Blogs and “the download culture”
I was having a conversation with a friend a couple of years ago in which I asked him where he got his music, to which he replied, “Mostly blogs.” At the time, this seemed ridiculous to me. I took it at face value, thinking they must not have that varied of a taste in music or care about the quality of what they were taking in.
A few years later, I’ve warmed to the concept of exploring music through blogs and have virtually “gone to the dark side.” With so many fans of music in the blogosphere, there is infinite opportunities for discovering different tastes and perspectives on music. There are also infinite opportunities to share music, which with a simple click of a mouse, can be downloaded instantly.
Websites such as Hypem, a music discovering and sharing site, collect blog links and place them in a music player form where fans can establish a playlist of the shared content and connect with other fans in their community. Music fans can also navigate to the original blog page through the links, which more often than not includes a linked file of the song that they can download.
Thus the question that is a hot topic in the music industry and in my own views of trends on-line is to what extent the “download culture” has developed, and what types of profit this is taking away from major labels. Historical lawsuits against Napster, Limewire and more music sharing services have decreased the value in that type of downloading, leading a virtually open path for other mediums to take over.
The advantage and personable aspects of blog music sharing has helped this medium to develop as it has. Downloading from some shady program littered with viruses pales in comparison to the option of downloading from a peer who has much to say about the content they are sharing with the public domain. For me, it creates much more value to the music and expands the “download culture” to the point that anyone can expand their music tastes at any time.
In my views of online trends, “peer to peer”sharing (P2P) in music is infinitely expanded in blogging, as it is usable output in the intellectual public realm. Whether most bloggers, and musicians for that matter, see this as a driving force behind their music sharing is quite another thing. According to “The Music” singer Robert Harvey on the “download culture” via NME:
“Songs have just become an accessory now, they’re not something to believe in anymore and they can’t change lives like they used to.”
Whether bloggers or musicians mean to enhance the download culture with sharing, the main concept of music and also blogging is that it is free and open sharing as well as taking information. Similar to the Open Mic venue, in which all contributing have their own liberal take on the “open-ness” of the event, the public realm and state of music has shifted to the point to where a lot of information is not necessarily a threat. The few gems of value in the public domain are what keeps it going and gives it meaning.
Thus I will continue throwing my tidbits of intellectual sharing into the public realm and see what happens, as that to me is what the Internet has allowed us. As the immortal Bradley Nowell of Sublime sings, “Can’t Fight against the Youth”-we must look to new generations to propel the future of music with new forms of output such as blogs.