Thursday, April 15, 2010

It does not mean that I am going straight

Matthew made a comment on my Blog yesterday that made me stop and think. He said “actually paying for downloads. True retro, maan.“

I realised that it is actually years since I have stolen music - and there are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, iTunes allows me to buy the tracks I want to buy – rather than having to buy a CD with 12 tracks including masses of stuff that may have been fun to make but is not fun to listen to. I don’t think $0.99 is an unreasonable price to pay for a song that someone has taken the trouble to write and record (even if they were drunk or stoned at the time) – and I am happy to pay it.

Secondly – while I still buy some contemporary mainstream music (I downloaded some P!nk tracks last night) I am mainly interested in independent artists and music that is not available on iTunes – or almost anywhere else for that matter.

So I subscribe to a site called emusic This is a legitimate site where the music is made available by a whole bunch of independent artists – and it includes a whole bunch of stuff from eons ago by a wide range of artists. This costs me €0.40 per song and I have an annual subscription that enables me to download 24 songs each month for an annual fee of €115.

This site is good for me as - while my iTunes library currently stands at 19,000 songs - I have an interest the origins of music and particularly Bluegrass, Country and Folk music from the 1920s on. This site has a vast collection of this type of music.

And – I have discovered some sensational Indie groups and artists that I would never have found anywhere else as they simply would not get played on radio.

And it’s not only music – I no longer download TV series – and have not done so since we left Australia. We had a particular problem in Australia in that the TV stations would buy series from America and show them months (in fact often up to six months) after they were shown in the USA.

Even then the episodes would be shown with 20 minutes of advertisements, would sometimes be shown out of order – or repeated - or could well be bumped altogether by something like the Queensland Annual Crab Racing Championships. I made a decision some years ago that I would NEVER watch anything I wanted to watch if I had to endure advertisements – and I never have.

This necessitated the intensive use of Bit Torrent by me and by hordes of Australians and I used it for series such as West Wing. I mean – really – who is going to wait for six months after the event to see what happened to Jed and CJ and the boys?

In fact – in Australia – Bit Torrent changed the TV industry. Within a short time the TV stations realised that they had to show series episodes within days of the debut in America – otherwise they were showing them to an audience that comprised only people who did not have a PC with a Broadband connection. This would probably only be the Prime Minister and the Minister for Communications.

I don’t do this here – mainly because there is no imperative. I have more than enough to do and am happy to wait for DVDs to become available on Amazon. There has not been a movie released in the last 10 years that I had to see within 12 months of its release.

This does not mean that I am going straight. I reserve the right to steal music or video if the situation demands it.

Incidentally – if you actually want to read something that is always well written, always insightful and very often profound and moving you should visit Matthew's Blog

After reading about Steph’s experience with Absinthe I have acquired a bottle. All I need now is the correct glasses and sugar cubes. I expect difficulty with sugar cubes and will scour Wien tomorrow for these. The Hendos arrive back from Italy on Friday and we will give it a nudge.


  1. 19,000 songs? OMG. I'm coming to Vienna now and stealing your iPod. You okay with that?

  2. If you can't find any sugar cubes, let me know and I'll send you a box.

    Also, don't forget to get an absinthe spoon.