The Visual Component

Lately, I’ve been going through a bunch of CDs that friends have (gasp!) burned for me. I’ve listened to Spoon’s Kill the Moonlight, The Arcade Fire’s Funeral, and some album by Autolux, the name of which escapes me. Usually, it takes me 3 listens to form a definite opinion on music, but it’s taking me much longer that on these CDs. After much thought, I realize it’s because I don’t have the cover art. No liner notes, no clever pictures of celebrities juxtaposed with images of war, no lyrics…nothing. And I realize that the cd art is an important component of the listening experience. When I see that Frank Black is releasing an EP on I-Tunes, or that Beck’s new single is download-only, I get worried. Having the hard copy…something to look at as I listen, or to display on my CD rack, is very important to me. Why would someone who loves music, who collects it, as it were, want to do away with the ability to hold that music in his or her hands?

Discuss, everyone!


4 Responses to “The Visual Component”

  1. It doesn’t bother me that much. But then, I’m a minimalist. I don’t want excesses like CD cases cluttering up my living space. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. My friend Dan would agree. He put all of his CDs on his computer before he moved to Dayton, so that he wouldn’t have to carry all the CD cases around.

  3. Although I love the library of music I’ve accumulated through burning, it’s hard to get to really dedicate the time to form an opinion on an album when there’s so much music coming in. And I agree, a visual representation is essential. Internet only albums would be cool, I think, as long as you got to download some album artwork for it too, and I find a lot of cd jackets to be lame, like not a lot of information or creativity put into it.

  4. Internet music scares me the moment it becomes legal, I need re-education at a Music Industry Sponsored Re-Education Centre. As such things don’t exist, I shall be perpetually scared until the next illegal downloading craze hits all the right buttons of the rich and musical! ๐Ÿ™‚

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