Poll: How do you get your music?

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(2 votes)
How do you get the MAJORITY of the music you listen to?
Steal it
27.1% (74 votes)
Download it legally (pay for it)
17.9% (49 votes)
Download it legally (I only listen to free music)
8.1% (22 votes)
9.9% (27 votes)
Buy it from a store
15.4% (42 votes)
Internet stream (Pandora, YouTube, MySpace, etc.)
17.2% (47 votes)
I don't listen to music
4.4% (12 votes)

If you have ideas on articles about music that you'd be interested in, let us know in the comments. We'll do our best to tune-up a blog post.

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Unidentified's picture

What about people who download music in ways forbidden by law but don't think it is stealing?

I think the majority of people who deliberately break copyright law to listen to music won't agree it is stealing, so they will probably just refuse to answer the poll (hence making the poll results less useful).

Stephen Smoogen's picture
Community Member

Well the standard over the top reply is "What about people think that eating other humans isn't criminal? Should they be let off because of that?" While ludicrous it does point out the problem with the original statement.. in the end it is not up to the individual to determine if what they have committed a crime.. but a body of laws, treaties, wider social norms that form the legal settings they are in. Thus a person may not consider it stealing but the court they are brought to might decide otherwise.. I guess one could always apply for political prisoner status afterwords :)

[My equation of stealing Britney Spears songs to eating people is not to be a serious equation.. my opinions are my own.. etc etc]

Unidentified's picture

In my country downloading music is not considered by the law an act of stealing. It may be only if it is proven that you use that download to generate a profit from it (sell it). Of course the music is the same you download in your country, where could be considered not legal.

In any case,I moved to Spotify most of my listenings a while ago, and it's perfect, the only con is the lack of some important artists/bands. On the other hand I have found there things impossible to find on stores or download sites.

Unidentified's picture

(a late reply, but I thought it would be interesting to clarify what I meant)

My point was about poll results quality. We could spend hours discussing if downloading stuff ilegally is stealing or not, but that is not the question, but that the wording used on the poll options can skew the results because many people who download music ilegally will refuse to choose the "I steal music" option.

fontana's picture
Open Source Evangelist

Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier just wrote an article on the erroneous conflation of copyright infringement with stealing, worth reading:

jado92mx's picture

Do you, simple PC user, consider to be famous and rich, selling the music you download from Internet on the black market, in the streets; burning DVD's and packing into plastic bags with a poorly printed photo of the artist? I think the majority of you not.

I strongly recommend to share the music on the Web, by free (no cost), and better if we are talking about CC licenced creations; but not to make ilegal copies for sale. That's the real leak of money that music companies must fight, the streets sellers, not the inet connections of the possible future clients, who can buy an original CD after listen to the artist from a practical MP3 or Ogg file and choose if you like his/her music.

I have said.

JBstrikesagain's picture
Open Enthusiast

I had to select this because for what I do, I know this best describes me based on your intent of "Steal it." A while ago I pledged to myself to stop just downloading all my music from private bit torrent trackers and instead get it from legit sites like amazon.com. Then I realized that I would prefer FLAC because of the higher quality and ability to convert it to any lossy format I prefer, depending on need. However, amazon.com doesn't have FLAC as an option and while I haven't looked, I don't think many sites offer FLAC versions of music in addition to the standard mp3. An *additional* problem I've run into is now I want to start DJing a little bit and the software available (Deckadance for me) doesn't seem to support FLAC.. so the FLAC I download I have to convert to WAV. Ugh. I wish it were easier. maybe I should just give up and use mp3 as my main codec.

tkepley's picture
Open Minded

I still buy most of my music from the record shop. Why? 1, money is going to local shops. 2, I can then rip it to whatever I want. 3, I have a physical copy in my closet for the inevitable failure to backup the night something crashes.

I've started ripping all my discs as flac for the same reasons you chose. Before this it was OGG, but the point remains the same. If I have a physical copy, I can then do what I want with it (well, not according to some in the RIAA, but I believe it constitutes fair use). Even if I have to wait because I have to special order it or whatever, it's much nicer to have it in hand. I hope we never get rid of physical media for this reason. Something about having the thing you bought in hand is much better than not. I wish more agreed with me.

Who knows, maybe eventually the industry will wise up and start releasing FLAC or ISO copies of digital media. Many media players can read in an ISO now (my PS3 Mediaserver can parse an ISO for DVDs and present it to my PS3 as an mp4 file :))

JBstrikesagain's picture
Open Enthusiast

Agreed Travis. I actually am starting to do that now. I am awaiting shipment on three CDs from an amazon.com retailer now:

Item Title Shipped
LP3 [Audio CD] Ratatat 1
New Chance [Import] [Audio CD] Tough Alliance 1
No Way Down [Import] [Audio CD] Air France 1

I even bought a CD shelf to store them. The annoying thing is I that I often find the music I like on blogs/etc and because it is soo easy to pirate it in FLAC immediately I often do that. I did that for The Tough Alliance CD above, even though I bought it also. I just wanted to listen to it at my earliest convenience, not when the media shipped. I suppose what would be ideal is if I could get FLAC legitimately *AND* the CD, or at the least just FLAC legally.

But I agree, CDs are still the best. You get a physical backup, something to hold, liner info/art and you can convert the uncompressed WAV to any format desired.

JBstrikesagain's picture
Open Enthusiast

and I didn't miss your point on local shops either. I definitely don't do that enough. I need to start making a habbit of visiting the local CD shops around here (Schoolkids on Hillsborough St. in Raleigh for me)

Mike Linksvayer's picture

Glad there are some others who mostly listen to freely (both senses) downloaded music.

Tiny nit: the "only" in "Download it legally (I only listen to free music)" conflicts with "MAJORITY" in "How do you get the MAJORITY of the music you listen to?"

Ajsa Ferguson's picture

Ok, so we believe that downloading music is technically illegal. But really how in the hell does anyone think they are going to stop anything from happening on the internet? The basic definition of the internet negates the entire thought process. It's like trying to stop any kind of drug grow-op only worse. If you completely destroy one grow-op the demand will still be consistent for the illegal product, the only difference is that the internet makes it easier not only for you to rebuild but if you cant then someone else will rebuild it simply because there is a demand. you shut down one torrent site, then in a few days another one pops out of no where and within a month is as popular as the last one. what are you going to do? are you going to remove access to the internet for the entire population? not only is that completely impossible but it is also entirely improbable.

the real questions are these

1). Is there any way to control the internet?
answer: no its completely impossible

2). What are you possibly able to do about the percentage of the world population who decides to not pay for what they can get for free?
answer: absolutely nothing worthwhile.

3). What is the answer to the current dilema?
answer: stop trying to control something with which you have no control over.

dragonbite's picture
Open Minded

I buy my music, but I buy it online (Amazon.com, UbuntuOne Music Store, etc.) so I am assuming "store" is any commercial site and not some physical location (like the mall).

I do it online, not for any price-breaks or the such, I do it because I hear music I like (I usually just listen to Pandora radio) and if I like it enough I want to buy it, but otherwise I just listen to it.

Jim Scarborough's picture

I got the majority of my collection years ago on CD - before the invention of the portable MP3 player. The temporal aspect is missing from this poll - how have I acquired the majority of tunes for the last year? Probably legal downloads, but there have been some CD purchases, too.

ashcrow's picture
Community Member

The only time I buy actual CD's is at shows so the money actually supports the artists. Other than that it's bought through online services.

Grey Seer's picture

Infringement is not stealing!
badly expressed option, preventing many to answer!