Saturday, 30 October 2010

Dear Prudence

I've disciplined myself to using Spotify for my music acquisition needs, reducing my average spend on music from about £120 every couple of months to £120 per year.

Using Spotify lets me listen to the new releases I would have bought as well as those I might well have dithered over. My overall music consumption in term of listening, rather than purchasing, is well up. What's more, I'm no longer shackled with the guilt of not listening to a new record more than once. Similarly, I can take a listen to the latest critically lauded releases without having to fork out for them or the necessity of having to ever listen to them again.

Not quite all new releases are available on Spotify, but it picks up most things, even many of the rarer 12" single and edits I was paying up to £10 for on vinyl. I'm better off and better informed. I make notes (in Evernote) of interesting reviews from online newspapers and magazines, from retailers recommendations and from social word of mouth and then go track them down.

A little discipline has now become a fun routine. All my stuff is available on the move and available to stream throughout the house.

It works... I'm sure someone somewhere is losing out... but let's be honest, making music is cheap and easy and there is more and more and more available all around us in every micro-genre.

The Spotify stuff I supplement with great live and session stuff from places like DayTrotter, Wolfgang's Vault and the great NPR iPad app, as well as from an endless array of Internet radio stations. Hell, I even get an old CD of LP of the shelf and play it now and again.

Having forced myself to get over the need to have packaging that I can touch, read and put on a shelf to gather dust, I can't see myself going back. I don't consume pirated tunes, all my listening is legit. I've reduced my listening costs by about 90% whilst increasing the amount I actually listen to by a similar amount.

Everyone can be an artist if they want, from DIY chillwave to queueing up for X Factor... Who's lost out? Where is the leak?

By the way, I'm just listening to the new Elvis Costello record on Spotify. If I'd purchased the CD I'd feel some sort of personal obligation to listen to it again. Thankfully, I don't have to.

Location:Attercliffe Common,,United Kingdom

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