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Buying Music: Online Vs. Record Store

[Jakarta, LttW] There are two types of music enthusiasts that we should be aware of: ones who buy music, and ones who don’t. For some of those buying ones, especially those who are now aged 50 years and over, probably the days of going out to stores like HMV (His Masters Voice), dig some unfamiliar but good music, interact with various music devotees, spend a ridiculously large amount of money on vinyls, and/or CDs, and went straight to home to be enjoyed, will soon be over.

Sadly, we heard that music and books retailer HMV Group will close 60 UK stores in the next 12 months in response to declining sales, while some other major music stores were already closed. Experiencing the atmosphere of record store, and of course the best sound quality and sense of the cover arts—with it’s liner notes and everything inside—of any physical recordings that we can get from it, is a non-replaceable consciousness. “The feeling of digging and finding rare music and having grabbed them by the hand is everything; it gives me a sense of pride among my friends,” Arie Syachrie, 68 years old, explained.

But for most of the younger generation of music lovers, those days are running just fine, even better; only this time the stores and the music are in a whole different form: virtual and digital. “With online stores, I can easily find any music that I know within seconds. Although I often get lost while I’m browsing millions of unfamiliar names under different genres,” said Pattraditya Pangestu, 27 years old, who runs a record label of his own. “Why bother to go to (record) stores, if I can explore and buy music with much more convenience at home? By the way, Mp3 is way more easy to deposit than vinyl or CD,” described 22 years old Ananda Marissya Widya.

Technology creates more convenience which we admire and desire. In music, we can trace it back from the dawn of electronic amplification to the various medium of audio recordings. Within those periods of time, humans may have gained much from the technological development, but apparently we also have loose much as well. Now, we have almost everything digital; which means everything is going to be “unphysical”. Are we ready?


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