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August 22, 2012


Andrew Weiss

Excellent post, Casey.

I dropped Armagideon Time's mp3 blog thing at the end of 1998, after a year and half of decent traffic and external praise.

The confusion between the recording industry's marketing and legal wings got to be too much. The same day a friend's site got hit with a takedown over a pre-signing Glasvegas interview, the instigating label sent me an email asking how "we could better collaborate." Absolute madness.

It also didn't help that the sites that bothered putting in a little effort were getting lost in the shuffle between the folks who'd post entire album rips sans commentary and the bigger venues which had gone semi-pro.

Combine the above with the burnout that accompanies regular updates over a long haul and you've got a decent idea why I switched formats.


What a great post. I wrote a similar article about a year ago but with one striking difference; you seem to have actually researched and considered your hypothesis and therefore presented a worthwhile and reasoned argument (as opposed to my half-baked and ill-informed excuse for a blog post, let alone anything approaching actual journalism). Kudos to you.


I've been daily mp3 blogging for six years - I'm not going anywhere.


Nevver, glad to hear you're not going anywhere cuz your blog is awesome. I appreciate the one image + one MP3 approach, and you've tipped me off to some great sounds. The image for Catatonic Youth's "Control My Gun" for example is still vivid in my mind. There's no doubt in my mind that the music blogosphere is evolving, and maybe what you're doing represents part of the revolution that Casey describes so well in this paper.

We'll save the last 15min for call-ins tonight, and would love to hear from you!

Diana Brill

This post provides an interesting insight into what the music sharing culture looks like to outside observers. Our world is very different from yours: We don't have a profit motive, we aren't looking to spot and push the Next Big Thing, and most of us are anonymous. The only reason we share music files is because we want to.

Where do we come from? First a person stumbles across a blog or forum that has amazing music. Then he or she goes looking for more of the same. After a couple of weeks or months we notice a growing urge to contribute to the community - to turn others on as they have turned us on. That's why we rip CDs and LPs, transcode and tag them, write reviews and put the whole package out on the network. We do this work because human beings - healthy ones that is - are hard wired to exchange gifts. Most of us have a substantial stock of LPs and CDs on hand because we have always been into music - our personal "best of" selections end up in cyberspace.

Streaming music services have no impact on the music sharing community, because they provode low quality reproduction, zero portability, and no relevant context. Video is nice but it does not come close to tipping the scales - music is an auditory medium. Looking at a YouTube video can be informative, it might help with a simple decision: Whether or not to download the album.

Bulk music sharing for promotional purposes has no impact on our community. We recognize fake music sharing outlets and ignore them because they have nothing of value to offer - maybe 1 in 100 of their uploads are worth listening to once before discarding, but there is no way to guess which ones those are. The value added by the real music sharing community is a personal recommendation, substantiated by the effort it took for the reviewer to package and upload the music.

Our community is doing a lot of damage to the RIAA member corporations. This damage has almost nothing to do with people downloading a given album "instead of" buying it. When we do our jobs right, the damage is much deeper and more lasting: We hook people on acts, artists, styles and genres that have no cash value to the RIAA member corporations. Switch on a "top hits" radio station or visit a popular club to hear what we are tearing down: Repetitive simplistic formula crap, produced to specifications developed by corporate advertising contractors, and passed or vetoed by de facto political commissars in the corporate boardroom.

The music sharing community is, on average, fairly well informed about the vicious theft of our cultural heritage via "eternal copyright," and the Big Lie of Intellectual Property. The Tenenbaum file sharing case recently set the value of one "pirated" digital recording of one song at $22,500.00. I am only sharing a small amount of music at present, valued at a little over $13 million. My local collection is valued at around $1.2 billion, but I am a VERY small player in the scene. I would like to believe that this Kafka-esque absurdity is living proof that multinational corporations are losing control of popular music and "it's coming down fast!"

But the real reason I spend so many hours a week on my little music sharing hobby and community? Because I want to. I love music. And I want to share that experience with other people. If my little hobby just happens to contribute, in some small way, to the death of "bad music" and the machine that works so hard to ram it down our collective throats, so much the better. But as Abby Hoffman said, "If it ain't fun, forget it." That's the best recipe I know for revolution.


Another musician's point of view - from a musician who shares his own music:

MP3 blogs aren't sticking it to The Man. They're helping to suck the last pennies from poor artists who aren't corporate, and could really, really use that dough.

But I guess you need to spend your last $3.20 on a latte, not on paying for music you love. Gotta keep that Culture Free!

Andrew Sullivan

"MP3 blogs aren't sticking it to The Man. They're helping to suck the last pennies from poor artists who aren't corporate, and could really, really use that dough."

That's funny. Not funny "strange" but funny "ROTFLMAO." Over the last couple of years a local band I know have been giving me copies of everything they record to "spread far and wide." The free availability of their music is an integral component of their promotional strategy, and as a whole that strategy is (finally!) getting them paid gigs. Multiply by a couple of thousand bands and you just identified the artists who are really "sucking the last pennies from poor artists" who are too ignorant and/or arrogant to adapt to the modern world.


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Blogs are good for every one where we get lots of information for any topics nice job keep it up !!!

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Ravi Kumar

Nice blog article on mp3 downloads, good and informative one. According to me, whatever you know in your industry, just share with your prospects, it will increase your knowledge.



great article and how things have changed with online music.

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