on the "cover art," sun_sue. An artist could make a statement on a 12" square -- Rolling Stone's "Sticky Fingers" cover, for instance, just seems silly when shrunk down to less than 5" square.

By the way, the LA Times ran a story today on the effect of all this downloading and internet purchasing. To sum it up: Mom and Pop record stores are the ones suffering the most.

linux_chick 12 years, 2 months ago

Thanx. School and moving. I got an internship, so I'm taking the semester off of school and living in Ca.

...Leaves more time for posting. Muah, ha ha... ;)

Brent Cagle 12 years, 2 months ago

Manson- I don't really think about all the economic and political implications when I buy a CD, I just know that they look good neatly stacked and organized in my CD tower. Plus, when my hard drive crashes and my MP3 player gets lost or destroyed, I still have the music that I paid for.

linux_chick 12 years, 2 months ago

Anywho, I think packaged CDs are nearing the end of their luster. The RIAA is just in denial... and if they lose some $, it won't hurt my feelings.

Manson 12 years, 2 months ago

"Plus, when my hard drive crashes and my MP3 player gets lost or destroyed, I still have the music that I paid for."-Kujayhawk

Back it up. Some people have raid setups or external drives.... you're an IT guy you know the drill.

It's alot like software. I don't pay for it and never will. As for CD's even if the illegal file sharing was stopped it still dosn't stop me buying ONE copy of the newest album then making 15 copies for my friends.... It's how I got Cake, Beck, Weezer, and many many others for free and I didn't even have to go online to get those. Plus no one can ever say I was pirateing copies there is no way to prove it. And thanks to my NEC dvd+/- cd+/- burner I can burn as many copies as I want.

Sony makes burners too and guess what sony is part of the RIAA. It's a sick sad circle of money and with companies like sony it's hard to tell here their @$$ begins and head ends. Technology has reached up and bit them in the @$$ in a big way. The only way for them to stay on top and make more money is to be on both sides of the fence.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

OMB, my bro had the Meatloaf vinyl you speak of...and a giant stack of others. When his wife had a moment of "save your soul and burn your LPs," they were all burned. Needless to say, that marriage didn't last.

p.s. Meatloaf is my all time favorite. Have all of his on CDs. Not even burned copies but the real thing (as far as cds go!) Gotta love me a man called "Meatloaf!"

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

e_m, your over my head (and older than me:P) Guess I'll wait 'til my kids teach me all this stuff.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 2 months ago

Hey - Marion has never told us how his evening went when we bums were all watching sports. I wonder if he scored???

I wondered if there was a roundabout on O'Connell Road. There was an accident there a while back and they just said an "obstruction." Well HERE'S YOUR OBSTRUCTION!!!

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

Late to the game, but here's my two cents on file-sharing.

It's a given that the RIAA is the antichrist, so won't waste time trying to somehow disprove that. But it is (or perhaps was) the primary method for musicians to get their music heard, and purchased, by the masses. To oppose the system that wrings them out for all their worth before giving them anything in return is honerable, but to act on that opposition by denying them anything at all (which is still a much worse deal for the artist than the record company's) is still, to my mind, unjustifiable (sp?). If support of the artists was what was really important, then Napster, in it's inception, should have gone to the artists, and found a way to provide them revenues and royalties from downloads. Then they could have bipassed the RIAA completely, as a legitimate alternative. But you know and I know that it was not really about saving the artists, it was about getting something for free that, really, you don't have a right to get for free.

italianprincess 12 years, 2 months ago

I still have all my Led Zepp albums, tapes and now I have all their CDs. The albums I will never part with though. I believe I have Led Zepp 4 on a bootleg also.

I buy what I want from either music stores , dept stores or over at CD Tradepost. I don't own a MP3 or anything fancy like that anyway, and like I can put in a cd when I want.

Chrissy Neibarger 12 years, 2 months ago

I think "cover art" is still really big in some song styles. System of a Down for instance put out two albums, both with very distinct cover art, and if you purchase the two, you can put the art together to make one bigger piece of art. Rob Zombie... I think his art is almost better than some of his music.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Fleeba, looked up your "cover art." Let's just is subjective. I found nothing at all intriguing about System oaD's computer generated blah. And while I did like the more artistic style of Rob Zombie's cover, the whole Satanic worship theme killed it for me. Way too creepy!

bearded_gnome 12 years, 2 months ago

haven't discovered that internet thing yet!

actually, answer the question, most often listening to music off internet radio stations, most often:> nobody sells that musik in stores/plays it on radio...

hope we all have a very good weekend. supposed to be in the 60's...said "get ready for the sixties..." in the weather article-elsewhere this website--how do you get ready for the sixties?

what MSC,... no levity?

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

If I want lyrics, I'll get them off the net, also...just so I can have some more tangible things cluttering up my already cluttered life.:)


You probably could have guessed it sunflower_sue, but the music industry has began sending out cease and desist letters to those lyric websites. In their opinion, sharing the lyrics or notes to a song is just a bad as sharing the song itself. A great example of capitalism crushing the free exchange of ideas and information.

The numbers are against the RIAA. They claim piracy hurts sales, yet the numbers show the opposite. The music industry is a dying beast - music wasn't meant to be a tangible good.

The ban continues...

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