iTunes might be the anti-Christ to the music industry. Now, before I get too far into this blog, let me go on record and say, I have drank the Kool-Aid from the crimson stained iTunes cup and I am a fan of all the flavors. I just don’t always feel good about it!
While it seems to be a natural progression of the evolution in the turbulent union of the music industry and technology, it dilutes the bond between artist and fan as the fan has the ability to purchase single song selections. The flip side to the artist is that in this technology heavy day and age, the need for a label or some form of representation is not as important as it was in years past. It also requires the artist to have a smaller arsenal of material for release.
Growing up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I had five or six CD local independent shops I would hit on a weekly basis to peruse the used racks and see what I would find. Several shops had the five CD’s for $20 rack and it felt like Christmas. The anticipation of what I might find and the pure bliss of driving home with new tunes was complete euphoria. It was an all day venture that I looked forward to and continued well into my 30’s. Now, all but two are out of business.
So cloaked in the mask of a user friendly interface and accessibility, the digital download has insidiously wrapped itself around the neck of the local music retailer and squeezed the life out of many. Gone are the days of wooden racks and the providential score of a hard to find CD. Now it is point, click and wait impatiently as it streams over the miracle of the World Wide Web.
I’m an old school music guy who likes to read the liner notes, see what musicians played on the album, who, if not the artist, wrote the songs, etc…. However, I do find myself pouring through iTunes looking for new music that is similar to artist that I like. The Genius function is well, genius. It follows the same musical logic of Pandora and finds music that is similar in cadence, vocal range, and instrumentation of artist you currently have. So, at times it seems like iTunes is your friend, always willing to help out and scour the musical countryside to find you new music and then charge you $1.29 to download a song.
I’m not sure how to end this blog and I fully realize that by purging myself of this, was really just a way of mitigating the crushing guilt of the duality of my musical proclivities. Salvation is not likely.
Great music awaits on iTunes and some local retailers near you!