hard to feel any sympathy with the recording industry because of their extreme
greed: Charging $20 for a CD that costs maybe a buck to produce is obscene. Yes,
there are valid distribution costs beyond that initial $1, and there has to be
some profit built in, but you KNOW there are pricing games going on.
why, say, a cassette tape (a complicated mechanical product with several moving
parts, multi-step mechanical assembly, slow analog manufacturing process) costs
less than a CD (a hunk of plastic and metal foil: no moving parts, no difficult
assembly, extremely fast to duplicate digitally): The prices should be the other
way around--- cassettes should cost more than CDs--- but the CD prices are artificially
fact, if pricing were rational and based on actual costs, CDs would cost a few
bucks, tops. And music via the Web--- with per-unit manufacturing and distribution
costs measured at most in pennies (and usually less)--- would cost a trifle.
But the music industry wants to maintain the old, high prices because their profits
grow in the gap between actual cost and retail price.
if a music CD only cost $5-7 or so, or if you could download a CD worth of songs
for a buck or two. There's still room for profit in there, and I bet CD swapping
would almost stop. But for that to happen, the recording industry would have to
grow up and enter the information age--- which they are resisting because they
can reap much fatter profits by gouging us for $20 for stuff that costs them only
a fraction of that.
of this music is out of print and unavailable elsewhere, so nobody
is missing out on income if we copy it. Also, if you have EVER purchased
this music in any other form (LP, cassette, on another CD, etc.) then
you should not have to pay for the same song or album again. I once
figured out that I paid for Elvis
Costello's "Alison" at least nine times (vinyl, cassette,
compilations, soundtracks, best of, etc.)!
final argument in favor of CD swapping is that it helps introduce
artists to a new market. For instance, I never appreciated Alison
Krauss until someone gave me a copied CD. I quickly became a fan
and have PURCHASED three of her albums since then. Ditto for Barenaked
Mitchell and others.
not convinced? Read this
amazing article by Singer/Songwriter Janis
Ian (most notable song: At Seventeen). This article caused a firestorm
of controversy because it's written by an industry insider and nine-time Grammy
Award nominee. It's about downloading, record company greed, and artists' rights,
but it all applies to CD swapping as well.
decide for yourself if it's right or wrong.
it's unlikely that you will be anal enough to have your collection
alphabetized, I would love to chat
with you about anything you may have to add to my collection.
view this same list sorted by my personal ratings, CLICK