In order to end all useless speculation on file sharing...

There has been debate after debate on whether file sharing is stealing/wrong/a capitol offense or not.

This is not that debate, but it will help settle that debate a little bit. People make the claim that “no one tries and buys with mp3/video/photo file sharing” and there are those who say everyone tries-and-buys.

This is a poll. If you don’t participate in file-sharing, don’t post. All I want to know is if you try-and-buy or not. It doesn’t have to be for every mp3 you have, but if you’ve done it once and have 500 mp3s…you get my drift. Choose the option that best summarizes your practices.

Also, if this belongs elsewhere, move it like it’s stolen.

Starting things off, I try-and-buy (I own approx. 450 of my 550 mp3s on CD or LP).

A friend recommended a band to me, ‘Shadows Fall’. I had never heard of them so I downloaded a few songs from them. I loved it some much I ended up buying their album. If it wasn’t for file sharing I would have never bought that album.

Of course, I always thought of that particular incident as the exception rather then the rule. I don’t imagine other people would buy a album when they can get all the songs for free. Likewise, the artist might have one good song on the cd. In my example, I happened to like all the songs on their cd so I purchaced it.

I do it pretty much all the time. I’ll download a couple of cuts from someone I haven’t heard before and very frequenly end up not only buying the one album that the subject downloads came from, but two or three more from that artist as well. I also end up doing this A LOT after I hear a song on internet radio. I think almost every one of my CD purchases lately from Amazon has been as a direct result of hearing a track on Radio Paradise or Wolf-FM or RadioStorm. I’m sitting in front of the PC, a neat cut of music comes on, it’s a quick click over to buy the disc … maybe too easy, given my Amazon bill of late!

I know it’s about impossible to ever get the recording industry to do this, but after spending the last couple of weekends ripping my 210 CD collection into about 3450 tracks in 10.5 GB of my hard drive (and portable) I would LOVE to be able to buy an album completely electronically. I now have four cabinets full of polycarbonate discs that I now will almost never play anymore due to an MP3 portable and an MP3 player in the car.

I mostly try-and-buy, i.e. if I have downloaded several mp3s of an artist I’m interesting in learning more about and I like most of them, I’ll go out and buy the CD. This probably accounts for most of my downloading, though I can’t give exact numbers as I tend to delete the files once I own the CD, so most of what I’ve currently got is either unreleased/live material or music I will admit I have no intention of buying. I can say for certain that I have bought more CDs since I’ve been able to check out new music by downloading it than I did in the few years immediately before file sharing became prevalent.

Mostly try and buy. Movies takes a least a month to screen over here (don’t you love saggered releases?), and I quickly realise if a movie is kack or not. If it’s good, then I buy the ticket and enjoy it on the big screen.

Music, it depends. Some bands, like Evanescene and Audioslave, produce great singles but the albums doesn’t do anything for me. Othertimes I just want a kitch 80’s tune and can’t be assed trying to find it second hand. Otherwise I try to buy the full album.

Apple now has an online music store, integrated into their music program iTunes, that allows you to buy digital tracks for 99 cents, and most albums for 9.99. No subscription fee. Unlimited burns, only real gotcha’s is the tracks can only be listened to on 3 computers. Nothing major.

They are porting it over to Windows by the end of the year.

One click music downloads, free 30 second previews. It’s really nice, I’ve messed with it on my Macs.

Back to the OP, I’ve done a good bit of downloading, but mainly to get a chance to listen to more obscure stuff before buying CD’s. Thanks to the internet, I was able to hop online, and listen to different tracks, and develop a taste for Jazz prior to buying the CD’s. Without the 'net, I wouldn’t have bought them.

We’ve heard from one side…so does anyone out there fall into the category of “adamant non-buyer”? Or are all of us Dopers upstanding citizens?*

(*Note: This sentence left in only to attract the ire of anti-piracy folks)

I have been known to try and buy, but mainly I don’t buy. I own all the Metallica songs from Ride the Lightning to Reload on MP3 downloaded from Napster. My Incubus collection (including a groovy disc with lots of live cuts and acustic versions) is completely burned. I have seen them in concert 4 times though, so I think that balances out somewhere. When I download music, its usually to make Mix Cd’s for parties, so I get dance versions of popular songs.

I just think the price of CD’s is a rip off, and I am pretty poor, so I don’t buy much music. The music I buy is from artists that I really enjoy like Meatloaf, Dave Matthews Band, Emeiem, among others. The stuff I download and keep is other stuff like Metallica (protest) Radiohead (suggestion from a friend) or Vanilla Ice (just because he sucks).

I have a friend of mine who is, as Quack said an Adamant non-buyer. He is fantatical about it. So much so that he makes his own album covers with RIAA SUCKS! across them and what not. Strange cookie, but his collection is good.

I tend to just buy stuff. I haven’t the time or patience to wait for things to download. I will download the odd oldie or one hit wonder, or a song which is the only good song on a CD full of crap songs.

My two cents - Technically it’s not stealing, since you are not depriving anyone of their copy of the song.

It’s like going out, seeing a car you like, then making an exact copy of the car for yourself (leaving the original car in it’s place)

      • I try and buy music, but usually not buy. The reason is that 128kb MP3’s sound like crap, but that’s what most people rip them as. So if I find a song I really like, I will buy the CD just to be able to get a 192Kb rip… which is what I ripped all mine at. :slight_smile: ~~~ And this is excepting for the case of music that is not available at all on any release, which I can’t buy legit CD’s of, I can only find it at all on P2P… Overall, it has been a long time since I have bought any CD’s at all, but then I just occasionally download a single song. I might have 150 DL’d songs total, probably from about 150 different CD’s.
  • Concerning software: I have downloaded many programs that would have been VERY expensive for me to buy, but usually I used them for a short time and then never bothered or needed them again. :confused: -I dunno how I consider that, since many had trial versions I could have used anyway. I have had to crack some of the legit software I have purchased; most notably Office 2K, which when I installed it on (downloaded!) WinXP, Office wanted a separate serial and registration for every separate user account. UMMMMMM, no. Homey does not play that. A couple other programs I have were the same way: when I went from Win98 to WinXP, they wanted multiple registrations and serials for multiple users, so I ended up using hacks on software I had paid for. I have friends who have used hacks in their professional environments also, because various security features of the expensive (architecture/3-d modeling/design) software they used wouldn’t work right with their hardware.

I’m a faithful tryer-and-buyer. I keep the file around long enough to get a sense of what I’m hearing, and then, whether I buy the CD or not, I delete it.

The reasons for this are about 80% personal and 20% ethical. You see, I’m a sucker for packaging. I love the liner notes, I love having the CD to stack neatly with the rest of my collection. This is the reason that I have recently passed the 900 number for CDs I own (which isn’t even a high number by some peoples’ standards!) and that number just keeps growing.

If there was a way to get a whole album, at great quality, and legally, for a price…I’d have a hard time doing it. Something about me can’t let go of having something to hold in my hands.

Didn’t buy. I get stuff that’s imported from other countries, so it’s too expensive. if I had the memory and time, I’d download whole albums. or I download singles I’ve heard on the radio and put them in my iTunes. Why buy?
(and that’s why I’ve stopped doing it, by the way. It’s just too easy)

I will buy some stuff I try. Usually only if I can’t find good quality MP3’s, so that’s not much of an argument. I am a member of emusic though, so a lot of times I can download the album legally for free (since I paid the monthly cost already).

OTOH, song samplers do work on me. I buy a lot of CD’s from hearing groups on the CD’s that come with CMJ.

I think one test will be when Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief is released on June 10. A rough cut has been all over the file sharing programs for over a month, and the real deal is out there now. I got a file share copy from a friend of mine and after a couple of listens pre-ordered it from Amazon. (I did cancel my order because I’m reviewing it for the local alternative weekly so I got a promotional copy. Am I a thief now?) I’m curious to see if widespread previewing will effect Radiohead’s sales, but I predict that it won’t. Kid A was also let loose on Napster back in the day and it debuted at #1 on the album charts in the U.S. Amnesiac was the same way, but it didn’t debut at #1. BUT it wasn’t as strong an album as Kid A, so one could postulate that people tried it out and didn’t like it as much.

As for me, I try and buy all the time. Just off the top of my head, I bought albums by …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Toots and the Maytals, Cat Power, Yo La Tengo, and Stevie Wonder after downloading some of their songs.

I do it all the time too. It’s like radio-on-demand.

I’ve purchased at least 20 CD’s in the last 2 years after sampling an mp3 (or 2 or 3) from the band. I have never downloaded an entire album instead of buying it. To me, the physical CD with booklet and liner notes will always be a superior product to the burned from mp3 with home-printed cover CD. And you can usually find them for under $10 if you know where to look.

[Ironic RIAA justice] I also recently lost my un-backed-up hard drive with my 1200 mp3’s (some quasi-legal, some completely legal). So I’m out all the hours of burning and downloading, and start over at 0 mp3 files, but I still have all the CD’s I spent actual money on! [/Ironic RIAA justice]

I fall into the “some of each” category. I have far more mp3s than I own, and probably over half of them I wouldn’t pay for. Whether it’s one hit wonders, or a song that’s so awful it’s fun, or having something for completeness-sake, I have lots of music that I wouldnt’ have if I’d had to pay for it. However, many of my cd purchases are influenced by my mp3 collection–and there are several artists I wouldn’t have heard of if I hadn’t grabbed the mp3 from someone. So - some of each, here.

Mostly just try, no buy.

But, I should add that prior to kazaa/napster, etc. I had maybe bought 3 albums in the proceeding 5 years (due soley to price), so its not really impacting my purchasing decision.

If I don’t like at least 4 tracks on an album, its generally not worth the cost tp me to purchase an album. In the past, I would do without, now I’ll download the tracks I like. Either way, I generally do not buy a given album unless I like several of the songs contained therein.

I’ll also point out that the vast majority of mp3s I have on my computer are songs that I own the albums for - much as TVGuy pointed out, they are much more portable in this format, and I can mix my own damn CDs.

The music industry really needs to move to an electronic distribution model. They can easily compensate for all their “lost profits” by minimizing thier distribution and production costs.

Oh, I replaced all my cassettes w/ mp3 downloads - didn’t feel like I should have to buy the same album again when the media became obsolete or broke.

When i download new stuff, or stuff i haven’t heard before, the result is often “try and buy.” I’ve bought quite a few CDs based on downloaded songs.

Where i’m somewhat less honest is when it comes to older songs, where i’m only interested in one or two songs by a particular artist. I’ve downloaded quite a few '60s, '70s and '80s hits to make my own “best of” collections. The main reason i do this is that it’s so hard to find the songs i want on one or two CDs. Getting the collection i want without downloading songs would require buying way too many CDs with abunch of crap on them.

I download epsiodes of TV shows.
But then again, I have been slowly buying all the seasons of the shows that I like.

I hardly ever download music.
I own the music I like, and the music I have been trying out is free or dang cheap stuff from online sources.

My general rule is: if I really like it, I am gonna buy it to vote with my money and hope they make more stuff that I like.