I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a music junkie. My job requires me to spend an average of over an hour a day on the road, a drive that would be pretty boring without my trusty iPod to keep me company. If I’m not watching something on TV, music is usually playing in the background at my house. In fact, I’ve got iTunes on shuffle as I type this. My collection of songs is somewhat impressive, I’ve got almost 1500 at my disposal, all of which are just waiting for an attentive ear. And yet, sometimes I just can’t find anything to listen to, you know? Ah, the paradox of choice.
Anyway, if you’re like me, you’d dropped more money on your music collection than you’d ever want to admit. And sure, there’s one very easy way to get music on the cheap, a way that is at best unethical and at worst downright illegal. It is the way to acquire music that shall not be named, since nobody wants to get sued. If you do it, I hope the feds break down your door and haul you away to Guantanamo. It seems like a fitting punishment for the crime.
And sure, there’s services out there like Pandora and Spotify, which give you access to all the songs you could ever want for a small monthly fee. I’d give you guys a review, but they’re not available yet in Canada, which makes me instantly 32% less proud to be Canadian. So instead, I’m going to focus on some ways that all of us can use to cut down on our music costs and avoid the wrong side of the law at the same time.
File Sharing On A Smaller Scale
One of my buddies has all of his music on a portable hard drive. When he finds a fellow music junkie, they simply get together and do some transferring back and forth. They can feel each other out for suggestions, and it’s a great way to discover new artists that he’s never heard of.
As long as each person owns an authorized version of the song, what they’re doing is totally above the law. The government doesn’t care if you trade with your friends, they just care if you put your music out there for everyone to see and download.
If your friends aren’t quite that technologically savvy, you can trade actual CDs back and forth. Remember those? You can rip them to your hard drive and have them on your iPod while doing other errands around the house, expanding your music collection for free.
Scour The iTunes Deal Pages
Most albums through iTunes are $9.99 a pop. Sometimes they can even cost more, depending on the artist and the number of songs on the album. But we’re not interested in paying more, are we?
Like any good store though, iTunes has sales. As I type this, a number of songs by both The Black Eyed Peas and The All-American Rejects are currently on sale for 69 cents a pop, almost 50% off the regular $1.29 price. Sure, those bands might suck, but maybe some of you are into them. These deals change from week to week, meaning you can save some cash if you’re just willing to be patient.
I know, I can’t believe I typed that either. Who buys actual CDs anymore?
Well, that’s the thing. Because hardly anybody buys them, stores that sell physical CDs are having to aggressively cut prices. At my local Wal-Mart, they regularly sell CDs for less than what the equivalent album would cost on iTunes. Keep in mind though, that’s only for older albums. You’re still going to pay extra for a new release if you buy it at the store.
When was the last time you went to the music store in the local mall? (Assuming it hasn’t closed down, that is.) The last time I went, they were selling some CDs at 2/$10 and others at 3/$20. Again, these are older CDs, but I found a few that I was happy to add to my collection.
Since you’re paying hardly anything for the CDs, feel free to rip them to your hard drive and dispose of them once your done. I personally use old CDs as coasters. They also make great frisbees, except they break easily.
Readers, what other ways do you attempt to save on music costs? Let us know in the comments.
This post was written by Nelson.