Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
Location: California

uao is also a contributor to Blogcritics.org, Rhapsody Radish. and FIQL.com.

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A Sampling of Articles, Reviews, and Essays:

Feel free to dig through the Deep Freeze for more, but stuff dated before mid-March 2005 is still formative and impressionistic, and not really worth the effort.

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I grew up reading Robert Christgau, Village Voice, and Lester Bangs, Creem, Punk, various others.

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Note: the copyrighted audio material on this site is for listening only, and is not downloadable. It is provided as illustrations to the articles, and to interest people in the legal purchase of these artists' material. Any copyright holder who would like their material removed should contact me, and I'll remove it.

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Friday, January 21, 2005
 

Zero She Flies

Someone asked me what I thought my mp3 collection was worth, in money terms.

I currently have 16,925 titles in my library, about 50 24-hour days of music if played back-to-back. That's a pretty comprehensive collection, but nothing like some download fanatics who boast collections of 50,000-60,000 titles.

Here are some hypothetical collections (note to my RIAA readers: this entire blog is 'hypothetical'), and their approximate value.

Let's start with 100 titles; a beginner's small starter collection, or about 3 hours worth of downloading for a fanatic.

If you had purchased them at iStore or similar outlet at 99 cents per track, you're looking at a retail value of $99.

100 titles are equal to about eight compact discs of 12-13 tracks apiece.

Had you bought eight compact discs at Tower records or similar outlet at an average of $16 per disc, you'd be looking at about $138 in retail value.

However, most downloaders cherry-pick their favorite tunes from an album. So, legal purchase of the average 100 song assortment might require purchasing any number of CD's up to 100. Assuming you cherry picked about 5 songs per album, you'd need to buy twenty CD's to get the tracks in your collection. About $320 at Tower. And that assumes you could even find all the titles. Bootleg and out-of-print titles would require even more outlay.

So if you downloaded a robust, but not spectacularly large, collection of 10,000 titles, you saved $9900 from iStore, $13,800 worth of CD's, or $32,000 in actual piecemeal CD purchases.

At 20,000 downloads, your savings have doubled to $19,800, $27,600, or $64,000.

If you're a dedicated downloader who doesn't even listen to the stuff you download, and are up to 40,000 titles (and some have left that number in the dust), we're at $39,600, $55,200, and $128,000.

$128,000!! No wonder the RIAA is pissed. You got all that for free! $128,000 could buy you his-and-her Benzes. $128,000 could pay for a pretty nice house in many parts of the country. Nice going, bub. Almost like finding a suitcase full of money in a dumpster.

Sure.

Try swapping your HD for a house, a Benz, or even a '95 Kia. Let me know if it works.

Don't forget: all that money is hypothetical. The intrinsic value of the 0's and 1's on your HD is precisely $0.00.