Generation MP3

Articles, General — By on September 16, 2011 4:02 pm

It’s been a while since I posted. I know, I know, shame on me. It’s been a hectic summer, which lead right up until now, the chaggim. I hope this article settles your reading hunger for the time being. And look, I even drew a little cartoon for you above to show that I’m sorry for the wait.

Let’s face it, we’re in the generation of the mp3 player.

There’s the iPod and all of it’s copycats out there. It’s in your co-workers purse, in your kids dresser drawers (or more likely, on the floor where it shouldn’t be) and I’ve even seen a mailman strolling down the block with his mail cart bopping his head to the music blaring from his mp3 player. And don’t forget about the stroller pushing stay-at-home mom; nothing like listening to a new cd (how much longer will that term last?) and getting herself and the baby out of the house. Kill two birds with one stone anyone?

My point is that mp3 and downloading have become mainstream. But what about the Judaica stores who received the profits that kept them open from selling cd’s?

Tough luck, right?

Maybe. But I’ve had this plan in the back of my mind for some time now. I don’t know if it’s at all possible, but why not?

Perhaps Judaica stores could install MP3 booths? Sounds stupid, I know. People can just download the songs from the comfort of their own home, why go out to do something you can do at home? What if the Judaica store had its very own “JMR” reviewer or any knowledgable Jewish music listener as an employee there. Then it could be worth it.

I’ve seen it before and I’ve seen it almost every time. The majority of Jewish music buyers, or perhaps even all music buyers, don’t know what to buy. Sure, we can go on and listen to the preview and read the beautiful write up on the upcoming cd, but does that really compare to a knowledgeable person or friend’s opinion? Whether or not the preview or the write up is true, in the back of our minds, we’re thinking that of course the preview sounds good, they selected the best 8 seconds of each song and tried to push that; or, of course the write up looks great, the writer was probably paid to write it (which, by the way is what is so great about JMR for the readers, we don’t get paid a dime. Trust me, you should see my bank account, we just love Jewish music… a lot.

The fact is, it would be super cool to have an ATM-like machine in Judaica stores with a list of downloadable music available. You could swipe your card, plug in your flash drive and download the music. How great is that? That’s not all, like I said before, you would be able to ask a employee of the store for his opinions on albums. Of course you would be able to listen to the full songs from the mp3 list (the terms cd and album have really become obsolete…) in the store on the cd racks next to the machine. You know what you’re getting. No more, would be the days of listening to 8 sec previews. We want to listen to the full song before we buy it, right?


What would be even cooler is a review button on the machine that shows reviews from your very own JMR. Not only do you get to listen to the full cd before buying it, you get to read full length reviews, ask questions from a knowledgable employee, and take in the whole being in the outside world experience. Remember the outside world? The days before the internet? Go listen to music at the store, shmooze with the other people listening. Communication is a wonderful thing.

I know this article is a little outside the box, but that’s probably because I’m a little outside the box. Hope you enjoyed it, and I would love to hear some feedback. Just drop me a comment below.

Have a great new year!

Facebook comments:


  1. Just a fan says:

    Sounds like a great idea. I don’t know how feasible it is, but it would definitely be really nice to be able to discuss the music and see other opinions. I like to read reviews before buying ANYTHING.

  2. Sunny says:

    The only reason I download music is to avoid the Judaica store (and I’m not too worried about their future, they probably make most of their money from book/seforim sales). One of the pluses to downloading music is that you don’t havve to import the CD into Itunes. Another plus is that if you lose the CD and your computer crashes, the music you purchased can still be downloaded again (only the case with Amazon and Mostly Music not itunes).
    It would definitely be nice to hear an entire song before buying it. It would probably help the artist as well since people are more likely to buy an album if they know they like at least 1 or 2 or 3 songs. If a Jewish site can make something similar to Yahoo music where you can listen to a full song a limited number of times without buying it, it would probably prove beneficial to both the artist and the buyer.
    I would also love if more Jewish artist would sell their music on mainstream sites such as Itunes and Amazon. As of now only obscure Jewish artist with some exceptions such as Abie Rotenberg, the Maccabeats and a touch a Lipa sell on these sites. I do understand the Jewish music industry needs to make money but I already support them by not copying CDs:)

  3. Leah says:

    Sure this is a great idea for us music buyers, however the producers of jewish music would never agree to such a thing because it would minimize alot of their sales…too bad for us that they need to make parnasah!

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