Friday, November 14, 2008

Does your artist name make a difference?

Flipping through my iTunes library today, I noticed that most of my 6,376 tracks are by artists whose names are in the first half of the alphabet.

This could be quickly filed as a useless statistic, except I don't think I favor that end of the alphabet. For all the Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen I have, I've got more Stan Getz. I've got a lot of James Brown and Jimi Hendrix, but I also have plenty of The Meters, Miles Davis, and Radiohead. (And it's worth noting that for people, iTunes organizes by FIRST name, where a store organizes by LAST name.)

The difference is in the bands with an album or less in my collection. Those are the groups I wanted to try out. Buy a little, see if I like it, maybe buy some more later.

The music in my library comes from four sources, more or less in this order by quantity:

1) A few hundred CDs that I bought in an actual store, which I keep in some of those big folders.
2) Music that I bought online, mostly as downloads, a few from Amazon or CD Baby.
3) Music from friends, either by ripping their CDs or mp3s they send me.
4) CDs I got while working at Verve, either for free or at an employee discount.

Believe it or not, I never did any massive free downloading. I just never wanted all that junk on my computer. And despite all the free music I got from work, and the huge options I have amongst my friends music, it makes up a pretty small fraction of the music on my computer.

So I have to wonder whether or not there's some reason for this? Am I (are we?) conditioned to start at the beginning and work our way back? If we find something we like by the time we get to the J's, do we buy it before getting to the Z's? Is there a disadvantage? Does the internet help or hurt the issue?

No comments: