Friday, January 8, 2010

Streaming Albums-- A Good Idea!

Somewhere Chris Anderson is cackling about the value of "free" and congratulating himself for writing a book about it. Dude can have it. Free is the greatest tactic these days in appealing to a generation that gets whatever it wants, when it wants it.

I'm listening to Vampire Weekend's Contra right now. When it hits stores on Tuesday, I will probably buy it. It's good and investing $9.99 in it presents zero risk because I know exactly what I'm getting ahead of time.

That's a level of convenience you can hardly believe. In the past few months alone, hearing albums streamed in their entirety has lead to me buying Noah and the Whale's First Days of Spring, and the previously blogged about Ben Gibbard/Jay Farrar Jack Kerouac project One Fast Move or I'm Gone.

The flip side is that when The Hold Steady streamed Stay Positive on their MySpace a few years ago, I decided not to buy it.

In the long run though, that risk minimization has opened the door to discover even more music. Maybe you find something you feel like you can't live without-- that's another album purchased. That's also priceless.

*NPR's All Songs Considered is pretty much the greatest for hearing cool albums streamed, partly because they bring albums to your attention that are usually worth the time. You can find Spoon's latest, Transference here on the 11th.

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