Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!
I used to be a pirate. I stole copious amounts of music. I won’t divulge my methods because I don’t want to give you any ideas. Just know that it was it was out of control- to the point that I was basically a hoarder. Being a thinking person, I of course knew that this was “wrong”, but I had all kinds of rationalizations and justifications to help me sleep at night.
Then something happened to me. I was in the middle of a rather intense pranayama meditation session when I got caught up thinking about money and the material world, and wondering why I wasn’t making any money with my music. Then I had a disturbing thought- how could I expect people to pay me for my music when I myself wouldn’t even pay for music? I’m not sure I believe in karma, but I do believe that what goes around comes around. I began to think about the word “value”. I value music, no question about that. For me, music is one of the most important things in the world, always has been. So if I value music so much, why did I think it should be free? Why was I putting a higher value on Starbucks frappuccinos than on something as vital to my well-being as music?
A Morality Tale…
I made a big decision. From then on, I resolved to pay for my music, or at least acquire it legally. Less than a month later, I got my first regular paying gig. Not even a year after that, I put in my notice at my restaurant job because I was making enough money through music that didn’t need a day job anymore. I’m thrilled to report that I’m now making a living doing what I love.
With services like Rhapsody, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, Rdio, Lastfm, Noisetrade, Freegal, Vibedeck… the list goes on…. why would you ever need to steal music??? Spotify is a steal! Song streams don’t pay much (pennies, really), but at least it’s legal, it’s the artist’s choice, and it pays something. Generally, I use Spotify to listen to new music and if I like it, I buy it from iTunes, Amazon or Bandcamp. The funny part is that even though I’m acquiring less new music, I’m getting better music. I’m more selective and careful about what I add to my collection. I enjoy it a lot more, really getting to know each new album, instead of just loading up my ipod with a bunch of random crap. I like it. I feel good about it. That is all.