January 04, 2004

China Dolls

While there are about a million things on my mind right now that would each be worthy of an entire entry, foremost in my governing mass is the music I'm currently listening to, and the moral quandary it places me in.

First, some history. I've never had music in my digital library that I didn't actually own the CD for. I've ripped a few discs I didn't own so I could listen to them while I borrowed the disc, but I either deleted the files when I was done, or went out and bought my own real copy of the music. See, as a creator of intellectual property I hold the IP of others in high regard, and I respect their rights.

(Note: This does not mean I approve of the actions of the MPAA or RIAA -- I believe that they're acting out of blind corporate stupidity, and are either going to get steamrolled by history, or are going to change in order to survive in a changing marketplace.)

Anyway, Friday night I was hanging out with Fritzy, Liren, and Chalain over at Chalain's new place, and we got to talking about music. Although my personal collection is filled with things I like to listen to while drawing, lately I've been listening to Internet Radio, especially the "Digitally Imported" techno and trance channels. Stuff with little or no lyrics and a fast dance beat seems to work best as background for my drawing.

Chalain said he likes the same kind of stuff when he codes, and he had me listen to a couple of tracks from this Asian Pop group, the China Dolls. He described it as "the worst music you won't be able to stop listening to." While we listened, he burned a CD for me to take home so I could get a better taste of ALL of it.

This stuff is like crack in my Diet Pepsi. To call it addicting would be making an understatement along the order of calling the ocean "wet" or tech stocks "risky." And now you see my moral quandary... I need to go out and BUY this music I'm addicted to, but it's not available through my usual channels (read that Amazon.com), and I just SPENT a bunch of money on Christmas so Sandra won't let me spend more.

The thing about moral quandaries is that the vast majority of them can be resolved by putting principle before preference. I may want to keep this music for free, but my principles prevent that.

Or at least they prevent me from doing that without feeling guilty about it.