Yesterday afternoon, the phone in my office rang.
Me: "Kevin Apgar."
Him: "Hi. This is so-and-so with the Aurora Beacon-News. You recently answered our request about iPod playlists and I wanted to follow up with a few questions if that's okay with you."
A little background information:
I work in public relations and our Media Relations Director (MRD) is always looking for people on campus to take part in media requests. He'll receive random requests for information that local newspapers send out in bulk to their contact lists and our MRD tries to forward them on to people that he feels might be good sources of information. It can be a request for any number of topic areas from academic or religious information all the way on down to experts on Harry Potter.
Mine just happened to be about iPods and what the top ten songs are in my playlist. The MRD gave me the request and I replied to it.
And, a couple weeks later, I got a callback about it.
Oh, and he really did have a name. But, for the life of me, I'll be damned if I can remember it.
Him: "So you fell right in the middle of the range of ages of people who responded to the request."
Him: "Yep. I had kids as young as 11 and people as old as 60 respond."
Him: "Yeah, I never expected that good a turnout. But it's given me a lot of information to choose from."
Me: "I'll bet it has."
So we sat around and talked music for about 10-15 minutes.
Wow, what a great break in the day. Just talk to someone about music in the middle of the workday. Those are very welcome breaks. Especially when the person is knowledgeable enough themselves. I haven't had someone in the office with whom I could talk music since Eric moved to Michigan, so this was a great reprieve.
We talked about ways in which I acquire music (my collection, Eric, the library, and the iTunes Music Store), whether I support the concept of peer-to-peer sharing networks (split... I don't support piracy, but I think it's fine to use P2P to find out if you like something enough before buying it... I like to know what I'm spending my hard-earned money on ahead of time), if I've ever used P2P (back in the day when Napster was free and in some early versions of Limewire to do exactly what I described above), and what I think of the RIAA (a joke that generally just puts out shit music, charges way too much for it, and constantly creates policies and initiates lawsuits that drive more and more people to want to take part in piracy instead of concentrating their efforts on finding a positive, viable solution).
It really was a great conversation and I hope that some of my input finds its way into the article. I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't, though, since I've been interviewed before and all my information was cut from the final article.
If it does make it in there, I'll either link to it or repost the entire article here.
It would be cool if I get in there.
On the music front, Alex and Nick from Franz Ferdinand were given the 20 questions by Playboy this month (I know this from reading Right Thoughts, not from reading Playboy). One of the questions pertained to how digital downloads and MP3 players, specifically the iPod, affect music sales...
PLAYBOY: Some musicians aren’t very happy about the iPod.
NICK: I’m not quite sure. I think if you’re in one place, it’s nice to
have an actual album, a record sleeve, the lyrics. So there will
always be that element of wanting to own something and not just have a
song on a hard drive. But I know I travel a lot - and I’ve always
liked to travel light - I don’t like to have a lot of possessions. What
I do is buy a CD and stick it in and rip it. Then I can listen to it
and have it with me even if I lose the CD or give it away.
ALEX: I like the idea that, because of downloading, people are
going to buy songs only if they are good. I think that’s a positive
thing. It means lazy bands aren’t going to get away with giving you
one hit single and an album full of filler. We like the idea that
every song should stand up in its own right so you don’t have to listen
to a song in the context of an album to understand it. I suppose
that’s why I’m sympathetic to the download environment.
Alex's response is right on the money. That really sums it up perfectly, doesn't it? Yet the RIAA hasn't learned anything, have they?
And I just found this article from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) in which the RIAA says that copying CDs to an iPod should not constitute "fair use." Good luck with that one. Asshats.