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How do you acquire most of your MP3s?

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / August 15, 2005 9:47 AM PDT

How do you acquire most of your MP3s?

From an online subscription service (which one?)
From a pay-per-download service (which one?)
From a P2P client (is it legal?)
I rip them from CDs that I own (tell us more)
Other (tell us more)
I don't have MP3s (why not?)

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don't use MP3
by mittens / August 16, 2005 8:30 AM PDT

Downloading music seems cool, but often the quality is less than what we've come to expect, and it's a lot like downloading 'free' books online. The author, the musician, gets utterly nothing for all those millions of records and books that people now own.
If I were a musician I'd be furious.
If we're willing to listen, we should be willing to pay for the privilege of doing so, i.e., buy the damn CD.

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Feeling is mutual
by pkm1967 / August 16, 2005 9:00 AM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

I agree with you 110%!!!

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grateful dead
by lemue / August 16, 2005 9:07 AM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

used to let us record at their concerts. After the groups make their first million they shouldn't worry about losing a couple of bucks. I use my cd's.

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RE:don't use MP3
by waperry / August 16, 2005 9:39 AM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

Actually, when purchased from a "legal" download site, an MP3 sale records more income for an artist than does a CD sale. The "manufacturing" cost is much less. The real "pirates" in the music business are RIAA.

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good point..
by tha_FLiP / August 16, 2005 10:09 AM PDT
In reply to: RE:don't use MP3

best thing would probably be to just download whatever you want from any p2p and then just put some money in an envelope and mail it to the artist..
That way you'd make sure they really get the money, not some capitalist record company :\

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by DFN23 / August 16, 2005 10:00 AM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

Sound quality of MP3 files is horrible! I download music very rarely, and then only to see if it's worth buying in a better format.

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I Buy my MP3's
by cattluvver / August 16, 2005 10:03 AM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

I think it's a really bad idea to assume that everyone using mp3's are getting them with illegal P2P spyware.. er, I mean software. I love that I don't have to buy a whole CD when I only love four songs! I got to MSN or elsewhere and PAY for the four mp3's. Four bucks is much cheaper then over $15.00 for a CD that more then half would be skipped.

I love, love being able to make playlists, putting them on my mp3 player and not having skips.

Everyone who uses them are not CROOKS!

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I get a month of downloads for the price your paying
by jeep4x4enthusiast / August 17, 2005 2:20 AM PDT
In reply to: I Buy my MP3's

You pay 4dollars for 4 tracks, but for less than 5 bucks a month, I download as much music as I possibly can. Its allowed me to discover so many artists I would never have experimented with if I was purchasing CD's.

Some music I know people want to own, but with my subscription I'm able to buy tracks for 79cents, or album for 7.99.

No matter what your favorite format, for less than 60 dollars a year (about the cost of 4 CDs), you can still use your favorite way to aquire MP3s, and use this also.

But once you get started, I dont see how economically you would be able to justify using anything else. Unless you illegally aquire musice. And once again at this cost, why would u even take that chance.

I rotate about a Gig of new music in and out of my portable player every two weeks.

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Downloading the mp3 (or not) format is cheaper
by PatrickM / August 16, 2005 10:36 AM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3


actually, mp3 quality may vary according to the way the original "raw" sound (usually a .wav format) is converted.

The proprietary format mp3 can have, for example, near quality as a CD, or even be sound "transparent" to it.

I'm not sure, but i think editors deliver us the best possible quality in that format.

Yes, this at a lower cost than makings "physical" CDs with all the processes around it.

It's much cheaper for us because it is also cheaper for the producers.

As we commonly hear, more money should be distributed to the musiciens/composers themselves.

About the sound quality again: if quality is absolutely required, online editors/distributors could use the .ogg format as another option.

It is a free, excellent quality standard for our ear's pleasure, as digital sound.

Anyway, some will always swear by analogic sound...

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The other side of the coin...
by bren384 / August 16, 2005 12:32 PM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

While I agree, if you listen to it often enough to warrant keeping a copy around, (and the means are available), pay for it. The other side of the coin that gets overlooked a lot of the time by people that assume that musicians are just out to make a buck with the music they put out on MP3 is that sometimes people are just getting started, or just want more airplay or really, for whatever reason, they *want* people to have access to their music for free. Not every musician is a star performer that everyone's grandmother has heard of. There are even, in fact, people who play and record just for fun. Especially now that you don't have to record to tape, and it doesn't necessarily cost a fortune to get your music out. So perhaps some of you folks out there with the paramilitary attitudes towards music sharing need to lighten up. As long as you've got the proper permissions, and you're covering whatever costs you are being asked to cover, I think music sharing is fine, and in general, MP3 can be a fine format to use to share in. It's compact, the sound is decent(OK, so you might not want to record the London Symphony Orchestra at 64Mbps, but set up correctly it works fine.) and its a free format to record in.
One other note to 'mittens': not everything on you hear is available on CD. The virtual cornucopiea of relaxing electronica that puts me to sleep at night, as well as the other dance and trance music that is available on the net is a royal PITA to get ahold of unless you are into the dance/trance/rave scene, which, as a 34 year old with 2 kids, I am not.

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Gotta agree...
by thunder / August 16, 2005 2:29 PM PDT

If you're in your 30's but are still hip even with a mortgage, it's difficult to try and find the time to research and review so many cool styles of music. I love the electronica/trance scene, but often find it hard to track down artists (or even remember all of them). Digital's the way to go, but you still have to burn your own CDs if you want to share - anyone heard of any flash mp3 boom boxes yet?

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I Second that
by LionsMike / August 16, 2005 12:51 PM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

Why is everyone sucked in by useless new fad technology. I bet some people pay over a hundred dollars for their MP3 players. FOR WHAT?

Turn on the radio and endure the adds.

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by anthrogirl / August 17, 2005 4:42 AM PDT
In reply to: I Second that

For me it isn't 'useless' technology. I can't hear most of the music I like on the radio, even in New York- early European music isn't played often here. Robert Johnson doesn't get a lot of play. It hard for me to get a lot of the country stars from the 50s on the radio, too.

Why should I listen to WQXR, the NY Times station that has a gigantic library, play Bach over and over when I want to hear Buxdehude? And when I do want to hear Bach on the subway, the bus, or in a plane, I can do so. I can't listen to the radio in the subway. I can't swap music with friends from off the radio, either.

I use Ogg Vorbis format which has a lower loss-rate than MP3. Because of it I can listen to radio the way it was when I was a kid in the late 60s, becuase I can have various genres of music play in any order I or the player chooses. I haven't herd a decent radio station that usrprised me in ages, but I'm continually surprised by the combinations I get on my Karma, and I can add more when I want. And with new artists, it can be near impossible for them to get airplay. No longer do I just have to listen to the big classical orchestras or mainstream pop- I can listen to gothabilly (you can't hear that on the radio), small but exquisite Eastern European quartets, or music that's over a century old, and I can take it with me, put it in my handbag, and go anywhere with it.

Try doing that with a radio. There are even player for scuba divers.

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Legal in Canada
by jgd / August 16, 2005 1:18 PM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

I agree 100% that it's not right to download music off the net but in Canada, there is a tax on recordable items such as DVDs and CDs thus making it legal to download music. Since there is that tax, Canadian ARE, in sorts, paying for the right to download music.

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You can't stop some people copying.
by capri_ghia / August 16, 2005 5:17 PM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

I have never used P2P services in my life. As a musician myself I understand all the work that goes to creating a song or CD, not ust from the main group of performers, but from all the backing musicians, sound engineers who actually don't see much of the money made from selling the music.

However you can shut down all P2P client software but you won't stop people copying music. Before P2P people still copied music using 8 tracks, cassettes, DAT tapes and minidiscs.If the technology is there people will still use it.

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I play music also
by RRobinson / August 16, 2005 10:04 PM PDT

As a musician myself my buddys and I play music for fun. Its not about the bucks. Its about playing because you enjoy it, and if you can make people dance and sing to your music then you have the best payment for your practice hours. If someone wants to donate money for my music then I could buy a better guitar or one of my music buddys a set of drum skins and the such.

You can not play true music if your just doing it for the bucks. Music is feeling from within and you express that feeling threw your musical instriment. And when its super good to ya, then ya start singing. Sure I could record mp3 for sale. But I dont, I put them on my website for downloading and if someone wants to donate a couple of pennys then I have the account at Paypal they can donate.

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Great reply, just wish....
by LloydStew / September 5, 2005 4:29 AM PDT
In reply to: I play music also

Great reply. Just wish he'd left his web address. These are the people I go out of my way to support.

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AMEN, AMEN! And let me add that
by Charles Gajeway / August 16, 2005 9:09 PM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

I am heartily sick and tired of this topic! As a dedicated audiophile and a former (amateur) musician, I have spent my life seeking the ultimate in quality sound. Why on earth would I EVER be tempted to:

A. listen to an audio source with deliberately degrated quality

B. Deny a musician the tiny fraction of an album's price that he/she is entitiled to.

C: Put my music collection at risk by converting/storing it on a medium that is subject to obsolescence and catastrophic destruction.

Please don;t waste time by discussing this topic any further.

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RE: Inferior sound quality
by H3LL5P4WN / August 16, 2005 10:41 PM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

As for quality, if you're leeching files off of someone, check the bitrate. Depending on how good your ears and earphones/speakers are, you ought to look for files with a higher bitrate. Personally, I can hear distortion on anything below 192kbs, and sometimes even on 256kbps .mp3s. The 128kbps "Near CD-Quality" .mp3s that my file-sharing friends get are completely unlistenable by my standards.

Of course, this is a moot point if you purchase your legal cds and rip them yourself, like I do.

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by LloydStew / September 5, 2005 4:55 AM PDT

Whilst I appreciate people like yourself who help drive up the quality of what is produced, frankly I and about 99.9999 percent (ball park figure) of the rest of the people on the planet can't hear or just don't notice or even care about noticing these minute differences. If it makes you feel better about yourself to say that you can hear a difference, fine. I feel better about myself if MY football team wins which is truly sad. But the quality arguement to me is quite lame. Talk about losing the clicks and pops or the tape hiss as a result of moving to CD's or mp3's and I'm right with ya. But frettin' over the difference between 128 and 256 is like worrying about whether I wear green or gold to the game. Nobody notices and it doesn't make any difference.

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Very True
by scottwb555 / November 14, 2005 5:22 AM PST
In reply to: Whilst...

Ive ripped things at 64, 128, 192, and 256 and i can definitely tell that 64 sucks, but 128 through 256 are no different to me

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Use Higer Bitrates from quality download sources
by jeep4x4enthusiast / August 17, 2005 2:18 AM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

I use Yahoo Music Engine and I'm able to download MP3 at 192mb, and thats better than CD quality.

For less than 5 bucks a month, I download as much music as I possibly can. Its allowed me to discover so many artists I would never have experimented with if I was purchasing CD's.

Some music I know people want to own, but with my subscription I'm able to buy tracks for 79cents, or album for 7.99.

No matter what your favorite format, for less than 60 dollars a year (about the cost of 4 CDs), you can still use your favorite way to aquire MP3s, and use this also.

But once you get started, I dont see how economically you would be able to justify using anything else. Unless you illegally aquire musice. And once again at this cost, why would u even take that chance.

I rotate about a Gig of new music in and out of my portable player every two weeks.

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missing the point
by McKendrick / August 18, 2005 11:09 PM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

mp3 does not mean "stolen". I've bought many mp3 files from online services (MusicMatch, iTunes) and will continue to do so. I've also made mp3's from CD's I've purchased. This way I don't have to carry around the 300-plus CD's I own; I can simply move songs onto my player and be on my way. I'm all for the artist getting rewarded for my interest in his or her work AND I use mp3. Your argument "don't use mp3" is missing the point of digital music. Instead, argue "don't steal music" and I'll be with you all the way.

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MP3 Doesn't Mean Ripping Off the Artists!
by Gerry77 / August 23, 2005 10:40 AM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

My MP3s come from my CD collection and from purchasing through iTunes...Believe me they're well compensated! The compression formats are great for having access to a large library anywhere, easily!

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"If I were a musician I'd be furious", eh?
by LloydStew / September 5, 2005 5:13 AM PDT
In reply to: don't use MP3

"If I were a musician I'd be furious."

That's because you reduce everything down to money and gettin' rich. Not uncommon for the majority of the flatlined public. Why should the top musicians be paid so much more than what most everyone else makes? Why should the obscure ones get get paid next to nothing? You want fair? Not in this world. Take a look around my friend.

Someone offers his music for free, I contribute. Someone charges $100 to get into their concert, Limewire.

What goes around comes around, hunh? Or as you probably prefer it, "You reap what you sow." Now that IS fair.

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"...CDs that I own." Good one!
by dennispsmith / August 16, 2005 8:41 AM PDT

I chose this 4th option because it most closely matched how I really acquire my downloaded music. "I rip them from CDs...period, no questions please" would have been the selection I made were it available in the poll. Let's just leave it at that.

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I pay a subscription service so I figure I own everything
by NXPCPA / August 16, 2005 11:03 AM PDT

I pay Rhapsody the lousy 9 bucks a month. That should be enough for me to listen to anything I want to hear whenever I want to hear it. If music providers make unlimited music available fortunes will be made. The money is in the delivery, not the ownership. Rhapsody though gives every indication they and many artists will shoot themselves in the foot by nickle and dime tactics and withholding of music from people like me who are willing to pay for convenience of listening to music on demand. If any artists or record companies are out there listening please get the message. I'll pay for what I listen to but I'm not gonna pay for license protected downloads or new CD's. If I want to hear something that's not on my subscription service, I'll buy the CD, USED NOT NEW, even if I have to pay more for the used CD than the new one. Accordingly all my mp3's are ripped from CD's or from subscriber services I pay for. I was burned with useless license protected mp3 files when and tanked. I won't be robbed again. What's fairer than having artists make money the old fashioned way? People should pay for what they hear and see, not for plastic discs and bogus licenses.

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Well Actually,
by olliemac / August 21, 2005 3:17 AM PDT

The whole purpose to subscription services is that you don't actually own the music. Watch what happens when you cancel. And what is the old fashioned way? You seem to have a bone to pick with the RIAA, which is acting like a normal business. Some day you should check into how much it costs to put an album together, not the plastic disc, but the music on it.Last time I looked studio time was $200/hr at a good studio. Lots of cash to make an album. But I agree, we should only pay for what we see, and these music services, subscription or otherwise, are the greatest thing EVER for consumers in the music industry. For the first time ever, we don't have to buy an album just for two songs.

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My MP3's.
by CrazyBare / August 16, 2005 8:42 AM PDT

I've loaded all my CD's onto my hard drive, but also acquire a few from a P2P site. I pay big bucks to buy blank CD's and was told part of the money goes to artists so we can download music. I have no idea if that's true or not. I don't see it as being any different than a teacher photocopying a text book to share with the class.

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Go to artist or record labels websites
by buzz73 / August 16, 2005 8:45 AM PDT

This is one way to get free (and perfectly legal) mp3 downloads. While you are not going to find the latest pop sensations on it, you can find good tracks from up and coming artists who just want to get their music heard and hope maybe it will spurn enough interest so you may buy their music or come and see their shows.

The idea that mp3's are bad and they are hurting the music business is difficult to buy. Yes, I know there are bands such as Metallica that claim it has hurt them, but what about all the young up and coming bands that need and want their music to be heard? Do you think some Clear Channel owned station is going to take the chance on them? What about MTV? (Yes, I know that MTV shows only like 40 videos a year now). is a great place to go look for mp3's that are completely legal (ie. the artist and record label both agreed to put it on the website).

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