Record Collections

Posted: May 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

A friend on Facebook recently posted a picture of a Charlie Brown cartoon with Charlie looking at a stack of about 10 vinyl records with a caption that read, “I’m really proud of my record collection”.

This got me thinking: I’ve VERY proud of my (physical CD) collection. It’s like a monument to my devotion to music. It’s a physical manifestation of the time, effort, and money I’ve poured in to listening to and enjoying music.  But there are more and more people every day that could care less about having the tactile experience of tearing the shrink wrap off of a brand new CD.  They could care less about owning a tangible copy of an album. Is THIS a contributing factor to the decline of the “value” of music? People aren’t really “proud” of their collections because there is nothing to be proud of…not to mention half the music in people’s MP3 collections probably wasn’t purchased anyway.

Working as a full time audio engineer I run in to more and more musicians who don’t want to pay standard studio rates because they can’t make money on a song they are going to give away.  What is their reason for giving the song away? Fans aren’t buying music.

Maybe people aren’t buying music as much because without a physical item to purchase, their is no perceived value. Unfortunately, I don’t see the record industry getting better any time soon, when downloads are the status quo over physical media. Convenience always trumps….well….everything.

I will freely admit to having a large MP3 collection on my phone that I can access anywhere I go.  But those songs are digital representations of physical CD’s sitting on a large shelf in my home. I will always buy records until there are no more records to buy. When that day comes, I guess I will have no choice but to “join ’em”.

The real question is: how do we RE-assign value to something that has now become intangible? I wish I had the answer.

  1. Karl Withakay says:

    Nice post. I feel the same way about my DVD/Blu-Ray collection. It’s a collection I have put together that I display in my home. It says something about me as a person. You can’t display your MP3 or digital copy collection in your home. Rare editions, limited edition or collector item misprint covers are a becoming a thing of the past in favor of bonus content downloads (or nothing).

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