Winning the war over Internet music

Brad Lindert

Thank God for the Internet. With it we get to listen to a lot of music that we would never hear otherwise. (My new discovery is Camera Obscura, which sounds similar to Belle and Sebastian). We also can share music over wires and not pay a dime . . . Okay, I have some gripes with that. If the band is tiny and has little money then you should buy their record so they can eat.

But if the band is big like Creed you should rip all their music from the Internet because they have enough money. But why would you want to listen to Creed anyway? Never mind.

See, the thing is that I still buy CDs; even on a college student’s cash flow I still find money to buy those little plastic discs.

Apparently the record companies don’t think that people like me still exist. The record companies are scared to death that the Internet will ruin the recording business.

Note to record companies: Guess what? It won’t.

To combat this theft of music from the Internet, record companies have been making CDs more and more appealing to customers. Have you noticed how many CDs today have bonus DVDs? Or how many CDs have really cool packaging?

I started to notice it when the new Dave Matthews CD had the bonus DVD. Then came the Ben Folds Live CD with its own DVD.

This is just a ploy to get people to buy something that they cannot find on the Internet. Well, guess what? I would have bought the CDs anyway. Thank you, whoever is ripping music from the Internet. I owe you a free DVD.

Another way that the record companies are combating the Internet problem is by making extravagant packaging. Has anyone seen the new Tori Amos album? The limited edition CD comes in a cardboard box. Inside there is one sleeve containing the album and one sleeve containing the DVD, which has videos for three songs.

The box also contains a strip of pseudo Polaroid pictures of Tori. And honestly, who doesn’t want to see lots of pictures of Tori with wind in her hair? That alone makes the CD worthwhile.

Also, the box contains some stickers and a road map of the United States. On the back of the map we find the liner notes. But what is the coolest thing in the box? It’s a metal charm to put on a charm bracelet (my brother got the ladybug).

Another thing to mention is that apparently if you buy two normal versions of the new Tori record (Scarlet’s Walk) at good record stores (i.e. not Wal-Mart) you get a free DVD that has Tori explaining every song on the album.

So, to all those people that are stealing from the artists using the Internet I say thank you. Because of you, I can watch Ben Folds playing “Tiny Dancer” and hear the Dave Matthews Band play “Bartender” in 5.1 stereo surround sound: all because you are taking their music from the Internet.

I just can’t wait for the movie industry to start adding more bonuses to their DVDs. Will the next Lord of the Rings DVD contain a free diamond ring? Or will a hobbit just deliver it to your door personally?