How many songs are in your iTunes library? Now, how many of them were acquired legally? If you are one of the walking saints that buys every track, I commend you.
My senior year of high school, I was burdened with guilt of all the artists I had so cruelly cheated, yet devoted my loyalty to. So, for weeks, my ‘Recently Added’ playlist was bone dry.
Ever since my first iPod, I was a wiz kid on the internet’s “black market” (I had even forgotten about LimeWire until today when I was reading up on this topic!). While my friends were burning through iTunes gift cards, I was piling up tracks as free as a breeze–it was just too easy! I happily continued with these tactics for years, even dabbling in some movie torrents as well as countless albums and discographies.
Of course I knew it was bad, but my methodology was that these artists had more money than I did, so they could compensate the dollar that I was stealing from them. It wasn’t until I veered off mainstream and onto the simple dirt road that is indie music that I began to feel the evil of my ways.
These artists weren’t endorsed by ads or making thousands of dollars every time the commercial featuring their song was aired. These artists rely on fans of their music to support their music so they keep making more of it. So here I was, enjoying their music, but cheaply. I still downloaded, ripped and torrented this music. But with every album successfully dropped into my iTunes, I felt more and more guilt building up. So, for a few months, I just stopped. I went from 76 downloaded songs in March, to 8 songs in April.
Unsurprisingly, that streak didn’t last long. A few downloadable mix tapes, I bought one album, even one track that I murdered out on repeat, but that simply wasn’t sustainable. I still feel guilt, and I try to support as much live music as possible, but I hang my head low in admitting that I have relapsed back to the market.
Now, your turn.
Do you face a convoluted love affair with music and the tramp, BeeMP3, or thePirateBay? How do you cope? Feel any guilt?
If you’re like me and shutter at the sight of physical CD’s (like my roommate has) because they are a slap in the face at what a terrible “fan” you call yourself, what do we do?!
Please, explain your relationship with media and morals.
And lastly, there is hope for me. I am about to start a trial of Spotify, and if I find that it is easy enough to act as my portable library, to it I will devote a monthly subscription. Tell me how you like it!