It occurs to me the strongest incentive to pay for music is to avoid the pathetic level of literacy to which 99% of pirates seem to aspire. If failing to legibly fill out the ID3 tags for a song were punishable by death we’d be out of pirates by next Wednesday. And considering how much time I’ve lost repairing useless ID3 tags… death is almost too good for them.
It’s simple, friends. First, no underscores. I will punch you in the face. If your ripper adds underscores to every track name it’s time to invest in an update for your Windows ’95. Second, use the damned ID3 tags! It’s not rocket surgery! Again, if your ripper can’t edit ID3 tags then climb your punk ass out of the 90s! Hey- there’s even a spot for your URL spam so you don’t have to pollute the file name!
If you can’t do the world at large this simple courtesy, then please don’t bother ripping CDs. You are not contributing. You are stoopid.
BTW, this is not an invitation to enter into the debate on piracy. The fact is I’m happy to support the artists I like. I adamantly believe file sharing is the best thing to happen to the music industry since the Walkman. Anyone who buys into the absurd rhetoric that file sharing is hurting the industry doesn’t pay enough attention to statistics. Sales boomed along with the advent of portable music, then slacked off steadily as the industry insisted on churning out garbage. People were bored! Digital transmission couldn’t have come along at a more desperate hour. With the common adoption of the interwebs, file sharing encouraged millions to make music a central part of their lives and once again, sales surged upward as music went uber-portable. If the industry is seeing sales flag again, they should be paying more attention to their product, not the consumer.
The bottom line is two-fold: there are people who might buy a thing, and people who will steal it. Facilitation is irrelevant — there is no such thing as copy-proof. And these people who will buy a thing will exercise judgement when they spend their money. They won’t buy it if it sucks (and the people that wouldn’t buy it anyway will persist in doing so). So… if the people aren’t buying it…?
Seems like a gimme to me.
So I download music every once in a while, and I continue to be a music-listener. I pay for the music I want to own. I delete the garbage. This ability to instantly sample any artist about which I might be curious is what keeps me interested in music. It also makes me more critical. I don’t blindly swallow whatever the Big Labels force feed me. They have to work harder and earn my money, thank you very much. No wonder they’re flailing so much. Only Apple has made any headway, and they aren’t a music label.
It’s the same revolution that has turned the news industry on its collective ear, and politics along with it. We have the power to make our own informed decisions now, and I don’t take that lightly. They don’t get to take advantage of my ignorance anymore just because they are Huge Corporations. I have to choose to let them. Fair.
Explore. Question. Then consume to heart’s content.
And stop using the underscore.