chumpy

Is there a point to making an album?

70 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, HoboSage said:

 

I found it interesting that people don't listen to music at all in their cars anymore. Is that true I wonder? Or do they now use computer speakers in cars and they're grouping them in with that? Of course I can't overlook it's on a tech website, what else would they be promoting?

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18 hours ago, Steve said:

 

 

I suppose those of us that grew up buying albums, will have a desire to produce an album! I see nothing wrong with that ambition! People still buy albums, even if it's just a download.

 

AND.

 

Compiling an album is a good exercise in itself! Gathering together a collection of your very best songs is a good motivation!

 

What Steve said.

 

For me. I have loads of songs that I have never recorded. Rather than just recording them randomly and putting out endless single recordings, grouping them as an album gives me more purpose and a little more urgency. 

 

But I am talking about Soundcloud digital albums these days. I'm done with creating physical CDs and artwork. I used to burn CDs to sell or give away at gigs but I don't really do gigs anymore and I can reach more people via the web.

 

Thinking of the songs as an album also makes me approach recording in a different way. Nick and I did the Box of Goats album with a full production. That led me to do my next album 'Charm Offensive' as stripped down as possible. The next one 'A Walk In The Park' was a set of songs McNaughton Park and I wrote together. The one after that 'Rose Tinted Spectacle' was a re-recorded retrospective of songs I had written in the 80s. My next set 'The Slow Reveal' is appearing gradually on Soundcloud as I get round to recording or writing the tracks. And I know what the next two albums after that will be. 

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2 hours ago, Just1L said:

 

I found it interesting that people don't listen to music at all in their cars anymore. Is that true I wonder? Or do they now use computer speakers in cars and they're grouping them in with that? Of course I can't overlook it's on a tech website, what else would they be promoting?

 

I mostly listen to music in my car!

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Oh, and I listen to about 200 new albums a year by other people.

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On 10/02/2017 at 4:55 PM, Alistair said:

 

I mostly listen to music in my car!

 

So do I.  I have a 6 CD changer in the car, and I am constantly burning CDs to listen to! I find it the most relaxing place to listen. At home, I only have the computer and headphones. Which is great! Until somebody starts talking to you!  I love listening to music in the car!

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On February 10, 2017 at 10:55 AM, Alistair said:

 

I mostly listen to music in my car!

 

Yeah, me too. That was kind of what I was getting at. I found it interesting that listening in the car didn't even crack the top 10. Which means, in my eyes, it's all phooey meant for tech promotion for one thing or the other. Tech companies are the "original" fake news spreaders. Do this, buy that, this is the future, everyone is doing this or that … say it enough and for long enough and people will start to feel old and out of touch or even uncool, even though they shouldn't, and start buying tech gear just to keep up with the lesser quality society. And it works like a charm. Hell, right now, people think politics are the worst ever when in reality it's "business as usual". Go back through the decades and it's the same b.s. There's even been cases where a person had their opponent killed. Nothing new to see, just the way we see it.

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3 hours ago, Just1L said:

I found it interesting that listening in the car didn't even crack the top 10. Which means, in my eyes, it's all phooey meant for tech promotion for one thing or the other.

 

I dunno... maybe the car things is BS but ...I know so many people who listen on laptop speakers, or through really nasty cheap earbuds, or tablet speaker. I sent a link to one of my songs to my business partner a while back, I asked what she was listening on and she said the laptop... I said 'on earphones?'...'no' she says 'I don't have any earphones'.... 'Speakers to plug in?'... 'No, don't own any'...  I told her she wasn't allowed to listen again. My wife does listen to music in the car, but so quietly that all she can hear is the tinny top end, and otherwise she listens on ...laptop speakers... or phone speaker, or some earbuds that have literally no bass... 

 

I'm sure a lot of people really do listen in car... they must do... but I reckon they're not far wrong about the laptop speakers because people spend more time on laptops/tablets than driving. And overall, probably right in that the majority don't really care about the sound quality.

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33 minutes ago, MonoStone said:

 

I dunno... maybe the car things is BS but ...I know so many people who listen on laptop speakers, or through really nasty cheap earbuds, or tablet speaker. I sent a link to one of my songs to my business partner a while back, I asked what she was listening on and she said the laptop... I said 'on earphones?'...'no' she says 'I don't have any earphones'.... 'Speakers to plug in?'... 'No, don't own any'...  I told her she wasn't allowed to listen again. My wife does listen to music in the car, but so quietly that all she can hear is the tinny top end, and otherwise she listens on ...laptop speakers... or phone speaker, or some earbuds that have literally no bass... 

 

I'm sure a lot of people really do listen in car... they must do... but I reckon they're not far wrong about the laptop speakers because people spend more time on laptops/tablets than driving. And overall, probably right in that the majority don't really care about the sound quality.

 

I listen to music in the car whenever I'm out and about. My car has decent speakers though.

 

Normally I will listen to music through the Sonos or my headphones. I have good headphones though so don't mind. It means I can crank the music up and no-one has to hear it.... especially when I'm trialling one of my own songs.

 

My wife doesn't tend to listen to music much, but when she does it's on cheap headphones, in the car or on the Sonos when no-one is in. She tends to listen to Radio 2 a lot.

 

I bought the kids headphones and they have a decent Bluetooth speaker, but they would rather listen to it through their iPhone speakers!!!!! 

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I find myself wishing I had started this thread . . . because then I could delete it and shut you all up.  You're starting to sound like a bunch of old hens.  :)

Edited by HoboSage

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Careful David, the last person to approach such an observation ruffled some feathers, and was told in no uncertain terms to cluck off. :)

 

Sorry. Couldn't resist :D 

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To the original topic, for me, there's an artistic motivation on my part to push out albums instead of EPs or singles. It's instinctual, I suppose, I'm used to listening to full albums rather than cherry picking songs I like (which is what I do after running through the whole thing). Now, I do see the success in people doing EPs and non-album singles without an album in their discography. I know a few people personally that do this with more of a following than my band shoving out albums with as modest an audience as you can get. But even still, there's something about putting together an album that's a lot more meaningful and rewarding for me. EPs and singles are a quick buzz; albums are the full trance. 

 

Now, if we're talking economics, yeah, burning endless CDs is a pain in the ass. I don't produce CDs, my band's album discography is free for digital download on Soundcloud, so it'd be easier for me to sit here and be so pro-album when I don't actually press physical copies. So if that's what you want to do, that's a roadblock in and of itself. Nevertheless, there's always a point to making an album. There's a point to making EPs and singles too. It depends on what you're trying to achieve with that album as to whether its worth it. My band may only receive the acclaim of 30-some-odd people, but I don't regret making albums at all.

 

...Except for our first album. That one needs to be condemned. 

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If I'm in the city I see lots of commuters using headphones. Those are usually at least the quality of what you get with an iphone. There are some who listen every day and invest in a nicer pair of ear buds. Pretty much any college student or commuting yuppie has a setup like that.

 

Millions of commuters in cars. Think about it, there isn't much to do in a car aside from driving. Either gab to someone over a bluetooth connection or listen to talk radio/music. I suspect that this is where an interest in an artist starts. This is true in my case. I create channels in Pandora and it streams all relevant artists via my phone to bluetooth in the car. If I happen to hear one I really like I'll seek that artist. Here's the kicker though. Pandora is like 5.00 a month and it's unlimited anything I want, so if I like an artist, why would I go to iTunes/Amazon? 

 

I don't personally like over the air radio very much for music. Why listen to what they pick for me when I can listen to anything I want? The constant commercials are also a real pain. I mostly use it for weather and news/ talk radio.I had XM radio for awhile, but I like Pandora more because XM is still a playlist of limited genre.

 

I hadn't realized this until recently. When was the last time you looked for a basic radio? I was looking for one as a gift and all you can find anymore is bluetooth. It's even tough to find a portable CD player. The world has pretty much gone bluetooth including me. I can take my phone from my car and connect it via Alexa or one of my other basic bluetooth players I have, heck I even have one that floats for the pool :)

 

Bluetooth streaming seems to be the way it has gone. iTunes and Amazon seem to be the two main ones aside from Pandora. If I were looking to make money I would post to one of those and put myself in a place that a music meta crawler could easily find me if someone searches " indie rock" or " acoustic". They won't ever look for you specifically. Likely your song will pop up through a search.

 

 

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6 hours ago, john said:

Careful David, the last person to approach such an observation ruffled some feathers, and was told in no uncertain terms to cluck off. :)

 

Sorry. Couldn't resist :D 

 

I'm not one to walk on eggs shells. :)

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The survey isn't about where people listen to music, but how they do.  I suspect listening in a car is covered by listening via "radio" and listening via earbuds and portable MP3 players and smartphones consistent with Tim's observations during his commutes.  BTW, the trend for automobile makers is to not even bother putting CD players in cars anymore. But, maybe they've fallen victim to the false propaganda fostered by evil, lying tech companies too. :) 

Edited by HoboSage
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12 minutes ago, HoboSage said:

The survey isn't about where people listen to music, but how they do.  I suspect listening in a car is covered by listening via "radio" and listening via earbuds and portable MP3 players and smartphones consistent with Tim's observations during his commutes.  BTW, the trend for automobile makers is to not even bother putting CD players in cars anymore. But, maybe they've fallen victim to the false propaganda fostered by evil, lying tech companies too. :) 

 

You still goin on about this? 

 

 

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Who cares what the survey says, I want to talk about making albums!:lol:

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I'm making the assumption that the reason most people desire to make an album is to make money. Maybe some of it could be attributed to  personal aspiration. 

 

The question, " Is there a point to making an album ?" could probably be restated, can I make money with my music? So this isn't about an album, this is about money.

Some people might say. " I want to make money, how can I do that?" IOW, they just want to make money and they are looking at whatever means they find to do that. Artistic

pursuits aside. 

 

 

To rationalize it we could say, " I spend a lot of time making my music, can I also make money at it?" This makes sense to a musician. If you approach it like, " I'll make music anyways. If I make money great." I think this is more healthy approach, or if you say, " Making money is part of my long term music plan". Be positive, but be realistic. I think making it a necessity is an unhealthy approach.

 

If you say, " If I can't make money, I won't make music." You probably don't belong in music, go make pizzas for a living or something.

 

I used Pandora as an example. They have a free version with commercials. I'm not sure exactly how the artist benefits. Pandora are like so many other companies who use others talent and resources to make money. Uber/lyft are good examples of that. Use YOUR car and YOUR gas. Works out to less than minimum wage.

 

The plus is society has to be in good shape to support these kinds of things for both artist and listener. When a society can rise above survival to take time for the arts we're doing pretty good! We can now live better than the victorians.

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Money? Not how I read the OP at all.

 

The album concept was long player vinyl. You can get more on a CD, but mostly artists dont. So this 20 minutes per side has stuck ever since. CDs are now only for us geezers who think we have to be able to see what we've bought.

 

This cloud stuff is all very well, but what happens on a clear day? Stuffed then aren't ya?

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In my case (I created this topic) I have zero desire to try to make money from music. The music industry is a monster that has historically screwed artists and ripped of their customers. I'm glad they're getting disrupted, couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of snakes.

 

What I would like is to have my music heard by more people. I was mostly looking at the question of making an album from that perspective. The album format was dictated by the 'Long Play' record format, it wasn't created because it was the best way for consumers to hear music. I'm starting to think that the EP length is more digestible length for listeners. 

 

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If you post a link to your online music I will gladly listen to it.

 

But if I have to wait six aeons for a physical album I probably won't.

Edited by Alistair

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37 minutes ago, chumpy said:

In my case (I created this topic) I have zero desire to try to make money from music. The music industry is a monster that has historically screwed artists and ripped of their customers. I'm glad they're getting disrupted, couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of snakes.

 

What I would like is to have my music heard by more people. I was mostly looking at the question of making an album from that perspective. The album format was dictated by the 'Long Play' record format, it wasn't created because it was the best way for consumers to hear music. I'm starting to think that the EP length is more digestible length for listeners. 

 

 

This is why I mentioned about singles and EP's being seen as the new norm. Yes, artists will still want to do an album as that is an end goal. But an EP or single are quicker and can be released on a more regular basis to keep fans wanting to keep listening.

 

In this day and age, it is all about getting something out to keep people wanting to listen to you, or hey move on to something else. That's why you get 2 or 3 albums a year from some of the new acts the Record companies want to throw down our throats. They want to make as much money off them, before people realise it is the same shit regurgitated in a different look.

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52 minutes ago, chumpy said:

What I would like is to have my music heard by more people. I was mostly looking at the question of making an album from that perspective. The album format was dictated by the 'Long Play' record format, it wasn't created because it was the best way for consumers to hear music. I'm starting to think that the EP length is more digestible length for listeners. 

 

 

So based on this I misinterpreted the question. I was thinking of Album as being some sort of physical product, i.e. CD/Vinyl/etc… Now I understand it as just a group of songs, maybe with a certain theme tying them together? Or, is it the just the actual number of songs grouped together? Technically if you have all your songs available on Soundcloud, boom, there's your album/EP. Done. Use their album feature like Alistair does and you're good to go.

 

Now, if the main goal is definitely to have your music heard by more people I would take more to mean as many as possible. So in that case you have your online album. Now do a CD for those that are still into CDs. Do a vinyl version for those still listening to vinyl. Get your songs on all the streaming services. Get them on local radio stations if you can as well as internet stations and so on an so forth.

 

Promote everything on every single social site available, there's at least about 200 of them.

Edited by Just1L
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Some of my Soundcloud albums were actual physical CDs. Everything up to Charm Offensive was. Though I have tinkered with Hidden Talent by adding and subtracting tracks. It's a compilation in any case.

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2 hours ago, Rudi said:

This cloud stuff is all very well, but what happens on a clear day? Stuffed then aren't ya?

 

You plan for that kind of thing by downloading the tunes and burning it to a CD :) "Stuffed" must be a British expression. If I hear that said around here, it usually means someone ate too much turkey. :)

 

Chumpy I see your point. When I hear album I think income generation. Maybe that idea has changed? I also tend to think of an album as a hard copy. I mean, when I go to buy a physical copy it's a lot different than buying online to download or stream. For one thing, individual tracks are offered for sale. Maybe this is one of the problems. If they didn't offer that option people would buy the whole album. I'm not sure if the vinyl single came first? Then at some point the record companies said , " We can make more money if we offer a collection from the artist". In some cases maybe single tracks only available on an album? Some people would buy an album for one or two songs.

 

Calling it an album is accurate in one sense, yet in another sense it isn't because it isn't mostly sold as a collection online. If I bought an album of 15 tracks and only wanted two, that's pretty much like the woman who went on a diet and lost 10 pounds. The diet costed her 1000 dollars. So it realistically costed her 100.00 a pound :)

 

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5 minutes ago, Alistair said:

Some of my Soundcloud albums were actual physical CDs. Everything up to Charm Offensive was. Though I have tinkered with Hidden Talent by adding and subtracting tracks. It's a compilation in any case.

 

So as someone who has actually made a physical CD, what are your thoughts on that? Would you say it was a waste of time? After doing both types, CD/virtual, which do you think helped you the most?

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11 minutes ago, starise said:

Calling it an album is accurate in one sense, yet in another sense it isn't because it isn't mostly sold as a collection online. If I bought an album of 15 tracks and only wanted two, that's pretty much like the woman who went on a diet and lost 10 pounds. The diet costed her 1000 dollars. So it realistically costed her 100.00 a pound :)

 

 

I def hear what you're saying. When I used to buy albums, especially from a newer group, it was based on a song or two I heard on the radio. Using Van Halen as an example, it's those songs that weren't on the radio, the deep tracks, that I truly loved more than the hit songs played on the radio. In a way I felt like I was getting the "true" Van Halen, not just the songs that were destined to become hits or singles. Radios were playing "You Really Got Me", I was cranking "Ice Cream Man". 

 

Of course by and large a lot of songs on a lot of albums by a lot of bands ended up feeling like filler material sounding relatively uninspired compared to their hits.

Edited by Just1L
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I loved VH. I remember buying  cassette tapes for the same reason you did. Back then , they didn't sell cassette singles, and yeah, most of the other tracks were not something I would have bought. To make it worse, it was difficult to locate the tracks I liked on cassette. When I bought my first car deck that had search capability I was in cassette tape heaven....until the buggar unwound inside the machine. Amazing how the focus changes over time from  a car and girls to a real life with kids and a family. Bills, a mortgage and a full time job. Maybe the theme for a song.

 

Two different listeners there.

 

One has no bills and some disposable income. Exactly why so many bands are marketed toward that crowd by record companies. They're too young to reminisce about anything other than diapers.

 

The other is rushed and usually over worked..in a word stressed. If I were working the top down I might ask what that crowd like to hear. They like to sometimes remember the "good old days" , in fact, some of them won't shut up about it and refuse to look ahead :) 

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18 hours ago, Just1L said:

 

So as someone who has actually made a physical CD, what are your thoughts on that? Would you say it was a waste of time? After doing both types, CD/virtual, which do you think helped you the most?

 When I say 'made' a physical CD, I mean that I made it rather than having it professionally pressed and printed.

 

Take the Box of Goats album 'Universal Theory Of Everything'. That took roughly 9 months to make, on and off, spread across many evenings, recording all the different parts at Nick's house. We had recorded two tracks in a studio, were starting to gig, and needed something to give to venues to get us more gigs and to sell at gigs to anyone who wanted one. So an album was the logical thing to do as we already had loads of songs and we needed a physical product. It was fun making an album, at least to start with, though I think we ran out of steam towards the end and there are a couple of tracks that are not really finished.

 

I designed the cover, burned and printed labels on to the CDs. We got played on the radio on the back of sending one in to the local radio station and I probably sold about 20-30 at gigs. That's not many. On the other hand I don't have boxes of unwanted 10 year old albums sitting at home either. I just made enough copies for what we needed. At least those who bought the album might have listened to it. I doubt they would have if we had just given them a link to Soundcloud - the moment would have been gone by then.

 

Was it a waste of time? Well, no, it was hard work - but enjoyable work - and that's not the same thing. Whether you release physically or online you still have to make the recordings and, as I said previously, an album gives you a purpose and a focus that releasing single tracks doesn't. I don't miss all the printing of labels and burning of CDs though.

 

I didn't make an album to make money and unsurprisingly I didn't make any! All my Soundcloud material can be downloaded for free, though it is generally not because why would you if you can come back and listen any time (or, it's crap!)?. What I do know is that many, many more people around the world have listened to my music online than ever did to the physical CDs or the cassette albums I made in my bedroom 35 years ago - and that's the main thing for me.

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On 1/20/2017 at 1:14 PM, Richard Tracey said:

 

There are still many old and new artists making the typical album - I was just meaning the 'pop' artists that are ten a penny at the moment. I love finding an album where every song on it has been crafted to perfection and there isn't a dull song on the track list.

 

I realize I'm late to this conversation and likely inserting some serious thread drift by quoting from several pages back, but I wanted to respond to this comment. I recently picked up Miranda Lambert's new 2 disc release, and there are maybe 4 to 5 songs out of 23-26 (can't remember which, but it was a lot) that I wasn't immediately happy to hear. That handful of songs has also grown on me after a few plays, so I'd say this whole collection is a home run. In all honesty, I've never owned a single CD with so many good songs on it. 

 

Now onto the first topic, I almost never purchase physical music anymore. This is my first purchase in a very long time. Some of those reasons are because I don't have the equipment at home to enjoy playing them. I am slowly moving up in the world that way and now have a vehicle with a CD player, but at the same time have a smart phone that connects with the stereo system. Here's the real problem. I do have a Google Play subscription, so can download and play anything I want from their catalog. But, on my hour commutes to school, the car drops the connection to the phone, or the phone drops connection to Google, and then I find myself mid-song and mid-commute not being able to get back to it while driving. It frustrated me enough times that I said, "forget this nonsense," and went for the physical copy of something I'd heard enough times digitally that I knew was worth paying for the hard copy. On top of that, it's a far better quality sound. Double bonus. Just wanted to add in a perspective that hasn't yet been  noted. Also, radio doesn't really take care of the commuter market that well. I'm in the Chicago area, and while we have some great radio stations, there is music here you never hear on the radio that gets played to death elsewhere in the country. I can think of a few rock bands that qualify. For one, I almost never hear anything from Yes. They stick to mostly top 40 rock or pop or country, and that's all you get. It's very limiting for everyone with musical tastes that span the many genres available today. This is why owning the CD is still most attractive for anyone who does drive long distance to work or school. A niche market to keep in mind, and potential way of targeting those customers.

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12 hours ago, Chicken picker said:

 

I realize I'm late to this conversation and likely inserting some serious thread drift by quoting from several pages back, but I wanted to respond to this comment. I recently picked up Miranda Lambert's new 2 disc release, and there are maybe 4 to 5 songs out of 23-26 (can't remember which, but it was a lot) that I wasn't immediately happy to hear. That handful of songs has also grown on me after a few plays, so I'd say this whole collection is a home run. In all honesty, I've never owned a single CD with so many good songs on it. 

 

Now onto the first topic, I almost never purchase physical music anymore. This is my first purchase in a very long time. Some of those reasons are because I don't have the equipment at home to enjoy playing them. I am slowly moving up in the world that way and now have a vehicle with a CD player, but at the same time have a smart phone that connects with the stereo system. Here's the real problem. I do have a Google Play subscription, so can download and play anything I want from their catalog. But, on my hour commutes to school, the car drops the connection to the phone, or the phone drops connection to Google, and then I find myself mid-song and mid-commute not being able to get back to it while driving. It frustrated me enough times that I said, "forget this nonsense," and went for the physical copy of something I'd heard enough times digitally that I knew was worth paying for the hard copy. On top of that, it's a far better quality sound. Double bonus. Just wanted to add in a perspective that hasn't yet been  noted. Also, radio doesn't really take care of the commuter market that well. I'm in the Chicago area, and while we have some great radio stations, there is music here you never hear on the radio that gets played to death elsewhere in the country. I can think of a few rock bands that qualify. For one, I almost never hear anything from Yes. They stick to mostly top 40 rock or pop or country, and that's all you get. It's very limiting for everyone with musical tastes that span the many genres available today. This is why owning the CD is still most attractive for anyone who does drive long distance to work or school. A niche market to keep in mind, and potential way of targeting those customers.

 

Late, maybe, but a good contribution Chicken Picker :)

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