11 September 2016

There are two eBay sellers – Snowkees and Avantgarcon, both located in the Netherlands (but not the same city) – who have been, for some months now, selling huge loads of attractive CDs, and always by lots (it can go from two CDs to more than 10, in the case of sets or multiple sets), regrouped by label, or composer, sometimes performer, and I’m winning a lot of those bids at attractive prices. It’s tragic! The CDs are too attractive and the prices too bargain to resist, but I’m winning too much and too easily! Just today I’ve won ALL my bids with both of them. I don’t even have the time to unpack and list the CDs, when a new shipment arrives! Not to speak about actually listening to all those CDs. Sometimes you can get choked by an “abundance of riches”. So I’m hoarding, hoarding and hoarding for later as if I was eternal. Not speaking about shelf space…

Uh? There’s a crisis of the CD? especially in Classical music? Oh, really?

(well, in a way, sure, there may be a crisis of the CD. Many of those that I buy were released in the 1990s, when the market was still high and everybody was surfing on the wave of the new medium. I loooove Capitalism and its lemming syndrom: “there’s a wave? Let’s all throng there!” And I’m the bounty-hunter picking up the dead carcasses rejected on the shore, decades later. Who did they think those hundreds of attractive CDs issued every month would be for, who would buy them? And who do they think will buy the new ones they are still releasing? Why would I buy the new releases, when I can buy for so cheap used copies of older CDs that are still missing from my collection? And it’s not like there’s a sonic value added to the new releases. Reissues from the 1960s will sound as great and as “new” as the new recording. And unlike the LP, there’s no difference between a used CD and a new CD, they don’t deteriorate – and in the very rare cases that I’ve encountered when they do, seller refunds. You read everywhere about the crisis of the CD and the crisis within the crisis of the classical music CD, which, we are told, is an ever smaller crump, an  ioata even, of the ever dwindling CD market, but there are many things unsaid and unstudied about that purported crisis. Like: how many used CDs of classical musc are sold every year on platforms like eBay or Amazon? I don’t think that this, and the consequences of this, have been measured by the industry. Nobody seems to be making an issue about it, but if I were a classical music label struggling to record and release new stuff and hoping to make money out of it, it would be a huge issue, I think. If record producer sells his new CD (rarely these days), he’ll receive a modest revenue for it. But if the same CD resells 10 times on the secondary market, passes from hand to hand, he won’t get a dime for it! Not that I’m going to make too much noise about the issue: I’m the guy who take huge advantage from the secondary market…)

Incidentally, there’s something intriguing about those two sellers, Snowkees and Avantgarcon. Their offers are so similar, oftentimes involving exactly the same CDs (but there’s more of a bent towards standard repertoire with Snowkees, more contemporary music with Avantgarcon) that I wonder if they could be the same seller. And also the fact that they both have the same selling strategy (selling by lots), same type of cover photos (very detailed), and that their sales come to end precisely every Sunday, Snowkees starting at 10:00 am and Avantgarcon starting at 11:00 am… Very convenient, in fact (that is, if you don’t go to Church on Sundays).


Other than that: my laptop has given me HELL today. All of a sudden, in that afternoon, mousepad didn’t work properly, I clicked and clicked and clicked frantically and nothing happened, or it happened after what seemed like hours. Turns out there was one of those automatic updates that Windows forces on you, of, wouldn’t you know, the newest version of the Synaptics mousepad driver: IT’S HELL! IT DOESN’T WORK! IT FUCKS UP YOUR MOUSEPAD! AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE! I had to restore my system to the point just before this shit was downloaded, then I had to find a way so that it would NOT be re-installed immediately again against my will (I have, Microsoft has a downloadable tool for that. I hope it works). All this has cost me hours, thrown me in fits of rage (much worse than any of my ex-wives ever has), and prevented me from doing any serious listening today. And some people really get PAID to make your computing life a hell like this?

Oh, and I’ve also found a tutorial to override the password lock screen that Windows 10 now IMPOSES on you. I hate it. I don’t want to have to type in my password every time I boot or shut the lid of my computer! Isn’t it the password to connect your computer online and allow Microsoft to suck in all your information, under the pretense of saving it? (not, I think, that overriding the password screen changes anything to that, in fact, it just makes entering the password automatic. Oh well…)

Comments are welcome