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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

To Download Or Not To Download?

I love digital music. I love iTunes. I love my iPod. I know us Poddies can be complete bores, but I am being honest when I say that my iPod has become an integral part of my life. On the rare occasions I accidentally leave it at home, I miss it.

One of the best things about the whole iPod/iTunes experience is, of course, how easy it is to get music. One click and you're done. A world away from battling through the crowds at HMV, and then finding that the CD you want isn't stocked/is stocked but is in a cracked CD case/costs a fortune because it's been imported.

Usually, I'm happy to only own an intangiable, electronic copy of my music. There's one exception: the music of my favourite band. For my favourite group's music, I feel the need to own a physical, old fashioned CD. I want the liner notes. I want the experience of carefully reading each song title, as though that'll give you some clue as to how the song will sound. I want to stare at the shiny CD.

The group in question here is the almighty Canadian quartet Barenaked Ladies. The Ladies have recently been busy writing music for a Canadian production of the Shakespeare play As You Like It. It's testimony to the brilliance of the band that they can make me enjoy stuff originally written by Shakespeare.

Anyway, this morning I read with some excitement that there's a mini-album available with songs from the play. A new BNL release! Typically I anticipate these for months in advance, but this one has been released without much fanfare - and that lack of fanfare has, weirdly, made me anticipate the music even more.

So I of course immediately went about purchasing the CD.

It was then I was faced with a difficult choice: an MP3 download (obviously available immediately) or a physical CD, which would be with me within 3 to 4 weeks.

See, the eager fan in me wanted the download. Wanted to listen immediately. Logically knew there was no reason not to buy the download. But the geek in me wanted the proper CD, even though the 3 or 4 week wait wasn't that appealing. Even though it was more expensive. What to do?

I bought the CD. Sometimes electronic music just isn't enough.

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