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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Music calms the soul

[Music] takes us out of the actual
and whispers to us dim secrets
that startle our wonder
as to who we are,
and for what,
whence,
and whereto.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (Journals)

I was talking to my therapist the other day and we were discussing ways that I give myself emotional outlets. I identified music as an important part of that process. I am a very closed off person emotionally, mainly out of defense for my fragile psyche. Music is the soundtrack of my life. It is the way I express happiness, sadness, and fragility. Singing along to a favorite song has brought me to tears. The right CD in has motivated me to just get something done.

My favorite way to release stress is to go for a drive with the windows done and the CD player at full blast. I can not truly tell you my favorite band. It depends on the moment. I think this is why I invest so much into my music. I also think that this is why DRM frustrates me so.

When I put my very limited funds into a CD or internet download, I need to know that I can have that song on my stereo, iPod, Laptop or in my car (which plays MP3's) whenever I need it. I don't share my music often, and when I do, it is with other music lovers with CD collections as extensive as mine to introduce them to it. I do buy CD's used (thank you, Zia, for your wonderful diversity) and I do have some burned ones. But, I tend to buy CD's.

There are multiple reasons to buy the CD: Durability, Portability, Ease of use, Liner Notes (music lovers often understand the importance of those), and pure and utter convenience. I have discovered downloads, while convenient, keep me from discovering other great songs that may be on the CD. They are also lesser quality, which matters when I get my dream stereo system, and require me to back them up, since I have found it is a rare instance when a music provider will replace a download that disappears in the chaos that often reigns in the computer world.

So, to save myself a passel of trouble, I backup them up in Audio format. Thereby stripping the music of DRM. So, then I can play the ones that were downloaded in WMA in iTunes, and re-rip music to MP3 when necessary.

I am frustrated with the music industry right now. They do not realize that the music lover that is willing to invest thousands of dollars in music and accessories recognizes that it is important that their favorite artists continue to make money so that they can keep doing their art. They do not realize the needs of consumers, and that addressing those needs will make them more money in the long run. There is an independent movement out there that will grow and force the music companies to change, but at what cost? How much trust does the public have to lose before companies re-think their policies?

I don't know. I just know that while I typed this, I listened to about $40 worth of music on a $400 iPod and contemplated the $2000 stereo system I want for my home. Maybe the companie$ will $ee that $ide of the equation. Why will I bother with continuing these bad habits of consumerism if my needs are not being filled by them....