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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “CDs another disposable trend? CDs out, vinyl and downloading in”

    This holiday season, there will be a number of ways music will be put in the hands of eager gift recipients. For some, it’ll be an iTunes gift card. Others might get that shiny new iPod they’ve been wanting, or an MP3 player.

    Whatever it is, precious few gift givers will risk the chance of being deemed unhip or out-of-touch by actually going out and buying a CD, especially if the receiver was born in 1990 or earlier. The new music generation is used to having a plethora of music at their fingertips, to download either legally or illegally through file-sharing networks (now that’s what I call good, clean socialism).

    In a time when the economy is in the dumps and students have extremely busy schedules, music has to be taken in a piecemeal fashion.

    Blaire Baker, a musical theatre sophomore, says she tries to listen to music whenever she gets the chance. “”Most of the time, I listen to it when I’m working on homework on iTunes,”” Baker said, “”or I listen to my iPod when riding my bike or working out.””

    According to Baker, she usually just listens to CDs in her car, and because of being swamped with school, has to listen to a new album whilst multitasking.

    Baker said she appreciates the effort and creativity bands put into making an album, but it’s not always black and white for her.

    “”I really like the liner notes and the artwork and everything; it’s just a matter of convenience and cost,”” Baker said.

    As the Daily Wildcat reported last week, KAMP student radio will be intermittently giving away a good portion of their CDs for free on the UA Mall, as the station tries to make room for new music and transitions to a computer-based format for their DJs.

    Neema Eshrati, KAMP’s general manager, says he understands how unreliable technology can be and will have hard copies of all the CDs that are being put on the hard drives.

    “”We already have all these CDs,”” Eshrati said. “”We’re not going through and obtaining music only digitally that we wouldn’t have a hard copy of.””

    According to Eshrati, the music will be taking up terabytes of space – also known as a crapload.

    Eshrati said part of the problem is that the station has many duplicates of CDs, and that they are essentially separating the wheat from the chaff so they can decide what to keep in order to make room for a constant stream of music.

    The station is giving away the music in order to also get the word out about KAMP and attract more listeners, Eshrati said.

    Truth be told, CDs have always been the inferior format, although they are a good step above the extinct entities known as the audiocassette and the 8-track player. CDs are by no means on the way out, but hardcore music-listeners and audiophiles are turning to other methods – downloading included – to get their fix.

    It’s funny to me when teachers talk about vinyl LPs as if they are ancient and “”us kids”” wouldn’t know about them. Record labels like Touch & Go out of Chicago, Ill., not only keep vinyl in stock, but also offer free MP3 downloads of their new albums along with the purchase of the LP.

    Kevin Barbro, an employee at Toxic Ranch Records in Tucson, said vinyl sales in the store have actually gone up, and it’s the format he prefers.

    “”Personally, I don’t really do online things,”” Barbro said, “”just because I like having the actual music, the actual format, and at this point now I pretty much only buy vinyl.””

    Brad Sumner, a shift manager at Zia Records, said vinyl is becoming more popular, and the store stocks not only new vinyl releases, but reissues and used records.

    Albums like The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Who Sell Out, which are meant to be listened to as cohesive entities, couldn’t possibly compete with today’s market, because who listens to an entire album anymore? Although this trend of downloading is all well and good, it’s just a trend, and as the resurgence of vinyl proves, rock ‘n’ roll is here to stay.


    – Matt Wavrin is a media arts senior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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