When Pearl Jam's "Ten" first came out, one could buy the album on vinyl, cassette, and CD. I bought it on vinyl and CD because I'm a nut. Music sharing meant loaning precious CD copies for a few days to friends, if only to get them to then go buy their own copy. Now, with the release of the remastered version of "Ten" along with a bunch of other Pearl Jam stuff, the world is very different.
This weekend my wife and I were down in Tucson visiting friends. Doug is a music nut like us. When music is good, it hurts him, it means so much. He, my wife, and a group of friends used to get together to see every Black Crowes show they could. They all belonged to the fan club. They all bought new releases the second they were available, at midnight.
Let me repeat that. They ALL bought new releases. Not just one copy that they then ripped into iTunes and added to everybody's iPod. Now, Doug doesn't buy CDs at all. He downloads music, from no particular source at no particluar time. There's no group excitement about a new album coming out, no group listening and reviewing.
This has changed how we as a society gather and consume.
I'm not sure of the effect. That'd be up to a sociologist to study and publish a paper about 10 years hence. But I do think you might be missing that camaraderie, especially if sharing music used to draw your group of friends together.
What could replace that physical connection?
SOLD - Eddie Vedder 04/09/09