A while back, I blogged about the music industry’s self-destructive practices, like excessive ‘deluxe editions’ released usually within a year of the original release of an album, pushing fans and collectors to decide if it’s worth the money to RE-buy an album for a half-a-dozen or so new songs? My solution to that problem is to NOT buy any album when it is released and simply wait a year to see if the industry milks it with a deluxe edition. If not, I simply pick up the CD on the used market, in which case the music industry and the artist, sadly, don’t see a dime. But hey, it’s a push come to shove situation, and the music industry has a lot more money than I do.
Now comes the latest bamboozling of the dedicated collectors who believe in the value of physical product, album art, liner notes, lyric sheets. And this problem doesn’t stop at CDs. It has also become a really poor practice in the DVD market as well. Movie and music companies are getting into a new cheap practice—instead of official, beautifully mastered and packaged releases, they are putting together what are called “DVD-Rs on demand” and “CD-Rs on demand.” They are simply plopping a blank disc into a burner and pumping out a product you could make at home on your computer, complete with cheap artwork scans. And all it costs you is the SAME EXACT price as an actual professionally made CD or DVD! So, let’s consider. The big problem the industry felt it was having was that consumers were opting to burn music and movies themselves instead of purchasing the real deal. So, some brilliant corporate head came up with an idea: let’s burn music and movies just like consumers do and sell them THOSE instead since they don’t want to buy the real thing!
BUYER AND COLLECTOR BEWARE. When you shop on sites like amazon and think they’ve finally re-released that long out of print disc that was going for hundreds of dollars on ebay, look at the bottom of the product description for this disclaimer:
“This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R/CD-R recordable media.
This disc is expected to play back in ‘play only’ devices, and may not play in other devices, including recorders and PC drives.”