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penchant 4



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 111
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I TOOK A ENND OF TH EWORL D CLAS>SSS>>S>S.

Last edited by penchant 4 on Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:40 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:42 pm
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Travadone



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Location: LI(f)E SUCKS (The Album)
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i dont care what form my music is anymore, i look at my old cds and original pressings like "this shit is just taking up space"
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:15 pm
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poopsnack



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
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I have a ritual when I buy CD's in how I open them, try to save certain packaging stickers - little things. I like to sit down and listen to the CD and read the liner notes, or (if I am lucky) read the lyrics. When I get a CD with basically nothing but the CD for packaging (not much else to look at) I wish I would have just downloaded the CD and bought a T-Shirt instead.

Brother Ali speaks the truth, as always.
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:24 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19374
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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AdamBomb wrote:
Captiv8 wrote:
I've been trying to downgrade my physical CD collection for years now. It's come to the point where I don't even like to a have the actual copy because it will take up more space and make it harder to move. So I say no to CDs these days. I'm with futuristxen. I like seeing the art display on my iTunes, and the ease of accessibility and change. And I will also agree that having something on vinyl is a totally different ballgame. It does feel more substantial, in every possible way. I own things on vinyl that I would never consider owning on CD. It's weird how it works.


CDs>>>>mp3's
And its debatable about the quality of vinyl vs. cds. The things that you mentioned above are what is driving the market away from cd's into only mp3s and you are definitely in the majority. There are a few cd's I really want that are now only available as mp3s. Its sad...you pay the same price for something of less quality.


It's not about quality. CD brought us the best sounding quality we could have wanted. But it lost the soul. Records don't capture everything, but they capture the soul. And the quality difference between a CD and mp3 is unnoticable to anyone who is not an audiophile (i.e. everyone). Most people listen to their music through shitty ass headphones, shitty ass computer speakers, or shitty ass car speakers.

Whatever edge CDs have over mp3s in quality, they lose in transportability. You can take infinte amount of mp3s with you everywhere you go. But you can't do that with cds. Even tapes are better at that.

So it's not as portable as cds and it doesn't sound as warm as records.

The sooner we get rid of cds and replace them with vinyl and mp3s, the bettah.
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:34 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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Travadone wrote:
i dont care what form my music is anymore, i look at my old cds and original pressings like "this shit is just taking up space"


exaaaactly
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:35 pm
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Travadone



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Location: LI(f)E SUCKS (The Album)
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futuristxen wrote:
Travadone wrote:
i dont care what form my music is anymore, i look at my old cds and original pressings like "this shit is just taking up space"


exaaaactly
futur...

like the raekwon purple tape, i have it, who cares? not anyone anymore, it was awesome in 95 but now it dont mean shit.

music just isnt the same. its not.

so instead of fighting for a lost cause ill just load up a mp3 player for my car.
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:20 pm
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Brynjar



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
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Location: Rivertown
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CD>Vinyl
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:35 pm
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
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Brynjar wrote:
CD>Vinyl


Depends on what you want them for, I guess. Take a scene from Shaun of the Dead, for example. If you want to use a musical format to kill a tubby zombie you obviously want vinyl. It's bigger, heavier, and really easy to break into jagged shards. CDs are too flimsy.
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:49 pm
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DM



Joined: 05 Jul 2002
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Brynjar wrote:
CD>Vinyl



Haha. CDs are the worst. You suck.
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:40 pm
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GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
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Mark in Minnesota wrote:
Ali talks about how lacking a physical artifact to associate with the music (record, tape, CD) has an alienating influence. He calls it "not real" and he talks about how it hurts your relationship with the music, or your connection to the artist's intentions for the music.

This is certainly more possible with digital music than with physical media, but ultimately it's a question of metadata. We're slowly building up a generation of kids who are going to scrapbook with digital media the way a lot of my friends grew up cutting shit out of magazines to collage or whatever. A song you download isn't just going to be a song, it's going to have digital cues down to specific frames of the track (the way you can now pop up a particular note at a particular point in a YouTube video). It's going to have all kinds of metadata associated with, lyrics, complimentary songs, playlist recommendations, etc, etc. Parts of this will be personal but parts of this will be aggressively crowdsourced.

Ali isn't talking about that because it's not a part of how he learned to consume music.

He's right about the business model, he's right about the importance of developing a personal relationship with the music you listen to. He's on some your-dad-doesn't-understand-what-Facebook-is-for shit when he talks about digital music being a barrier to those relationships. It's a different medium and with different media come different problems and opportunities.

I think that one of the major goals of any form of art is a kind of "stickiness" -- that something you wrote is able to find purchase and connect with your audience, whoever they may be.

What I hear Ali saying here is that, as an artist, he hasn't yet figured out how to make his music be quite so sticky when it's being downloaded, versus initially consumed on an album or a CD.

I'm not sure what it will look like either, especially not for him. But for music in general, I can already see the shape of it underneath the water. It's huge, it's going to change everything, and at 31 I'm probably already too old for it to change me as much as it might change people who are just in grade school now.


You seem to be suggesting that technological change is a zero sum game, that when a new technology replaces an old one, the features of the old are necessarily preserved, if transformed, in the new. What gives you that faith? I find it easier to believe that most change, technological or otherwise, entails the irrevocably loss of some shit and the gain of some other shit. Maybe I just have difficulty believing that a person can as easily relate to a purely digital entity as a 3-d, tactile, massive object. Or maybe I'm, like you say, just too old.
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:43 pm
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
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Bait me into a giant response, why don't you...

Brother Ali is talking about specific advantages that old media has over new media, while spending very little time at all discussing advantages that new media will someday soon have over old media. He's right when he says that we're going to lose some things in the transition from CD to digital media. This isn't much different from the way we we lost things in the transition from vinyl to CD, and even (as Ali himself mentioned) from cassette to CD. You're saying the same thing, and you're not wrong.

That said, a lot of the basic advantages of a CD can remain intact. Track sequencing, album art and liner notes -- the ID3 tag format, plus the extensions any decent iTunes-esque MP3 library includes, can contain all that data. The fact that the data often goes missing with casual Internet music sharing isn't a limitation of digital media -- rather, it's an indication that most of these consumers don't give a fuck about those features, just like most of them didn't care about the way CDs obliterated the "Side A / Side B" sense that both tapes and vinyl offered.

I'm old enough to remember that, too -- listening to things like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis and having specific opinions about how the songs fit together based on where the four sides split apart. But I'm also young enough to not really miss it. I don't find myself wondering whether the last Sage album would have sounded any different to me if I'd known that Side C started with Waterline.

It's not that these things don't matter, it's that art is too adaptable to suffer just because we leave those things behind.

I think something Ali left out there is that the adoption of digital media is going to gain us some things as well. He's making a "shouldn't use" argument without taking that into account, and my perspective on the technologies is such that I feel like his arguments here are suspect because they're so fundamentally incomplete.

Set aside for a minute that he just launched a blog and community website because he wanted more control over the way communications between him and his fans get presented than he could get using Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Set aside the fact that he launched his blog with a fundamentally broken RSS offering. In fact, set aside Ali's personal adoption of assorted social Internet technologies entirely -- he gets the fact that the Internet exposed him to audiences he wouldn't have had otherwise, but besides, I'm not trying to argue that he needs a digital media consultant.

Rather, I'm trying to argue that his criticism of digital media leaves out important parts of the case for digital media. He specifically talks about aspects of the relationship between a listener and an album that are only possible with physical media. He's on point with a lot of those arguments, but he contrasts with music on your phone or your computer without talking about the relationships that are possible in those formats which aren't possible with physical media.

There was a thing that got a lot of press recently with the Amazon Kindle, where the administrators of the copyright on George Orwell's 1984 forced Amazon to stop selling digital copies of the book. At first, most of the blog coverage was along the lines of "omg lulz 1984 owners did something oppressive" but a couple of weeks later a college student who had been using the Kindle to digitally annotate his digital copy of 1984 sued, because the way Amazon took 1984 offline destroyed his annotations.

Earlier tonight I was looking over this rather exhaustive digital annotation treatment of T.S. Elliot's The Hollow Men (I was watching Apocalypse Now, and one thing led to another...) and thought about how this is exactly the format I've been thinking somebody needs to put together in a wiki format for hip-hop song lyrics, so that I can finally be one click away from knowing what Dialated Peoples were talking about when they name-dropped Aaron Hall in that one song.

Speaking of Apocalypse Now, look at the Usage in (other media) sections of this Wikipedia article. Here, a song has taken on a fairly exhaustive list of meanings and references that the original artist simply could not have anticipated when the song was published. None of these secondary relationships between the song and the rest of the world have anything to do with physical media -- in fact, most of the celebrate the way we can lift something out of its original context and use it in other ways. I'd mention sampling here but I don't want to muddy my argument, given that Ant has taken a couple of big steps backward from it in his recent major-release production.

The Internet is already running several parallel efforts to crowdsource ID3 tag data for digital music, and there's been more than one thread on this forum about fans making their own YouTube videos for songs by Sage Francis and some of our other favorite musicians.

The people we used to call "tape traders" who are collectors of live recordings of performances by acts like The Grateful Dead, Phish, and even Tori Amos have found new traction on the Internet.

Remixes. Mash-ups. Much shorter loop between artist and audience, as with SFR and the Conspiracy To Riot song and website.

Googling around for this after my last post mixing search terms like crowdsourcing, crossmedia, and metadata caused me to stumble across an interesting blog entry about an academic workshop discussing more or less these exact issues, how they fit together, and what some of the basic research that will enable these technologies looks like.

We're in the waning years of a prehistory of electronic data right now. People in the Long Now community are deadly serious about finding ways to make our post-20th-century proliferation of data turn into a lasting repository of information, something we'll be able to have a living relationship with for centuries. Looking at the Internet circa 1997 is possible now, but mucking around in it is increasingly like digging through archaeological strata -- it's not just enough to know what web page was there, you also have to remember all the quirks of the software we used to use to render that web page.

People today don't read Shakespeare. They read Shakespeare and four hundred years of context and analysis, written by people who have set out to help us see the work in a much more lasting and nuanced light than the playwright himself ever intended. This has been a work of intentional curation by centuries of academics, but we're fast approaching a kind of historical singularity with respect to that -- digital art will have a tendency to become self-curating. Fifty years from now, we're not going to be done listening to Brother Ali any more than we're done listening to Son House today. But in fifty years it's entirely possible that most of us who listen to Brother Ali are going to be listening to him with the benefit of fifty years worth of listener-driven curation, in the form of digitally archived metadata of all sorts -- starting with the kinds I've mentioned here and moving rapidly beyond that to things I don't even know how to predict.

This isn't to say that Brother Ali is going to be worthy of the same kind of loving and worshipful attention that our historians and educational institutions have given to Shakespeare, or even that Ali will be getting the same kind of attention from future documentarians that people like Son House have gotten from guys like Alan Lomax and Ken Burns. Rather -- absolutely everything digital than anybody is consuming today might start getting this kind of treatment as a consequence of the tools we're using to consume the art in the first place.

Have you clicked the Genius button on your iTunes lately?

At what point do the associations that button makes for you start to matter as much as the associations Ali is talking about when he describes things like track sequencing?

I guess, in the end, the reason I have optimism that we're going to head in this direction is because it's already happening. It's not hard to see where technology is going to take us. It's just hard to predict exactly how we're going to change once we get there.
Post Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:55 pm
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
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I used to save all the cases and liner notes and then I realized that the music is all I really gave a shit about, so now I could care less. After I rip it, that's it. The case gets thrown away and the CD goes onto the spool that I've been using since my CD case got filled years ago. Buying a CD is a rare occasion for me anymore. I think Killer Mike was the last shit I bought just cuz I was on my lunch break and remembered that it dropped that day and wanted to listen to it on the way home from work. Otherwise I would have just downloaded it, ripped it, and burned it to an mp3 CD like I do everything else.

I still buy vinyl though because I don't like Serato.
Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:32 am
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GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 3145
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Mark in Minnesota wrote:
Bait me into a giant response, why don't you...

Brother Ali is talking about specific advantages that old media has over new media, while spending very little time at all discussing advantages that new media will someday soon have over old media. He's right when he says that we're going to lose some things in the transition from CD to digital media. This isn't much different from the way we we lost things in the transition from vinyl to CD, and even (as Ali himself mentioned) from cassette to CD. You're saying the same thing, and you're not wrong.

That said, a lot of the basic advantages of a CD can remain intact. Track sequencing, album art and liner notes -- the ID3 tag format, plus the extensions any decent iTunes-esque MP3 library includes, can contain all that data. The fact that the data often goes missing with casual Internet music sharing isn't a limitation of digital media -- rather, it's an indication that most of these consumers don't give a fuck about those features, just like most of them didn't care about the way CDs obliterated the "Side A / Side B" sense that both tapes and vinyl offered.

I'm old enough to remember that, too -- listening to things like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis and having specific opinions about how the songs fit together based on where the four sides split apart. But I'm also young enough to not really miss it. I don't find myself wondering whether the last Sage album would have sounded any different to me if I'd known that Side C started with Waterline.

It's not that these things don't matter, it's that art is too adaptable to suffer just because we leave those things behind.

I think something Ali left out there is that the adoption of digital media is going to gain us some things as well. He's making a "shouldn't use" argument without taking that into account, and my perspective on the technologies is such that I feel like his arguments here are suspect because they're so fundamentally incomplete.

Set aside for a minute that he just launched a blog and community website because he wanted more control over the way communications between him and his fans get presented than he could get using Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Set aside the fact that he launched his blog with a fundamentally broken RSS offering. In fact, set aside Ali's personal adoption of assorted social Internet technologies entirely -- he gets the fact that the Internet exposed him to audiences he wouldn't have had otherwise, but besides, I'm not trying to argue that he needs a digital media consultant.

Rather, I'm trying to argue that his criticism of digital media leaves out important parts of the case for digital media. He specifically talks about aspects of the relationship between a listener and an album that are only possible with physical media. He's on point with a lot of those arguments, but he contrasts with music on your phone or your computer without talking about the relationships that are possible in those formats which aren't possible with physical media.

There was a thing that got a lot of press recently with the Amazon Kindle, where the administrators of the copyright on George Orwell's 1984 forced Amazon to stop selling digital copies of the book. At first, most of the blog coverage was along the lines of "omg lulz 1984 owners did something oppressive" but a couple of weeks later a college student who had been using the Kindle to digitally annotate his digital copy of 1984 sued, because the way Amazon took 1984 offline destroyed his annotations.

Earlier tonight I was looking over this rather exhaustive digital annotation treatment of T.S. Elliot's The Hollow Men (I was watching Apocalypse Now, and one thing led to another...) and thought about how this is exactly the format I've been thinking somebody needs to put together in a wiki format for hip-hop song lyrics, so that I can finally be one click away from knowing what Dialated Peoples were talking about when they name-dropped Aaron Hall in that one song.

Speaking of Apocalypse Now, look at the Usage in (other media) sections of this Wikipedia article. Here, a song has taken on a fairly exhaustive list of meanings and references that the original artist simply could not have anticipated when the song was published. None of these secondary relationships between the song and the rest of the world have anything to do with physical media -- in fact, most of the celebrate the way we can lift something out of its original context and use it in other ways. I'd mention sampling here but I don't want to muddy my argument, given that Ant has taken a couple of big steps backward from it in his recent major-release production.

The Internet is already running several parallel efforts to crowdsource ID3 tag data for digital music, and there's been more than one thread on this forum about fans making their own YouTube videos for songs by Sage Francis and some of our other favorite musicians.

The people we used to call "tape traders" who are collectors of live recordings of performances by acts like The Grateful Dead, Phish, and even Tori Amos have found new traction on the Internet.

Remixes. Mash-ups. Much shorter loop between artist and audience, as with SFR and the Conspiracy To Riot song and website.

Googling around for this after my last post mixing search terms like crowdsourcing, crossmedia, and metadata caused me to stumble across an interesting blog entry about an academic workshop discussing more or less these exact issues, how they fit together, and what some of the basic research that will enable these technologies looks like.

We're in the waning years of a prehistory of electronic data right now. People in the Long Now community are deadly serious about finding ways to make our post-20th-century proliferation of data turn into a lasting repository of information, something we'll be able to have a living relationship with for centuries. Looking at the Internet circa 1997 is possible now, but mucking around in it is increasingly like digging through archaeological strata -- it's not just enough to know what web page was there, you also have to remember all the quirks of the software we used to use to render that web page.

People today don't read Shakespeare. They read Shakespeare and four hundred years of context and analysis, written by people who have set out to help us see the work in a much more lasting and nuanced light than the playwright himself ever intended. This has been a work of intentional curation by centuries of academics, but we're fast approaching a kind of historical singularity with respect to that -- digital art will have a tendency to become self-curating. Fifty years from now, we're not going to be done listening to Brother Ali any more than we're done listening to Son House today. But in fifty years it's entirely possible that most of us who listen to Brother Ali are going to be listening to him with the benefit of fifty years worth of listener-driven curation, in the form of digitally archived metadata of all sorts -- starting with the kinds I've mentioned here and moving rapidly beyond that to things I don't even know how to predict.

This isn't to say that Brother Ali is going to be worthy of the same kind of loving and worshipful attention that our historians and educational institutions have given to Shakespeare, or even that Ali will be getting the same kind of attention from future documentarians that people like Son House have gotten from guys like Alan Lomax and Ken Burns. Rather -- absolutely everything digital than anybody is consuming today might start getting this kind of treatment as a consequence of the tools we're using to consume the art in the first place.

Have you clicked the Genius button on your iTunes lately?

At what point do the associations that button makes for you start to matter as much as the associations Ali is talking about when he describes things like track sequencing?

I guess, in the end, the reason I have optimism that we're going to head in this direction is because it's already happening. It's not hard to see where technology is going to take us. It's just hard to predict exactly how we're going to change once we get there.


You should write for Wired, or maybe a less annoying but still smart technoculture magazine. You're very on point. And I agree with the above. But if you ever recommend I replace my books with a kindel I'll kick your nuts.
Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:36 pm
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AdamBomb



Joined: 05 Mar 2004
Posts: 3183
Location: Louisiana
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For the record, I never definitively said cd's over vinyl. I just said it was debatable (which it has proven to be). I personally love the sound of vinyl and own hundreds of LP's (and a pretty good stack of 45's). Cd's kind of have a harshness to them not present in vinyl, but that could also be indicative of modern mastering techniques. Records degrade after each play as the needle wears on it and you also have dust and scratches to contend with. You can't play records in the car (where I listen to music a good portion of my time), but cd's are better than 8-tracks or cassettes. I like each for what they are.

If mp3s are good enough (I listen to those, too), then cool. I just like the option of buying the audio in its highest quality if I really like it.
Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:18 pm
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Mac Lethal
the one with the back hair


Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Posts: 1920
Location: kc
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I buy full albums on Itunes, and almost everything on vinyl.

I spend waaaaay too much money on vinyl. I don't even DJ. It's so stupid.

I moved my vinyl collection about 4 months ago, not fun.

I am not impressed with physical CDs. They are just a plastic replica of the album you are buying. The cases are cheap, the disc is cheap, the booklet is cheap etc.

I believe people should pay for the music they download, but downloading full albums vs. buying cds is the same. They both count as a full soundscan. CD's sound a little better, but nothing noticeable. At least in comparison to vinyl.

Why is this conversation happening again?
Post Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:51 am
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