Thursday, 11 June 2015

Expensive

Something that's come to mind fairly often is the perceived value of music. I use my previous experiences as a benchmark, such as how I've grown since buying my first album, for example.

I recall many years ago, in early high school, flipping through albums at a local record store & complaining to a friend about the high prices of the albums. My naive view then was that it could hardly cost the manufacturers more than R20 to produce the physical CD, so why were we being charged an arm and a leg for them? My small-mindedness in this regard did not consider the work going into the product by the artist themselves, the producer, the artwork designer, etc. (Then again, at this age, I also thought that it was valid to favour spending money on video games rather than music, as video games contained both audio & visual material, as opposed to the purely audio nature of music. Hindsight is a helpful but painful thing at times.) This is, I think, something that is often disregarded or not thought about when the time of purchase comes around and something like an album, book, or film is not purchased because of its high price. But is the price really that high?

Sure, buying CD's and other forms of physical music are essentially luxury items (you'll hardly perish without that new album in your collection), but deciding not to support these artists based on the price of the material may be a result of a lack of consideration for the amount of money, time, and effort put into producing the final result you hold in your hands.

I guess this thought just boils down to my point being that music is not very highly valued anymore, and people are often inconsiderate of the livelihood of the artists who create it. The same can be said for any art form which is being pirated instead of supported legitimately. It disgusts me when people casually remark that they'll just download something later on - it is a socially acceptable crime; something which is incredibly sad for me. Nonetheless, I suppose there is some hope on the horizon, with the slowly rising awareness of such things.

Education in this regard, I think, is something that is necessary. These things should be taught to people from an early age; support the things that you enjoy, as someone has put hard work into making it what it is, and here are the things you need to consider. People should be made aware of the amount of work that goes into making these things; the benefits of listening to high-quality audio files versus low bit-rate MP3 rips; the collectors value of vinyls; etc. Might sound like an ideal, which it probably is, but it's one I like to think isn't infeasible.

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