It dawned on me quite unexpectedly.

I had resisted subscribing to a music service for years. My sons, both younger –bien sûr! – and far wiser – of course ! – than me, had prompted me to join the service.

It is almost free dad!

Instead of you shopping around to find the better deals, you simply search and ..voilà!

Instead of you buying litterally dozens upon dozens of CDs every year, you will get them all for 10 $ a month!

But then, money was never at the heart of the problem.

I can understand the younger generation, used to download everything for free, although illegally.

This is a sad reality of life. When you are young, you want everything but cannot afford it, whereas, as you get older, you have almost everything you desire already and extra money to spend on …nothing.

Well, I have always spent money on music. A little bit more now as I purchase deluxe editions and what have you.

I always cherished my purchases.

I still have this perception that owning the music will make you love it more. At least, you will try your heart out to love it once you have spent a few dollars on it. At least, that was the reason I listened over and over again to some LP in my youth (especially this damned live LP from Goddo…Goddo…. why did I even bother with this…arrrrgh… week now I know I do not like this one…yep, it was worth the 3.99$ I paid for it).

I know how much music I buy every month : let’s say 10 albums.

I know how much new music I crave every month. I usually download a few albums just for fun, say 10 more.

I also know I rarely listen to a CD less than five times once I purchased it. I always assume that music written and recorded has an intrinsic value if somebody took the trouble to put it down on a recording machine/computer etc.

I give it a chance. Or five.

At 10$ a month that would be a lot less than one dollar per recording downloaded.

Will I invest anytime listening five times a download to “love” it if I paid 25 cents for it ?

I doubt it.

Will I continue to buy albums I love ?

Will I love albums I listened to only a few times ?

Will I listen to them again ?

Going from POSSESS to ACCESS is quite a paradigm shift for a lot of people.

I used to buy lots of magazines. Single magazines or subscription. Some I read while patiently performing daily gastro-intestinal maintenance, having a stack of great reading right next to the device required for the maintenance. Some I read while eating breakfast.

Some I stopped reading because the publisher stopped printing them, “offering” the iPad version to their customers…For some reasons, I do not carry my iPad in the bathroom.

Most of the articles in these magazines are available online eventually. Heck, there is a lot more stuff online than what is available in print! Why do I even bother taking the time to register for a subscription ?

Because I need to take action.

Because the act of deciding, the act of commission to an annual subscription is very different than simply browsing superficially with a very limited commitment through a series online articles.

Because there is ..simply.. too..much..stuff on the Web.

Harold Jarche, one on my thought mentor, has designed what he calls PKM, Personal Knowledge Mastery, an essential skill of the XXIst century to seek, sense and share information.

An essential skill to sort throught the plethora of information available to anybody on the Web.

This will prevent unsuspecting net surfers and information cravers going from POSSESS to ACCESS to EXCESS.

But what about my music service ?

Music is the language of the soul.

My very personal soul is, I am convinced, quite unique. So is my soul’s language. Music talks to me like it talks to no one else.

I can share my musical treasures and my wide array of different musical horizons but ultimately I, and only I listen to music. This is especially true with earphone today. Loud-speakers are great to share music. God knows my neighbours got a taste of Iron Maiden early in the 80s!

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I am then quite alone with my music service and full access to 30 millions songs.

I was recently reading a book on the history of black metal. Each band they discussed was also on my music service…wow… every chapter was accompanied by the music of the band that was covered in it! Wow!

I could experiment the history, 15 minutes at a time.

Had I purchase everything, I would have had to wait a week to receive the CD after reading about it. Oh, yes, I would also have to pay for all this.

Now… instant gratification!

Or mortification in several cases as some black metal “artists” are pretty crappy.

There you have it.


From access to excess

I did not purchase any of this. (ok,ok, I already had some of it).

And I will NOT purchase most of it.

I will not ever again listen to this.

But…maybe I should… ah, no.

Will I miss something out of NOT investing more than 5 minutes in any of those bands ? Sure.

I noticed that all the music I listened to up to 2005 approximately is ingrained in my mind. Twenty years down the road, I can still remember most of it upon the first few notes.

Since 2005, maybe due to the increased amount of new music, I do not listen as frequently to my “favorite” albums. Oh, the old favorites are still there, but very few new “favorites” are integrated in my “favorite” playlist.

I still think there is merit in possessing music.

I definitively think there is merit in accessing all this music.

I am also pretty positive hat the human brain will eventually find a way to adapt to this infobesity, be it information or music.

But I am not there yet.


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