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Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I love my brother. He's a great guy. He's very kind to me. If Al Gore hadn't invented the internet, Fred would have, or would have found somebody to do it. Seeing as how my sense of humor doesn't always translate, that was a joke. Anyway, in the blogsphere at least, there seems to be a bone of contention between us. I insist on lamenting what we give up for progress, while he embraces, and drives the trends I rail against. I bring this up, not to call him out, but to clarify my position. I am not trying to stop progress, I'm not that stupid. I want what he wants, everything. I am, of course, talking about music. As it has been pointed out, I can still buy my music the way I always have, and I do, but I want to enjoy the convenience of buying my music on the web as well. I just don't want to give up the entire experience in the process. Part of my obsession with records is the information and entertainment I get from the liner notes and art that comes with traditional packaging. I don't see much concern for it. That bothers me. I feel that the new media can easily provide me with what I want, but it's not all there yet. I don't want to have to get the window dressing from a different source than where I get the window. Provide me with PDFs when I download, and I'll shut up.

dream scenario - when you buy music, you get to choose how you want it packaged and delivered; mp3s, cd, dvd with video footage, vinyl with liner notes, etc. you can get any of it or all of it. and its priced accordinly. but for the price of $15, you get it all.

i'd take the mp3 for immediate listening, easy portability, and permanent storage value plus the vinyl.

To hell with the plastic.
I think you are both on the right page with this.

Why not provide the consumer with the option for how the music comes packaged?

In the past, it was an issue of printing cost for things like inserts or record sleeves, but the printing industry has moved rapidly to Print on Demand (POD, not to be confused with the digital amp modelered from Line 6).
It is now possible to walk into a store, browse a selection of titles on a computer, choose a book, and have it printed and bound by a machine in the store - while you wait. There is no longer the need to print 50,000 copies of something to make it cost effective.

The same technology could allow an entirely automated system of buying music packaging - which is what Jackson is worried about losing.

As far as duping individual CD's, or pressing vinyl - that would have to be a case by case scenario. There is no precedent for "vinyl on demand" because it's such a complex process. But burning a CD and packing it up can also be automated.

Jackson and I toyed around with an idea that I intend to implement - having artwork online that can be downloaded and printed at home and then assembled into packaging. I developed a little template that has instructions on it for folding and tucking that creates a little CD holder with artwork that anyone can put together.

The problem with all of this, of course, is that it's a business and money drivers the process. If record labels and technology developers - now as much a part of the cost/benefit game as movie theatres - remain beholden to the dollar instead of the music, the artist, or the fans, we all get screwed. But business is constantly making the beds, and we all have to lie in them.
I love buying my music online and I have read your post I miss the packaging. Now my online purchases are leaving me wanting... thanks a lot jackson.

I remember back in college when I would use any one of my double albums (opened up) to separate my crunch berries from my captain crunch... It worked great - you just shake it up a little and those Crunch Berries just roll on down. I miss those days. Now that I think about it, a lot of the times I read Fred's blog I feel like should have spent more time in class than "cleaning my capt. crunch" if you know what I mean.

Vinyl on demand would be totally cool, but like chrispy says, the technology isn't there. I would gladly settle for my MP3s while I wait 3 to 6 weeks for the album to come in the mail! At least bring back the double album packaging.

Unrelated to the post - but related to one of the comments. Does anyone know of a good web site that has POD settings? (not to be confused with Print on Demand).
Hue, check this out:


I haven't messed with this site but it might be interesting.

Here's a book:


Here are the EVH POD settings:


There are more sites like this - I found some more by typing "POD settings" into Yahoo
I totally agree about the liner notes, artwork, etc. And I agree about getting the media. I do not want to buy MP3s or AACs at some bitrate someone designated as acceptable. I believe that they ARE, however, starting to include I think PDFs of the lyrics and such, but I still want the uncompressed media to be able to do what I want with.

That said, I was in Virgin the other night to find a CD I wanted, the first Mazzy Star album. I never thought I would want something from them, but I heard some of the songs from it on an Opal bootleg and really like them. The CD was $18.99. Fuck you. No way in hell did I buy it.
See, we CAN all get along.
You guys seem to have this issue covered pretty well before I could get in on it. Now I feel left out. Like all these ideas alot.


I haven't eaten Capt. Crunch in a long time time, but my vinyl copy of Dark Side Of The Moon still has crunchberry residue in the crease. Like you, i regret not spending more time in the classroom vs. the time I used eating the cereal.
Fuck all that noise! There's plenty of time for both Capn Crunch and Class, specially if you do the Jackson 10 year undergrad degree.

Ken, your just cheap.
I agree with Ken. US$18.99 (I write all of my prices like this now) is ridiculous for a CD, unless it's some kind of rare import or comes with a signed picture of the band or something.

Again, the almighty dollar...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I guess that makes you cheap too.
Guess we can't all get along...

Thinking something is overpriced is not the same as being cheap.

God knows I can spend money. You know that too.

But 18.99, when the artist will see just pennies from the sale, is ridiculous. It's labels and Virgin being greedy.
Hell, I wouldn't buy that record for 10 bucks, but if it was a record i wanted, and couldn't find anywhere else, I'd pony up the 18.99, or two draft picks.
Go with the draft picks.
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