There is a lot of discussion flying around the internet over the past few days regarding how we access recorded music. It all started with a post on NPR’s All Songs Considered blog about “ripping” music to develop one’s music library. As the founder of an organization that exists to expose people to classical music an invoke discussion around said music, I feel it is very important to share our stance on music consumption.
Just so we’re all up to speed here, “ripping” music is when we copy CDs, mixed tapes, whatever, to our music libraries. It is isn’t online piracy but it is quite similar and has the same effect for performing artists. If the album was released for free that’s one thing, but since most come with a cost, we should pay for the music we listen to.
For many, especially Millennials, convenience is the name of the game here. Convenience is often connected to cost.
So, here’s the deal. iTunes keeps your credit card information so your purchases are quick and simple. Buy what you can afford. There are many subscription-based purchasing services (eMusic is one) that will give you a certain amount of money to spend each month. Don’t want to track how much you’re spending on music? No problem. The subscription service does it for you.
Oh, so you’re not sure if you like it and therefore don’t know if you should buy it? Okay, cool. Head over to YouTube and listen to a couple clips to “try before you buy.” Most music purchasing services let you listen to 30 seconds or so of a song/piece before you buy as well.
There really isn’t a good excuse to steal/”rip” your music. Make music purchases a line item on your monthly budget. It isn’t difficult. And since most music does not exist for us to steal, there’s no reason not to.