Five Reasons Why I Download

Articles | Jan 27th, 2007

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Admit it. Just about everyone with a computer nowadays has the know how to download music one way or another. Whether you’re downloading a Johnny Cash song for your grandma to reminisce about or you want to listen to the next Beck album before it hits the shelves…face the facts…it’s still illegal but we do it anyway.

But don’t you think that what the music industry has done over the past few decades has been illegal? Who should own the rights to their songs, the artists that wrote and recorded them or the record company that cheats the artist out of royalties and then kicks them to the curb if they fail to produce the next “Nevermind”? Should we also be paying 20 dollars for a disc that costs 20 cents to produce? Sure, bands need money to stay afloat and I’m all about supporting the bands that I like whether its buying their album, attending their show or picking up an overpriced T-shirt, but what about all of those bands out there that continue to produce mediocre material and overcharge for CD’s that amount to be nothing more than a drink coaster?

At one point, I used to buy a lot of CD’s and that ending up putting a hole in my wallet and still nothing good to listen to. With the power of the internet and some inside tech knowledge, I’ve been able to download just about anything that I want at any given time. One would think that having access to all of this free stuff one would take advantage of said free stuff and resort to downloading everything and buying nothing, right? Well I’ve come up with what I want to call my “Downloading Rules of Engagement”. What that basically amounts to is:

Five Reasons Why I Download

Reason 5: Because I Can
Yeah, I’ll admit it. Having access to everything from movies that have just been released in theatres to every porn movie ever made is very tempting and yes, I have downloaded albums, movies, games, etc. just because I was bored and just because I could. You would do the same thing and probably already have.

Reason 4: I Really Don’t Want To Buy It
This pertains to mostly mainstream music that I only have a slight interest in. I’ll download the latest Static-X album simply because I like one or two of their songs and they make enough money from idiots who buy the album and waste their money on only a couple of good songs and from the same idiots who also pay forty dollars to watch the band put on a mediocre show. Can you say “rip-offs”?

Reason 3: Money, Or Lack Of…
It would be great if I had enough money to buy every single album that I’ve ever wanted but I would have to win a large sum of money in the Power Ball for that to happen. If I don’t have any extra spending money I will download an album until the time comes that I finally get around to picking at one point. Sometimes I’ll actually find that album used somewhere for a couple of bucks so what’s the difference anyway? Bands don’t make any extra money off of used CDs, but at least I have the lyrics to read now.

Reason 2: What…No Show In My Area?
This reason is one that I’ve formed due to anger that stems from a band having five consecutive world tours but not a single show in my neck of the woods. Do bands really think that they have no fans in Western PA or something? A perfect example would be Authority Zero. As much as I love that band, other than a stint on the Warped Tour three or four years ago, they haven’t been back here since. The same goes for the band Pepper. They have these massive tours with shows in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Scratchahairynut, Idaho but do they ever come close to Pittsburgh or State College? Nope. Philadelphia and Cleveland. That’s the closest that I get. So why should I support a band by buying their album when I never get the chance to see them play live in my area? So in protest, I will download their albums until they play a show around here.

Reason 1: I Just Want To Hear The Album First
How many times have you purchased an album because of the single that you hear on the radio only to find that the rest of the album is complete and utter shit? It’s happened to everyone at one point in his or her lives. Nowadays, bands will post a couple of their songs on MySpace or on their own websites to listen to and some bands even go so far as to stream the entire album for people to listen to (thank you Joe Queer) but it seems that most bands find some egotistical need to keep things secretive. You’re not the Beatles, Metallica…people really don’t care that much. But guess what? Record labels send out promo and advance copies of these “secret albums” to radio stations, music magazines, websites and countless other outlets and do you know where those advance copies end up other than the bargain bins? You guessed it…on the internet. No matter what comes out, someone somewhere is going to rip it and put it up for people like me to download. All we really want is to listen to the entire album so that we can decide whether or not we want to buy it. Is that so much to ask? Apparently it is. So until I can check out the next Collective Soul album in its entirety before it’s released, I’m going to find my own advance copy to listen to, thank you. If I like it, I buy it. I just want to hear it before I buy it.

Disclaimer: Support the bands you like, blah blah blah…