The least problematic way of consuming recorded music

nowadays is to purchase a CD from Bandcamp.

That’s the clear conclusion i reach after reading about the vinyl industry choking itself (that Mike Simonetti twitter thread) and about the ethical issues with streaming services (multiple threads on here).

Do You Think Being Signed To A Record Label Is Good These Days?

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I guess it would be nice to buy that CD in a physical record shop. But as i see them reducing CD racking space, in favour of stocking unaffordable-to-most new vinyl, i fall more out of love with the whole idea of bricks&mortar shops.

Ah. So the first reply to my first post is a snarky in-joke. Cheers.

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as more of a CD buyer than a vinyl buyer, i always find it annoying that my favourite local independent shops don’t stock CDs, other than a couple that sell second hand ones, so i feel bad that i end up not supporting those shops as much as i’d like to (i buy the odd record there when i find a bargain or increasingly when the CD is overpriced everywhere), and end up nipping round to HMV to buy a lot of my albums instead. (though i do want HMV to survive as well tbf)

always just thought “well it’s understandable, not really worth their while selling CDs anymore i suppose” but i guess we might reach a point where it does become worth their while. though i do worry they’ll bring in CDs but overcharge for them and consequently sell none.

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Is it not just to purchase digital files and download them to a personal music player?

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Yeah sorry.

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I’ve slipped into mainly streaming music, and occasionally buying CDs/records, but in all honesty the last time I bought an album was probably… 2019.

I don’t know what to do about that, as the internet has a tendency to draw everybody into “a place” for one thing or another, and I’m yet to see anything as convenient as Spotify. My thought process is that if it wasn’t for Spotify, I wouldn’t listen to much new music at all, so idk. That feels kinda grim a thing to admit, given that I used to work for a record label.

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P.S. nice thread @dinosaur, as long as it’s not just trying to become a ‘trust level 2’ user or whatever.

If it’s the latter, then good luck with that!

It depends what the problem is?

Is the problem the band getting the cut of cash? Which they always should do, but it doesn’t always work like that unfortunately.

For me, vinyl is the way I consume music most. It focuses me on the music, and even if I’m not getting on with an album I will see out 1 side of it. If I’m playing a CD of say 74 minutes and don’t like it I will eject it.

I get that vinyl, new and old can be pricey and when sense takes over I will buy a CD. If an album on vinyl is £40 and I can buy it on CD for £4 I will go for CD.

I will stream music for convenience and then buy what I really like. I’ll buy about 5 albums / records a month and don’t see that as excessive. If I feel a band really need support I will contribute in a small way somehow. Not sure huge bands need this but I get the OP point.

I guess a lot is to do with the listeners set up. Music systems aren’t cheap so people get defensive over their perefred way of listening. It’s the music that really matters.

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Buying CDs and vinyls from independent record shops I presume are the best way.

I’ve several thousand CDs but haven’t really bought any for a long time. In the early/mid 90s they were almost all bought around Berwick Street.

Then when the internet happened it was a good way of discovering semi-obscure music which you could then also buy from the record labels’ website as well as play.com, cdwow and Amazon that independents didn’t have. The lazy indie kid (like me) killed off a lot of the independent records shops in wanting a lot of music delivered through your letterbox without having to go to the shop on an evening or weekend.

Then when mp3s and streaming happened it was great for lazy indie kids like me again; the product instantly available and no physical product taking up loads of space.

Pre-covid I’d spend thousands a year on gigs and drinks at venues and sort of told myself I’m still supporting small bands and venues but I can’t really claim that in the last year or so.

interesting, i much prefer going to a shop for things, music or otherwise - normally the only thing that drives me to online purchasing is price or availability, otherwise i’d much rather have a nice walk into town to pick something up.

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I’m very lazy in every possible way. My mates are also.

Three of us would spend around £50 each in the late 90s on Saturdays at Berwick Street and a gig ticket at Stargreen before going to pubs. It all of a sudden became easier and at the time more novel just to buy online.

A couple of days ago I bought my first physical book in about five years. All my reading is done via a Kindle. I think my choices say a lot about me as a bad consumer as seem to buy the product in a format where the artist/author gains the least.

Yeah this. The environmental impact of a CD is surely larger than that of a download plus the profit margins for the band are greater.

i’m extremely lazy in most other ways, but going out for things rather than having them delivered is my one big exception

I mean it’s an interesting thread to read

It has no citations at all though so it’s hard to really know what to make of it. I don’t know enough about retail to understand how most places make a profit if I’m honest. There are several vinyl-only record stores here in Melbourne that have been going for a long time. I guess the overheads are small maybe? I mean the same profit calculation goes through my head every time I visit a café and buy $10 AUD worth of goods and there are 3 people working this place.

The ears

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Quite a few of the ambient/drone labels I follow picked up on this thread and have said that their wait times are close to a year for vinyl pressings.

Loads already have stuff on order for this time next year, and I’ve seen a bunch of artists saying that they’re giving up on vinyl production for future releases because Record Store Day, Reissues, and things like the 50 different variants of Taylor Swift’s recent records completely hog production facilities. So if you’re trying to get 300 copies of something done, you’re at the back of the queue and have to wait months.

Seems like a lot of those labels/artists are US-based though, so I’m not sure whether the situation is mirrored in Europe.

US > rest of world postage prices have increased again too, so it’s now something crazy like $30 to send a single record overseas, and that’s killing their international Bandcamp vinyl sales on top of it.

And several people have said that it’s nonsense (including Stuart Braithwaite who has been making records for 25 years and running a record label for 10).

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So the queues for vinyl I can accept and I do recall hearing about. It was more the economics of running the shops and stuff that I was dubious of (I should have been clearer).

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