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When did you stop buying music?


catinthehat
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I don't mean permanently, like never ever buying another record again. But for those of you/us who used to spend a lot of time and effort searching out and buying records, when did that come to an end?

I'm sure for many of you it hasn't. And long may it continue, as it's a whole load of fun. But for me, it happened about 5 years ago, so mid-thirties. Coincidentally (actually, probably not a coincidence at all), this was also when my first child was born. And it wasn't a conscious decision. I just had other priorities at the time and never really got back into the habit of reading all the music papers and heading out to the shops to browse the New Release section.

I do wonder if the change to digital had something to do with my loss of desire, but I'm not really convinced. Nowadays if you read about something you can pretty much just buy it and listen to it there an then. There's no sense of anticipation, heading out to look around the record shops, buying what you came for plus three other things you didn't even know you wanted, then enjoying the journey home with that bag full of lovely musical newness. But should that really change the way you think about music? Probably not. Hell, it should even be better this way. You can listen to way more new artists than ever before, without even leaving the house. But not me. I just don't care any more.

And I still buy music. Maybe one or two records a month. But I'll buy stuff that's either recommended to me in person, or stuff by artists that I already follow. I very rarely actively search out new and exciting music. And you know what? I don't really miss it at all. My ipod's got about 30,000 songs on it, or something, and that's nowhere near all of the music I own.

I still listen to music for about 3 hours a day, but these days I'm quite happy to re-listen to my favourite albums over and over again. I just seem to have lost the desire to discover new things.

So how about you? Are you still as new music hungry as ever? Can you ever see the desire fading? Or have you also given up?

tl;dr - I'm getting old, how about you?

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I went through a phase from about 10 years ago to about 5 years ago (so from my mid to late 30s) where my music buying slowed almost to a standstill. I think I probably bought two or three new albums a year during that period. For the first time ever I was utterly underwhelmed by the "alternative" music of the day and I put this down to the fact that all those bands were just trying to sound like bands I'd heard the first time round, and I'd rather listen to the originals than the imitators. I decided that this meant I was just too old for new music and that was that.

Then about 5 years ago, having ignored them in my youth, I discovered the joys of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, which led to a massive widening of my musical tastes into singer/songwriter territory, and from there the discovery that there are loads of people producing great new music that might well be derivative but sounds fresh to me. Since then I've been buying music (new and old) at a faster rate than any time in my life. I buy at least one new* album a week, every week, and a few oldies too.

*not necessarily brand new, but to me in my forties, new = released in the last year or so.

tl;dr - we're all getting old, but don't worry, it's just a phase that will pass.

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Probably stopped properly hunting the crates around eight years ago, and stopped buying music around then too. Now I buy quite a bit, but it's all through shazam and iTunes, so since I got into Apple with the iPhone 4. the convenience is just lovely, especially now I'm all over the MacBooks and iPads too.

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tl;dr - we're all getting old, but don't worry, it's just a phase that will pass.

Interesting. That does sound exactly like the phase I'm going through. And I sort of do hope it's a phase, but then again at the moment I don't really care.

Spotify is a weird one, as it's this massive bottomless pit of potential new music, but again I just never bother to use it.

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I haven't stopped, but the amount and variety has certainly dwindled. Can't remember when I really went to a physical shop for a CD, so spotting something interesting via flicking through the shelves doesn't happen at all ("people who bought this also bought..." isn't really the same) and that probably started when HMV and the like just turned into "here's 300 of the same CD on the 3 for £20 deal to get rid of stock" type thing.

The other thing, and I shouldn't really do this but fuck it, is that a lot of bands make a couple of decent singles and that's it, with the rest of the stuff on the CD clearly being filler. So I'll always download the CD first now then buy it if I like it. It was rare I'd ever buy a CD I couldn't find some good in so was happy to do so, but maybe because of the digital distribution age you where you get people picking the tracks they like off an album some bands know this and so just don't put much effort into the stuff outside they know they're going to get the money from. I want to buy physical, but if they can't be arsed then neither can I. Or maybe they're just not very good. Or maybe I'm just a miserable twat, stuck in old ways. Whatever.

If I want to find new stuff I'll probably try get hold of a compilation someone's made on soulseek and see if there's anything I like and go from there but that can be a bit of a scattergun approach in itself with more misses than hits.

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I'm 36, and over the course of a few years now buying CD's has become less and less frequent. I'd say the biggest difference has come the last two years since starting to use Spotify. I still buy digital stuff now and then, but not in any way at the same rate as I used to. Still got boxes and boxes of CD's in storage as I used to take great care with my CD collection back in the day and would buy all kinds of rarities, bootlegs etc I could get my hands on from certain bands. (It's also embarrassingly easy to see that I was young in the early 90's as I've got more Pearl Jam + grunge + alternative CD's than I can count. )

Now though; old and Spotified mostly.

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I still buy CDs, but then I'm in my late 20s and my interest in music competes with other pastimes and interests, so I still have a lot to discover. :D A lot of people think I'm mad for still buying physical media, but I like thumbing through things in stores and seeing if there's anything I haven't seen before. I don't always go for the new releases and often I find myself taking a chance on something different - and if I like what I hear I might seek out other albums by the same people.

If I don't want to take the risk I might make a note of an album and then dig up their stuff on Spotify or Youtube, but even then I'll continue to buy the album if I enjoy what I've heard. :)

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Me too. Looking forward to Record Store Day 2014.

I was until I found out I will be away for that weekend. I'm going to have to leave it a few weeks and then brave ebay for any records I am after.

As for buying records I think I'm getting worse. What with the resurgence of vinyl and going through discogs finding records I have always been meaning to buy or replace means my house resembles rough trade at the moment.

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i bought Kendrick Lamar's album to get a wristband so i could see him perform at Rough Trade East in Brick Lane but i spent too long at the gym and by the time i got there he was already finished so i just queued up and got my CD signed. he was moody and didn't smile at me when i said 'alright mate'.

i actually subscribe to Spotify, amazingly. that and Kendrick are the first times i've paid for music since Napster and i'm never buying an album ever again. i pumped thousands into the music industry when i was a teenager and had to spend £17 to hear one Beck song i'd heard on M2, and the rest of them were shit. fuck you, music.

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I used to buy a fair bit of vinyl until I realised I was shit at DJing and sold my decks. Now I just I pay a subscription for Spotify and buy digital copies of albums or EPs if I really like them from http://boomkat.com , about 5 or 6 a month. I do miss wandering around record shops at the weekend but I just don't listen to music regularly enough to justify the expense any more.

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I think I'd probably subscribe to Spotify if I had a phone it worked on. I only have a shitty blackberry, though.

Have they sorted out the thing where they only had a really limited range of music on there? When it first came out I could only find about 10% of the things I liked.

And can you download stuff now and play it without being online?

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depends what kind of music you're into. i mostly listen to classic stuff like Paul Simon and "urban" music so it's pretty much all on there. if you like really obscure Warp-esque avant garde stuff it's probably not so good. Spotify + YouTube covers everything though. never understood why anyone pays for iTunes Music Store personally.

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The range isn't amazing but is alright for the sort of thing I listen to (house, ukg, dnb, bit of dubstep etc). I'm not sure what it's like for other genres.

You can download playlists and play them offline, yeah. I don't think I'd pay the subscription if you couldn't as I mostly use it for blocking out the sound of the tube while I'm reading

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did anyone see Thom Yorke's rant about Spotify? made him look like a complete luddite and his decision to take Radiohead's entire catalogue off it is gonna help make them even less relevant now IMO. he seemed to be suggesting an alternative like loads of little digital music stores which I think is a fucking awful idea unless there's a consistency across every single one of them (impossible). and even then without a central database how are you gonna know where to look to find new stuff?

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I haven't seen the Thom Yorke rant, but it keeps in line with what they tried to do when they released "In Rainbows" on their own web page in 2007 letting people decide for themselves what they wanted to pay to dl it. That was pretty much in order to avoid the record companies stealing too much of their cut. This is likely a similar attempt as bands don't really get much in royalties from people using Spotify.

Do you have a link to the Thom Yorke rant btw?

As to Spotify, I find it doesn't hold everything I want, but close enough to justify spending £10 a month to meet my needs. Sometimes it takes a bit longer for new releases to be released for streaming, but eventually most relevant stuff gets there.

Edit: I just googled Thom Yorke Spotify and first link is to a piece in The Guardian from October last year pretty much describing what I thought it would based on his previous statements about the industry. No surprises there really.

I guess I can see his point to a certain extent, but I can't really see how pulling their stuff off Spotify is going to help in the long run. As long as new technology keeps evolving and people adapt and change their music habits, it's a lost battle.

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Essentially Spotify pays out based on the percentage of the total Spotify plays an artist has over a month, paying out 70% of their income (completely making up the figures here, but if Spotify takes £1 million in a calendar month and Radiohead account for 1% of that month's plays, they/their label will receive a cheque for £7k [1% of £700k]). Thom Yorke thinks that the amount they (and every other artist) receive, whatever it may actually be, is significantly less than the service is costing them in lost album sales.

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I bought a lot more music when I was able to listen to music for a couple of hours each day at work. Now I get a bundle from Boomkat/Norman probably two or three times a year - and maybe the odd record when I'm in Manchester at the weekend - and that's about as much as I can get through. I don't do a lot of online listening between times, though I do enjoy a good binge for a few hours while I'm putting together that online order. Online subscriptions don't appeal because I want to send money as directly as possible to the people who made the music. I don't really care about value for money on music, I just try to buy stuff where I think my money will help a band continue where it might otherwise struggle - I'll happily send Mount Eerie £70 for their new picture book or whatever just because I think that guy needs as much encouragement as possible to keep making his amazing music, whereas I'll think twice about burning £10 on a Nine Inch Nails cd, not because I'd enjoy it less but because I think Trent will probably manage to pay the bills without my money. There's too much music for anyone to give proper attention to all of it so you have to make some choices.

Oh, which reminds me that I also get stuff directly from indies on Bandcamp or via their own websites. I guess on reflection I'm probably not in the category of people who could be said to have stopped buying music! I definitely get through a lot less than I did five or six years ago, though. I think right now I'm about at the mid point of the journey that Camel has apparently completed...

...without a central database how are you gonna know where to look to find new stuff?

Bit of a weird thing to think, isn't it? Before Spotify existed then bands didn't exactly struggle for ways to tell people they had a new record out.

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did anyone see Thom Yorke's rant about Spotify? made him look like a complete luddite and his decision to take Radiohead's entire catalogue off it is gonna help make them even less relevant now IMO. he seemed to be suggesting an alternative like loads of little digital music stores which I think is a fucking awful idea unless there's a consistency across every single one of them (impossible). and even then without a central database how are you gonna know where to look to find new stuff?

Think it was just to take Atoms For Peace stuff off it as they don't have the rights to anything Radiohead pre In Rainbows, but aye he meant well but made him look way out of touch.

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I used to buy loads of CDs but a combination of torrents and since Spotify allowed offline playlists, that, has meant I now very rarely pick things up. I did go through a vinyl phase but quickly realised it was a waste of money.

I pirate virtually nothing now, unless something has leaked well in advance or its rare - Spotify has 99% of the things I want to listen to and it's so easy to discover music using it that there's always something I want to listen to.

There's a good rebuttal about Yorke's views on Spotify here - http://thequietus.com/articles/14175-spotify-streaming-controversy-thom-yorke - the frustrating thing about him is that he often moans about the trad music business (same with Trent Reznor) but they only got to the positions they're in due to all the industry cash behind them. They don't really have any concept of what its like being an unknown small band nowadays.

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I'm 26, and napster seemed to happen fairly quickly after I first got an internet connection and stopped listening to the radio. Discovering music has always been online for me.

But it is just for that, except on the rare occasion when I can't buy on any other format than digital.

I buy a lot of records (though very wary that most new releases will often sound worse than their CD counterparts),

and CDs, since on my setup, they sound much better than MP3s. Plus I like having a physical music collection, since music is very important to me.

To me, spotify is what I used to use piracy for. Seeing if something is a thing I would enjoy, and worth me buying. I haven't paid for it yet, as what I've been told leads me to believe the money I gave would not be distributed according to what I listen to.

I liked it when Gorf King put his album on spotify and said if you listened to it a thousand times he'd make 50p, or something therabouts. I could just give him a fiver, and I did.

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Still buy all my MP3's I DJ with off Beatport mainly, but also from Amazon sometimes too. I still buy records from my mates record fairs every few months, it's nice getting records for a quid a time, as opposed to £5-15 each back in the day. I still buy CD's from other stales at said fair too if I see something old.

I'd never buy anything new physically it seems, I have my Spotify account for most of my 80's, 90's, Rock, Rap and other cravings.

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Last CD I bought was a Flaming Lips album in 2002. Since then I pirated music until Spotify came out and then I used that for a while until Google Music came out and then I pirated the uploads on that for a while until All Access came out.

As for new music I pretty much stopped looking for new music a decade or so ago. That's changed a bit with Spotify/All Access as radio based on a specific album/song is great. There's only so much music I need though I think so I don't really see why I should be actively seeking out new material. I think that's reserved for people who are properly into music, going to gigs every weekend and all that malarky.

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i disagree. i hate live music (can't talk to your mates, everyone is focused on the same thing so no funny banter with strangers, get bored of listening to the same act after 2 songs anyway) and don't read about it in the press but i'm constantly discovering new music. it's one of life's little pleasures finding a new song you really love. don't understand how anyone could keep listening to the same music their whole life.

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