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Digital vs. Vinyl vs. Apple Music vs...Trent Reznor?


Anderton
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I didn't realize Trent Reznor had signed on as a product executive at Apple Music...the musical landscape sure is changing. But this article, although somewhat hysterical in parts, brings up some interesting points about Reznor's views on digital music as voiced in this article, where Billboard conducted an interview with the "brain trust" heads of Apple's streaming service.

 

There's plenty of fodder for discussion in both articles and I wonder what y'all think about it...

 

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I don't know him personally, but he was always on the forefront of using technology and exploring what you can do as an independent artist. So that's why I find his alliance with Apple intriguing. I know we've discussed vinyl already but that's not really why I brought up these two articles, it’s more about his comments that “And every time there’s a new innovation, the musician is the one that didn’t have a voice at the table about how it’s presented. I thought, if I could make a place where there could be more opportunities, and it comes with more fertile ground, and music is treated with a bit more with respect, that interests me.” Yet it’s pretty clear from the rest of the article with the “brain trust” that they seem to be making this up as they go along, mostly in reaction to Spotify.

 

Obviously vinyl isn’t an answer for a streaming service, but I’m not seeing any answers forthcoming from Apple Music or for that matter, from the other streaming services. It would be interesting to see a streaming company give more of a game plan than “We’re going to get investment money and do lots of interesting stuff.”

 

If I was given lots of money and a streaming service, my game plan would be to create a super-curated site, with an A&R department that would solicit music, selected a limited number as the cream of the crop, review it, and place it in appropriate categories and playlists…like DJs used to do on radio stations during the years when music sales grew exponentially. The key here is a valid, vital A&R department. I would establish this service as a place not to hear everything you’ve heard before – we already have plenty of ways to do that – but to hear things you haven’t heard before.

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I read both articles and respect all who were interviewed but to me, they are all clueless and fishing for something... anything. I think Sony Music hired Rick Rubin around 4 years ago thinking he would find a way to get people to pay for music again... I don`t think he came up with a damn thing but he got paid nicely...

 

My gut tells me we are in the dark ages of the internet for musicians. It will take years before the public comes around to the idea of paying for music again. Its beyond any delivery "model". It goes back to what I keep saying, its an ethical issue.

 

I`m bored talking about this.

 

I`m releasing a record later this year and part of me wants to not even put it online. I`m thinking of selling it directly from my website. Every purchaser will get a signed CD for $10.00. The CD will have the lyrics, credits, and photos and I am hoping this retro idea will at least sell a 100 CDs and maybe I can build up a little bit of a fanbase. I`m realistic though... I`m 43. I`m not depending on sales to feed the family and I`m not really expecting much in sales. Like everyone else, I make music because its a creative outlet for me. I`m going to make music no matter what.

 

I`m not any smarter than the guys mentioned in the article or "stupider" so if Apple wants to pay me millions of dollars to sit in a room once in a while and bull{censored}, sign me up. These guys are just as clueless as I am.

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My gut tells me we are in the dark ages of the internet for musicians. It will take years before the public comes around to the idea of paying for music again. Its beyond any delivery "model". It goes back to what I keep saying' date=' its an ethical issue.[/quote']

 

Although I just realized that during music's boom years, it was easy to run off cassettes and not have to buy LPs. Ethics factors into the people who steal music, but I'm not sure the answer is that simple.

 

And yes, they're all clueless because they're trying to modify the thinking that worked for them in the past to fit a different context. Not sure that's possible.

 

The irony of current musical trends is that "social media" has removed the social interaction that used to revolve around music. Try stuffing a vinyl record in an iPhone and listening on earbuds. It's very different from playing it back over something that moved air and interacted with your body, not your inner ear canal.

 

 

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The irony of current musical trends is that "social media" has removed the social interaction that used to revolve around music.

 

Very true. You can share a song or a CD with a thousand of your friends on Facebook, and I'll bet there's even a way on Facebook or some other app where you can set up a virtual listening party where you gather a few friends in your living room or bedroom, put on a record, and shush someone who tries to talk while the music's playing.

 

Try stuffing a vinyl record in an iPhone and listening on earbuds. It's very different from playing it back over something that moved air and interacted with your body, not your inner ear canal.

 

That's two different things. It's no harder to stuff a vinyl record into your iPhone than it was to copy a record on to a cassette, assuming that you have the equipment (hardware and brain). But most people won't bother with that any more when it's so easy to download a song. You don't even have to listen to it while it's transferring from one player mechanism to the other.

 

Moving air generated by music across any body parts beyone eardrums is indeed a different experience. But if you really want to do that today, there are dance clubs that have very specialized music-powered wind machines.

 

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That's two different things. It's no harder to stuff a vinyl record into your iPhone than it was to copy a record on to a cassette, assuming that you have the equipment (hardware and brain).

 

I didn't mean stuff the music, I meant stuff the vinyl record itself...the point being about having to play it back on something that, in all likelihood, moved air.

 

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I didn't mean stuff the music, I meant stuff the vinyl record itself...the point being about having to play it back on something that, in all likelihood, moved air.

 

 

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... nor sitting together but each one's attention glued permanently to their iPhone.

 

Terry D.

Edited by MrKnobs
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I didn't mean stuff the music, I meant stuff the vinyl record itself...the point being about having to play it back on something that, in all likelihood, moved air.

 

Well, a certain species of audiophile enjoys serious headphone listening, but it's mostly to their phonograph records played on a $20,000 turntable into a $5,000 tube headphone amplifier. Or maybe a CD into a $5,000 D/A converter.

 

It's possible to experience the "handling media" with a phone. You just have to put one or two songs, or (giving 'em a break) one CD on a memory card, and stick it into the phone when you want to "play the record," But good luck convincing someone with 5,000 songs on his phone that this is a good experience.

 

 

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Although I just realized that during music's boom years' date=' it was easy to run off cassettes and not have to buy LPs. Ethics factors into the people who steal music, but I'm not sure the answer is that simple.[/quote']

 

Its not exactly the same. I was "guilty" of making cassette copies for friends and vice versa but I eventually went the way of CD when CDs became popular. It was a beautiful thing to press that fast forward button and go directly to the track you wanted. That was never possible with tape. Its just so damn convenient today to hear any song you want.

 

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