The case for album blogs and free friggin’ music

Many have axed me how I get a hold of both new and old music. The answer is that I do it for free via album blogs. First, the rationalization:
Having released music myself (both as artist and compiler), I’m under little illusion that with few exceptions you can make a living off of it without making severe compromises to the art. It’s unfair but true.
At this point, anyone who puts out anything that can be digitized must accept the fact that their stuff’s gonna be distributed for free, and that they need to make their living off of gigs and merch. Music is a pretty complex skill that takes a lot of talent, so musicians are more than capable of learning a back-up skill that might be more in demand than their music projects.
Meanwhile, if you’re a music freak, and you want to get albums worth of interesting material without breaking the bank, I’d suggest the following:

  1. Get RAR, the archiving application into which most bloggers stuff their albums, and which you’ll need to unstuff them.
  2. Get a premium account at the German-based RapidShare, where most album bloggers seem to store their stuff.
  3. If you don’t have one, get an external hard-drive, especially if you plan on downloading a lot.
  4. Check out the German-based Totally Fuzzy, which amalgamates many of the more interesting album blogs out there. (WARNING: you’ll be lost for hours, so set that amount aside.)
  5. I’ve always found it worthy to get into a “downloading rhythm”, ie just always download RAR files, either in the background as your doing something else on yr machine, or (especially) whenever you anticipate being away from yr machine. Just have something downloading all the damn time.

So that’s how I do it. Do what you want. Call it stealing, I dunno. There’s lots to worry about in this life, and the ethical ramifications of downloading music won’t be one of them for me, at least in the near future.

PS What about torrenting? I’ve tried it, and it seems to take way too much trouble for my lazy ass…


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Filed under How-To, Music

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