www.whyville.net May 30, 2003 Weekly Issue

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Download It!

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Downloading music! What an easy way to rip someone off! I mean... what an easy way to get music. It's the equivalent of walking into a store, taking all the CDs you want, and walking out without paying. And don't say it's not... oh, it is. It is.

Pros of downloading music:

1) You get music you want for free!

2) You might not like every song on a CD that you pay 20 dollars for. This way you can customize a CD with the songs you actually like, and actually want to listen to.

3) Some people think that making CDs by yourself costs nothing! "It's free, and easy," many people claim. But that's not completely true. Buy one CD, 20 dollars... 10 blank CDs, 20 dollars. I would rather buy 10 blank CDs, so this is a pro!

4) Selling! A long time ago when Napster was popular, my brother would make customized CDs for people, since we have high-speed Internet and access to really good programs (my dad is a computer guy.) He would charge them, say, 5 dollars for a customized CD. He made a lot of money by this, even if it is illegal!

Cons of downloading music:

1) It's illegal. A lot of kids on college campuses are getting busted big time! We're talking millions of bucks. If you get caught, think of how you'll pay! You may think, "I'm just a kid, I can't get caught." But my dear, you can be caught. Those students probably thought they wouldn't be, and now they've got hefty fines. Imagine what your parents would say if they were taken to court!

2) Bad files. I don't know how many times I've downloaded incomplete files... Some files take a long time to download, and when they are done, they're incomplete, or the wrong song, or whatever. It's really annoying.

3) Expensive still! Buying blank CDs does cost some money. I'm lucky because my dad foots the bill. My brother makes CDs all the time, so obviously he's prone to run out. And my dad, even my dad downloads and burns CDs!! Though he isn't downloading songs, he's downloading things for his job in order to access them out of the house. Should that be illegal? It's the same thing as downloading music; it's just not music. It's work. I don't know if he has the rights to use that stuff, though. Odd....

My opinion: Downloading CDs can be easy, fun, and beneficial to some people. But if you look on the other side of the news, you may get easily annoyed. Famous people talking about, "I'm losing money." Well, aren't WE losing money? Buying a 20 dollar CD, with the chance that we will only really like one song? A lot of people say, "Buy singles, then!" Well, around here, singles cost money too! I don't know where you live, but in my town, singles cost almost as much as a CD with all the songs on it.

I guess I'm just trying to save my money for REAL things, like... I don't know... school. Think about some of these things. when you get into college, you might not have family cash to spend on every little thing you want. No more mommy and daddy's credit card! After all, moving out is going to be your first try at financial independence, isn't it? I know when I move out, I'm not going to call my parents every weekend, going, "Mom, dad, wire me 25 bucks so I can buy a CD!!" You might have to pay for your schoolbooks, your food, and rent if you don't live in a dorm... and if you already have to pay for all that, why would you want to go spend money on a CD just to get one song? And hey, if you have a job, you may use all that money on school... you might not have the cash to go buy a CD

And the Times Editor has said before, listen to the radio. There is another downfall. The radio stations here play what I like to call ???radio versions'. Short cut songs to comply with the time slot. Who wants to sit next to the radio and tape every radio version they want, when you can easily go online and get the extended, much nicer version from somebody else's CD?

Plus, I haven't seen anybody since about 7th grade with a tape player. Who wants to be the kid walking into high school with a tape player? One person with their MP3 player will go, "Yeah, I'm listening to that new _____ song!! It's sooo nice!" And you'll say "Me too! Only, mine is shorter, worse quality... but hey, it's legal!" And who wants to sit by the radio all day just waiting for a song they really like to come on?

This isn't about peer pressure, though. I doubt anyone has ever said, "Download songs. All the cool kids are doing it." I download songs because of what I've said before. It's free and easy! I guess I don't really care if some artists lose a little cash. I've only bought a few CDs in my life. I don't buy CDs because of the two I did, I only liked one song. I have to skip through the entire CD just to listen to that one song on repeat!

Why is it a big deal that I'm still not buying CDs? It's not like I'm taking their money away by downloading songs. I never bought CDs before, and after downloading music is gone, I won't buy CDs then... Even Madonna herself is whining. Telling people who download music that they are stealing. And Ms. Britney Spears, another millionaire, has said it's just like going into a store and taking her CD.

Why whine? You have millions, why don't you go buy your own CD? I'm sorry, but it's just too hard to sympathize with a millionaire telling you that their current million-dollar status just isn't enough! And ok, I went off on a tangent, so I'll end it here.

Downloading music is so in right now.


Editor's Note: So many folks wrote in about downloading music this week, but most of you argue, "Buying CDs costs me money!"  So?  How does that give you the right to have the music?

I'm not telling you downloading music should or shouldn't be illegal.  I'm merely pointing out that just because something costs money doesn't give you the right to go take it for free! Isn't somebody else's music a luxury? It might be painful to choose food over music, but you do have to balance your budget somehow.


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