Words On Wednesday

2016-01-13 The Library Music Conundrum

Do I buy it or wait?

I make pretty obvious that I have an intense appreciation for music, borderline addiction according to some. However, I try to be as frugal as possible with obtaining new music, in ways that still support the artist to a degree and don’t risk malware on my computer. This mostly limits me to checking out albums from the library, free downloads from freegal, or purchasing the music outright on Google Play as a last resort. Not that I’m avoiding supporting the artist, but why pay for music I can pick up for nothing more than paying my taxes to fund the library?

This puts me into a predicament, however, in deciding when to pay for music. The library usually picks up new mainstream releases pretty quickly. Anything that’s featured in the Grammy’s or the Now That’s What I Call Music Series, they’re going to be available basically from day one. There might be 20 holds ahead of me, but those albums will eventually be available. More obscure stuff isn’t guaranteed, though. I won’t say that my tastes are rare, but they usually don’t completely align with pop culture. Occasionally, they’ll pick up albums I’m interested in months or even years after their release.

Do I pay for a cd I want as soon as it drops, or do I wait to see if the library picks it up? If I wait, how long? Normally, if it’s a band I really like, I’ll buy the album anyway. This policy only goes for a small handful of bands, however, probably less than 5. For the rest that I like, but I’m not so certain on, it varies.

Usually, I’ll give it about a month after an album drops to see if the library has a copy. If they don’t pick one up within the first month after release, they probably won’t for a good while. Even if the album is on order and not yet in house, it shows up in the online catalog and I can place a hold for when it does arrive. After the first month passes, I make a judgment call about whether to purchase the album. Some albums I’m in no hurry for, so I might still put it off for a while. Other albums, I really do want to pick up, and I’m not willing to wait for what may never happen. For the ones that I choose to wait on, I’ll often keep an eye on Google Play deals to see if it goes on sale. If I’m paying for it anyway, may as well check for deals to save some money.

Though this is never a big deal, it is a problem I frequently face. As a music lover, I like to be aware of what’s out, and I like to experience music even in genres I don’t normally like. However, my refusal to pay for a music service subscription puts me in a situation that I have to prioritize some music over others. These are the things that keep me up at night.

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5 thoughts on “2016-01-13 The Library Music Conundrum

  1. I’ve slowed down a good bit but I used to put probably 10-30 CDs from the library a week on my computer. On another note, I had to wait like 2 months on a list for the new Def Leppard CD. Personally I found that pretty shocking for a band that old but I guess not.

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    1. It really surprises me how popular or dead some albums are. I’ll see a new release from a current band get 2 holds or less, and something from years ago gets like 10 hold stacked on it at random. I don’t mind waiting if the issue is holds, but I swear some of those catch me completely off guard.

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      1. Sorry I’m just now replying. For some reason, the notification was showing. I use iTunes because I find it pretty easy to use and the music I’ve bought from Apple is already in the library too.

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