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  1. #1


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    Hi Peep's

    Instead of politics I thought I would ask the assembled masses what y'all thought about where the music industry was heading. Do you think the death of the Cd is only years away ? Has long form ( ie twelve or so tracks) gone for good ? Will downloading be the future. If so What format ? Is quality gonna get better or worse ?


  2. #2


    The "long form" aspect of your question is a GREAT one. I think you will continue to see album-styled bodies of work from "concept" oriented genres, but the pop-tart of the week will probably go overtly to short-attention-span-theater mode as soon as they find a way to release individual tracks and maximize their sales.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  3. #3


    I think the mainstream music biz has already lost it. Have you LISTENED to what passes for popular music these days?

    Now, I'm no music prude -- I've embraced many generations worth of music. But the stuff coming out of the business is so corporate driven, so manufactured, so shiny and polished and devoid of any real life that unless and until another Nirvana or Beatles comes along, we're doomed.

    Imagine what would happen to The Beatles if they got a record deal today.

    On the other hand, if you look in the right places (like Amy Mann and Michael Penn's new artist-friendly label, and various Internet sites, or services like Rhapsody), you can find some wonderful, heartfelt music. Some of it is rough, some of it raw, some of it polished, some of it beautiful -- and I'd be surprised if any of the artists are actually making a living.

    But they're creating, and they are the future. As Courtney Love once said, the music business needs to go back to the days when minstrels performed for coins -- or at least to the SPIRIT of that time. Maybe the Internet will change things.

    Maybe not.
    Robert Gregory Browne
    KISS HER GOODBYE (now available)
    KILLER YEAR: Stories to Die For (Jan. 2008)
    St. Martin's Press

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by robgb
    I think the mainstream music biz has already lost it. Have you LISTENED to what passes for popular music these days?
    Holy Cow rob! We agree on something ALREADY this year.
    Is anyone else annoyed by the way rap and pop country songs seem to contain a lot of lyrics where they spell things out? Why do they do this? Is it to try and send proof, in case there are doubts, that these rappers and pop country singers can actually read? I don't know. I am also annoyed by bands that immediately write a song following a tragedy (9/11, etc). Now, I know that music can be therapy for me and others, but cashing in on tragedy? UGH. Rob is right. Popular music is crap. The music is very secondary to everything else it seems, if that!

    If you look, though, you can always find stuff that is good to listen to. One place to check is other NS members' websites!! (This is not shameless self promotion. I don't have one.) I challenge you guys to keep coming up with good music!
    "They get what they vote for." PaulR

  5. #5


    The Super CD will become the standard and rap will continue to pollute everyone's ears for a Super Long Time, if not forever. Right now, if you want good music, you have to dig around a little to find it. In the future, you'll have to dig to China.

  6. #6


    You know what?? I'm 40 years old and I just don't care.

    I'm in such a niche part of the market that it's like classical- tiny yet indestructable.

    Actaully, I think iTunes and relating downloading services will be the salvation of music, getting quality product around the corporate cretins and directly into the hands of listeners...


    ...channels can arise to help people sort through the crap to get to that awesome Norwegian polka/funk band that you never knew exsisted. Someone is going to have to create a music Google that works.

  7. #7


    The problem is and probably always has been the record companies and their anything for a buck mentality. The record companies decide who is and isn't worthy, then keep the lion's share of the profits. It's a disgrace. And because their bottom line is money, they must find product that appeals to a broad audience -- and that usually means aiming for the lowest common demoninator.

    As a result, crappy music. Certainly there are always diamonds in the rough, but for the most part, the corporate machine just pumps out highly polished elevator music. Music to drink beer by.

    How many wonderful artists are there out there who can't get a record deal? Thousands, I assure you. And this has nothing to do with sour grapes -- I'm a writer. Music has been a lifelong pursuit, but it is not my career and I have no desire for it to be.

    So, yes, there are thousands of extremely talented musicians out there, many of them right here on these forums, and how many of them can actually make a living at it?

    The Internet could well be their salvation. It cuts out the middle man. But, of course, the middle man will find a way to intrude anyway.

    Why is it that the middle men are always the ones who decide what we listen to?
    Robert Gregory Browne
    KISS HER GOODBYE (now available)
    KILLER YEAR: Stories to Die For (Jan. 2008)
    St. Martin's Press

  8. #8


    They do sometimes take risks. And they do sometimes tank...I've been listening to one of those bands lately by the name of "Ours"...that first album has some really glorious moments....and after talking to "someone" I found that there was a TON of $$$ dumped into it.... the Public was jsut not ready for it...just like they really werent ready for Buckley in the first place.

    its not always JUST the record companies fault. Its the consumers for propogating it all.

    The kids who dont understand that Lindsay (hot or not) or Ashley jsut lipsynchs and everything is fixed in the mix with melodyne and auto tune... (tho man ashley cant get a breaklipsynching or not...the orange bowl?!?!?! Yikes?!?! Mental Breakdown waiting to happen, Playboy will have her sooner than later). The people who dont realize the musicians behind it all are a big part of the attitude of the music. That there's only a couple of people all writing the same tunes and producing the same crap.

    That scene is driving itself into the ground, since its being used as a cash cow...the milk has gone bad Charlie Murphey..the milk has gone bad!

    I'd expec things to start changing tho. Internet radio is a choice among alot of friends I know. They all work in their cubicles and tune into a favorite streaking channel or two. Satellite could change things about listeners tastes by opening alot of channels up to people...too bad no one these days feels like that should have to pay for the radio (and really why should they if they dont know the music they listen to is mostly crap by alot of peoples standards...they're blissfully ignorant.

    Downloading isnt going to change much IMO in terms of "good" music getting recognition. People are still going to want the same crap....jsut want it without having to buy a CD.

    Thats all going to be up to marketing companies.....who will be part of the leftover from record companies...who will charge massive amounts of $$$ that only established artists can afford...or moguls will be able to fund for a percentage from the downlaods....

    so yah...we'll still here alot of hype and music from whatever "sells"...and whatever sells will be whats marketed to us....endless cycle of redundancy

    Once whats good is stopped being based on statistics,... we might be better off...but that wont ever happen...
    Operation Mindcrime 2, in stores now.
    or go here...
    The Digital Bitphonic Orchestra
    -Ashif "Ash" Hakik

  9. #9


    I have to agree...
    In the end, it's not just the record companies and their advertising propoganda.
    For instance, mp3's are very likely not to exist if they had their way. Companies are trying to claw into the market, but lets face it the mp3 revolution left them for dead.
    And, as people will listen to music on mp3, there are also still many who will buy the CD, or SACD, or DVD, and invest a lot in a home entertainment system to hear it as well as they can conceive.
    Now, though, back to the original question. yes. I believe the CD has a limited life left. Not because people don't want to buy hard copies of music, but, because the format is ageing. In the same way most people have bought DVD's in the last few years (which by the way led to a MAJOR increase in sales of both movie and tv titles to the home consumer) a new format will replace the CD. I'd say at this stage that will be DVD audio but that may change, I am not able to predict the future yet. So yes I see the death of CD, but not for those reasons.
    At the moment, and for the foreseeable future, I cannot see the Internet having enough bandwidth to deal with the increased consumption of high quality audio files, the infrastructure is just not there to make it viable enough.
    That leaves us with some form of hardcopy.
    As for the standard long form of music I can definitely see it still existing. The argument that it is dissappearing has been around as long as video tv shows have existed, if not longer, and, historically, since the advent of pop music, the single was the quick hit form of music (my father had so many singles I am surprised he did not cry when I was old enough to figure out they made good frisbees...), but good albums still sold.*

    My two cents worth anyway....

    *NOTE: I am not going to get into a debate on what good is. Lets say that good is something defined by the individual buying the record and leave it at that.

  10. #10


    I just got back from CES. The consumer electronic companies were not really pushing SACD or DVD-A. The big theme was home networking that allows you to listen/watch your media around the home. The audio guys are typically 802.11b/g based, so bandwidth is limited. That points at an even bigger push towards compressed audio.

    The network stuff that's available today is all very pricey. Take a look at Yamaha's stuff or Philip's Streamium for examples. It's hard to say if consumers wiill embrace this en masse any time soon. It may be that by the time it's popular, the bandwidth will be high enough that we can go with lossless audio.

    Even MacIntosh, with six foot tall speaker arrays and multiple 1200W monoblock amps showed a media server that stored MP3s. It also stored uncompressed waves, but no surround, and no 24-bits. Bummer.

    Not to lauch yet another copy protection thread, but the lack of copy protection on CDs will be the main feature that keeps that media popular for years to come. New applications (like wirelessly updating the audio on your car when you pull into the garage) will continue to be launched, and they depend on open availability of media.

    Try playing a DVD-A or SACD on your PC sometime.

    Theft protection would be great. Copy protection limits valid uses of media.

    Anyway, that's some perspective on the world of music from the consumer electronics point of view.


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