And I don’t feel right, when you’re gone away…
Come on, take a moment to sing with me alright?
How could I be this sad after all I’ve accomplished last month? Well, there’s other things in my life that are important to me besides my career such as my cats, my plushies and action figures, my gaming PC, and of course my music. I have my small CD collection stashed away in the cupboard. I am very selective with what I add to it.
Music is something that is very personal to me. I grew up going to record stores to get albums just for one song; liking other songs on the album upon listening to it was a plus. Eventually I wanted to listen to music on the do without having to stuff my pink Sony Walkman into my backpack everyday. (Thank God that thing still works) So I turned to getting an MP3 player (which later became my iPod) and would import CDs or download digitally…legally of course. I liked the concept of the music being my own, having a collection of CD’s was like telling a story about my life through music and how it evolved in genre/artist variety over the years.
That’s also why I post those articles at the end of every month here.
So why am I upset? Well, I stumbled upon some news recently that one of my friends just had to share on Facebook: Apple is finally going to phase out iTunes for good. Ever since 10th grade, I’ve been using iTunes to import my CDs and download singles that caught my ears on the radio. Then I would put them onto my little iPod Nano so I could listen to my favourites while out for a walk or during a commute.
Apple wants to fully commit to the streaming generation: a generation I greatly loathe due it not being about owning music but about accessibility: pay ten bucks every month to get access to millions of songs right at your fingertips. That’s what people care about today, convenience and accessibility rather than value and ownership. It’s also become about those who just see music as something they just want to hear when they work, eat, have sex, etc. where it’s something disposable and not a work of art.
I never liked the idea of having my music stored on a service that doesn’t belong to me. It doesn’t feel like the music I’m listening to is valued: all the hard work put into recording and writing, and the fact that music is art, just what you hear instead of look at. Think about it this way, it’s like looking at someone’s painting in an art gallery and taking a moment to really appreciate the work and creativity put into it, then you buy that painting and hang it up on the wall in your house. The same thing can apply to music.
Anybody can simply scroll through a Spotify playlist and it’s not so much of a personal journey because it’s not yours on a streaming service. There are certain songs that are a part of who I am and streaming music just doesn’t give me that same feeling that buying and owning does.
You can argue that buying music digitally or physically is more expensive and I have to try really hard not to laugh at that because a song on iTunes can cost as low as $0.99. Now, I know that some of my friends have different financial situations than me and can’t always pay thirteen dollars for a CD or more for a vinyl so maybe streaming music works for them because of that.
But the problem that I have is why did we all of a sudden want everything at our fingertips so we no longer have to open cupboards or computer files to locate our music? We just expect everything in front of us in one place on an app. Nowadays it seems that we see music as an expendable part of our lives and care more about the quantity we can access than the quality.
The other problem I have is I feel like the only person sometimes who tries to see it from an artist’s perspective. A lot of artists hate streaming services because it underpays them and makes them feel like their work is being devalued. I feel like a lot of my friends don’t know this. This is another reason why music is a personal thing for me.
When I come to love a band, I want to support them in any way I can, like Lordi for instance. Sometimes I’ve received the argument that artists make way more money on tour, and that’s true, but if we import Lordi into this example, I can’t always see them on tour because they almost never come here except that one time in 2017. So the best way I support them is to buy their music and do so because for bands that have a personal impact on me, that’s when I want to own their music. All of the CD’s in my cupboard are from bands and artists that are special to me.
So now what does this mean for me as a fan and listener. If Apple replaces iTunes with something exactly the same just with a more modern look and less tech issues, then I have nothing to worry about as long as my iPod still works. If not, then I guess I’ll go full-on old school and just listen to my CD’s (I don’t have the money or shelf space for vinyls unfortunately) on my boom box or Walkman. My mom thinks that’s not very portable-friendly but I’ve been using that Walkman when I was in middle school with no issues so I can always start again.
I’d rather buy a CD or digital download once at Bandcamp so I feel like I’ve supported the band and get to keep the music forever than worry about what’s not available on Spotify and pay ten bucks every month to access millions of songs.
Quality and ownership are more important to me than quantity and convenience when it comes to music. Now that this is happening it’s a smack in the face to me who uses a service to maintain part of my old school ways to listen to music on the go.
I hate how alone I feel with these values of mine and wish we could go back to the days where it was just cassettes, CDs, and vinyls. They have better sound quality anyway!