Home > Features > CD’s vs. Downloads – The Credit Crunched and the Crowds Created

CD’s vs. Downloads – The Credit Crunched and the Crowds Created

Faye Aitken-Smith


Credit may have crunched but live music, lyric writing and the art of music making- well that is just booming!

The credit crunched and the property prices nose dived.

“Oh dear!” was the collective sigh, all doom and gloom!

Aha! But no!   From this, there is rising, like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes;  the individuals, the musicians, the poets.  And they are writing, singing and making music with a deeper understanding, a more heartfelt tone, a soul searching ethos and this…this is good.

In the recent past, music was mainly manufactured, commercial and big money.   It was a dream and a far fetched one at that.  Popstar Superstars.  Real musicians didn’t get much light or fanfare and more often than not, they went and got a proper job.  But now, real art and real music is emerging, in a far more natural, more innate way.  Just better… a lot better.

And so now, as talent and material is exploding, so is the way in which it can reach audiences. Many are debating over “the download or the CD“. I never liked CDs personally.  They got scratched and ruined easily and I am heavy handed and they were also expensive.    I’ll see the band and buy the t-shirt.  Hell,  I listen to music all the time. There had to be a better way than CDs as they were, perhaps harder to ruin ones that were also a lot cheaper!  Vinyls were better. Cassette tapes were better, even if the sound quality was not as good, they lasted forever.

Myspace, Facebook and Youtube are a way of life for most of us and a brilliant way to find out about a lot of bands for free.  Anyone can research and discover bands that they would never have come across and musicians with not a lot of money can be heard by a potentially huge audience. We all now have a window to the world in our own homes.

The problem with downloads for the punter is that you don’t get something to hold, to put on the shelf, to flip through and see the lyrics, the images and the scribblings of the band, the little bios etc Sure you can also do this online but I still like the idea of something you can show and touch.  A way of displaying the fact that you identify with a band. This is how we identify and inspire each other.

Maybe it’s because I’m over the 35 year old mark that I see something romantic  about choosing an album from the shelf in its large cover, with some funky art work, and placing it on the deck. Dropping the needle on the record and listening as it crackled into the first tune.  Albums that were masterpieces from start to finish.  Does the download match this?

With the added issues of illegal downloads, I think this is perhaps one way to get the public to part with their cash.  If downloads are free then apart from touring, the bands and musicians have still to market themselves and give a little extra.  Albums to buy with lyrics, posters and relevant artwork and such like.

As we approach 2012 it will not be the end of the world as a few are predicting, just the end of the world as we know it.  And about time too!!!