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Con: Technology makes more music accessible to more people

By APRILL BRANDON
July 4, 2010 at 2:04 a.m.


The issue: Is technology ruining music?

With the advent of MP3's and iPods, do-it-yourself recording studios and websites like YouTube and Myspace, some audiophiles believe all this new technology is ruining both the sound and integrity of music.

On the other side, some music lovers believe all this technology is helping music by making it more accessible to the masses, giving the public more variety than ever before and helping musicians bypass large, elitist record labels.

To some music lovers, the idea that new technology is ruining music is simply ridiculous.

"MP3s are not responsible for destroying music any more than CD's were responsible for destroying music. CDs weren't responsible for destroying music any more than cassette tapes were responsible for destroying music," Victoria music lover Nelson Jackson said. "Personally, I think it's great that I can load enough songs on something the size of a cigarette lighter that uses one AAA battery and listen to music all day.

"Back in 1983, I had a Walkman radio/cassette player that took four AA batteries and would use them up in four to five hours. It would take eight tapes to get me through the day without hearing the same song twice."

From a musician's standpoint, while technology isn't doing the music industry any favors, it is actually helping music, Tim Lara of the Victoria band The Loveletter said.

"Instead of millions and millions of dollars, music companies just make millions of dollars. I'm OK with the industry hurting. Music will always survive," he said. "The fact is, a few years ago, you were going to pay close to $20 for an album that was one good song and all filler.

"Now with downloads, piracy, websites that let you preview the song and Internet radio, you have a choice to search out and find new bands. That means bands and music are going to have to get good in order to be purchased again."

These days, anybody can record a video of themselves singing or playing guitar and post it on the Internet, regardless of whether the music is any good. Ultimately, that is great thing for musicians and bands, he added.

"Unless a band is going to be a fluke and get Internet famous, more bands will have to rely on touring and putting on awesome live shows to gain a real fan base. There is something to be said about a band that doesn't need to compromise their integrity to be on a label and being able to cut the middle man out of their music distribution can help a lot too," he said.

Victoria College music professor Jonathan Anderson has devoted his life to music and teaching music. He believes that it's imperative to go along with the changes happening in music.

"If music is going to continue to enrich people's lives, then we have to change because that's what the time we are living in is giving us. The fact that someone can buy professional software tools and have a recording studio in their bedroom, from that standpoint, I think all this new technology is wonderful," he said. "It allows people to dabble in music, which will hopefully encourage them to come to the educational side of music to become a better musician.

"Music is the only language that transcends every lifestyle and culture in our world today. As long as this technology is getting people into music, I'm happy."

Michael Weston, Blue Armadillo Recording Studio owner and University of Houston-Victoria multimedia specialist, agreed.

"More art is better than less art, even if it sucks," he said.

Related story: Pro: Sound quality has been sacrificed for convenience

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