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April 27, 2008


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Alan Kurtz


Thanks for the plug on JazzWax.com. I'd be delighted to give you the last word on the subject of downloading vs. discs, but as you say, the debate is likely to "rattle on" until disc devotees realize that theirs is the Death Rattle of obsolescent technology.

In any case, I continue to be amazed at your resourcefulness in providing illustrations for your blog. No sooner do you mention "humorless bearded guys who wear socks with sandals and smell like old coffee," than do we see a picture of just such a fellow. Where on earth do you find all these wonderful graphics? You wouldn't be--dare I say it--downloading them, would you?

Of course not. You acquire each and every image on disc. Like kids collecting baseball cards, the thrill is in the hunt, and gratification is achieved only with the tactile sensation of holding the grail in your hands. But fess up, now, Marc. Don't you get sick of that stale bubblegum smell?

Alan Kurtz
Contributing Editor


I celebrated Record Store Day by making the rounds of my local record stores and laying out some cash. That's my idea of fun. I like LPs. I like CDs. And if I can get my MP3 player and my computer to cooperate, I like having some downloads to plug and play in the car. There's room and use for all. But advocating downloads over all else strikes me as just wrong headed, especially when based only on the convenience factor. McDonalds is convenient, but I wouldn't want to eat there every day--or month. I don't know where Alan shops, but there are still a fair number of record stores out there where it is fun to hang out and browse and pick up something that you might not have thought of otherwise. It's the serendipity factor. To paraphrase Dr. Johnson, a man who is tired of browsing is tired of life.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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