While I still buy a lot of physical music at my awesome local, I use itunes pretty frequently for the convenience and price. I also like the fact that I can catalogue everything I want in my wish list for future purchase. However as the list gets bigger I’m starting to question the wisdom of using it. While some albums come and go pretty quickly, there are others that have been on there for what must be years now - endlessly previewed when I’m bored, but rarely purchased.
My “fear” I guess it that with every glance or track preview, I desensitise and detach myself from the music, making it more and more difficult to consider it worthy of a purchase. So rather than taking the risk and diving into something I haven’t heard much of (thus giving myself the chance to actually experience it as intended) I am doing the equivalent of dipping my toe into the water - it becomes less foreign, but it also loses its mystique.
I used to find great music in the shops just out of instinct, these days it’s very rare I buy something before I hear a few tracks and look up a couple of reviews. When you haven’t got a lot of money, it makes sense to do things this way because you want to increase your chances of being happy with your purchase. But I think when I wasn’t so scrupulous about it, while I bought the occasional dud, I generally had pretty good instincts and indeed I have much fonder recollections of the music I bought at that time. I actually have vivid memories of looking at and immediately purchasing Castaways and Cutouts by The Decemberists, Sun Giant EP by Fleet Foxes and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips, just because they appealed to me mentally, visually or emotionally. I’ve bought dozens of albums from itunes and I don’t remember any one of those occasions.
Now that I’ve got a job I think I can be at least a little more spontaneous once again.