Friday, August 31, 2012

Building a Comprehensive (Yet Inexpensive) Music Library

Congratulations! You’ve finally downloaded all of your music into one central, accessible library. (If not, you’ll want to refer to my July blog for easy step-by-step-instructions.)

As expansive as your music library may be, you’ll inevitably want to add further material. You may be seduced by a catchy new song on the radio, or perhaps you yearn for more classic rock. Regardless of the impetus, when it comes to music -- you just can’t get enough. But how can you constantly upgrade your music collection, without breaking the bank, or the law? It’s simple really. Try these tips and you’ll have more music than you ever thought possible.

Surf’s Up Dude!
  • Although some free music websites have gone the way of the dodo bird, there are still many that offer audio downloads at no charge. Just enter ‘free music downloads’ into your search engine and fill your boots!
  • Similarly, there is a plethora of ‘apps’ (applications) that allow you to share audio files through your mobile devices. Again a quick search will provide you with more than enough options.
  • iTunes offer free downloads in their weekly newsletter. Take advantage of them. It could turn you on to an interesting new artist.
  • Concerned about the legalities? Relax. In Canada, it’s legal to download (or upload) music for personal use.
Share and Share Alike.
  • Host a CD exchange party and invite all of your friends. Ditch old tracks that you’re tired of storing and acquire something fresh instead.
  • Circulate CDs amongst your neighbourhood, at work, or within community groups. It’s also a terrific way to get reliable music referrals.
  • Be sure to loan your CDs to trustworthy custodians and agree to split loss or damage expenses, upfront.
  • Again in Canada, as long as CDs aren’t purchased primarily for distribution, it’s perfectly legal.
Libraries Aren’t Just for Geeks.
  • These days libraries offer far more than hardcover books; Sign out DVDs, eBooks, magazines, CDs and much more. In fact, you can borrow up to 50 CDs for 3 weeks at a time, in some municipalities. Imagine the possibilities!
  • Many communities have several library branches. Each location offers a unique collection of material, so be sure to exercise all of your options.
  • Got something specific in mind? Search the library website and put the item on hold. Many communities allow up to 60 holds at a time. The library will call or email you when the CDs (or other items) arrive at your local branch.
  • Libraries are my favourite resource because they provide such a large selection. You can source recent releases, revered classics and obscure preferences en masse -- all with very little effort and at no cost whatsoever.
Step 4: Don’t Forget to Support your Favourite Artists.
  • No matter how much we all love free stuff, it’s important to support the music industry by continuing to purchase music. CD and download sales are especially important for struggling artists and emerging bands.
  • Additionally, by attending concerts and buying promotional materials, we ensure our favourite musicians can afford to keep pumping out new and exciting material.
  • Know that in Canada, musicians also get a (small) royalty from the sale of blank CDs. This arrangement was put in place to help offset the recent music sharing trend.
That brings us to the our next instalment. In September’s release I’ll provide instructions on how to burn and design your own custom CDs.
Please follow for regular articles on how to get more out of life, without spending a great deal of money. As always, I’d love to hear your feedback on this and other money saving ideas!

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