Sharing, Discovery, Support, and the Internet~

I’ve made this confession several times, but since we’re all talking about “owning music [1],” what the heck.

I was about 10 years old when I downloaded a song from Napster. Remember Napster? I’m that old in cyberspace.

The song was the Dixie Chicks’ Without You, and I saw it performed on some Billboard Music Award. I’ve never been to any of their concerts (though I was close once), but I own their four studio albums — Wide Open Spaces, Fly, Home, and Taking the Long Way — and I did after I downloaded more than a few tracks on Napster (Audio Galaxy… iMesh, Kazaa… I’ve done them all) .

Since then… I’ve been a compulsive music (and don’t even get me started on movie) buyer. It’s a huge problem, of course. It’s not like growing up, my parents were loaded. It’s not like Peru was the land of opportunities and we were living the life. The problem wasn’t AS bad before the internet or having lived abroad, but I’m pretty sure I had a complete tower of music albums once I graduated high school at age 16.

These are this year’s physical music buys that can no longer fit in my three music album racks. Some of them include Shiina Ringo, Hitomi Yaida, Salyu, Sodagreen, Hebe Tian, Mayday, 2NE1, SunnyHill, A-Mei Chang, and Joanna Wang.


It’s been a long way since then. I’m having a huge space problem, even if I don’t buy as many physical albums as I did, and most of my music discovery shifted from iffy music downloads to audio streaming. In fact, since my music discovery shifted to streaming, my album buying has increased! This year I’m at a record 18 album buys — all Asian imports from China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

Why do I do it? I think it’s a matter of respect.

We are not all loaded to just blow whatever money we come by into albums, dvds, t-shirts, and concerts. Even worse, sometimes it’s impossible to show an artist you care for them, especially if they’re really from very FAR away like most Asian artists are to me. I can’t buy tickets to a Shiina Ringo concert unless I have enough money to buy a ticket to Japan and then also pay for a ticket.

So you make up for it with album buys.

Import albums, however, are mad expensive. Japanese albums can run from a modest price of $30USD an album ($20USD if it’s a 5-track single) without including shipping, which usually runs for an extra of $20USD with Express Mail. For a fan of Japanese music with no disposable income, buying just one album that whole year is a sacrifice.

So no. I don’t consider downloads illegal, especially for media that’s not readily available and you have to jump through hoops to get. I do understand why some people do it. I’m not entitled to judge you for downloading music if you can’t afford it. I’m not entitled to judge people who work in the industry either… but you guys seem so intent on judging each other.

What has ALWAYS bothered me are fans who call themselves the biggest fans of a band or musician, but have NEVER EVER bought one single product to support the artist they supposedly love. I’m not saying you have to buy everything your favorite artist releases. I don’t. I’m intent into buying studio albums. I don’t buy singles, I don’t buy remixes, and I usually didn’t buy single tracks — though the Kpop market is making me do it. But even if I don’t spend all year supporting their careers because I can’t afford it…

I buy something. Anything.

By the way~ I took some time to take my “music statistics” LOL

My current iTunes library (started on August 8, 2011) has 442 songs (3.9Gb).

My music files on the hard drive are around 24Gb, while I have DVD backups of nearly 35Gb — these, in all honesty, should be between 10k or 15k songs of different bit rates.

I own 17 concert or music DVD/Blu-ray discs.

I own over 400 music albums… I’ve really lost count, to be honest. and I haven’t found a good way to keep track of them. Discogs isn’t very helpful since they’re so picky with data.

Oh! And officially, my iPod has only 4055 songs at 23.2Gb.

I invite you to judge me.

But before you do, I want you to tell me your music statistics.


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

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