What do MP3s and Magic Spells Have in Common? | Idea Channel | PBS

Ah, the MP3, everyone’s favorite friendly musical file format. But there’s something you might not know about the Mp3 – it has a lot in common with the magic…

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19 Responses to What do MP3s and Magic Spells Have in Common? | Idea Channel | PBS

  1. wickedk47 says:

    Whereas a creator of a spell receives no intrinsic value for having creating it, the simple act of making music is a reward in itself. A musical artist gains a level of enjoyment from simply the act of sharing the music with the public. Creating music and not sharing it almost devalues it because the act of creating music is a form of free, and unique, speech. So, with or without money the music creator is already being compensated BY creating.

  2. Sango Dragon says:

    Way I see it, products should be put out there for free, and then, people are allowed to “tip” them for how satisfied they were. Unfortunately, this would only work in an ideal world where there aren’t D-bags, who don’t tip at all, or tip for horribly low amounts. But, the world of Free-To-Play games are ushering in such an idyllic situation. But then, if everything were free, and you only gave money based on satisfaction…what would that do to the economy? Money becomes a trophy at best.

  3. Sango Dragon says:

    But, take this into account – it’s fairly difficult and takes a lot of effort to make good, quality music/videos. There aren’t many who’d go through that trouble at a loss. Maybe sing it to their families, which is without much inconvenience or loss. But sharing it with the world?…Not worth it. As such, you start getting less and less and less music. And then, you can definitively say, it is quite finite.

  4. fugosushi says:

    Music is not a finite resource; as long as there are humans, and air for sound waves to travel through, there will be music.

  5. JQIsidore says:

    Culture is made by its society members and when they stop teaching their children what is truly valuable then the industry continues doing what it does best: less (product quality) for more (financial benefit). I don’t think culture is devaluing music. It is the industry that has been lowering it’s standards for the past 25 years to raise its profit and mainstream folks unknowingly accepting it. With millions of unknown artists creating beautiful master pieces remaining unheard.

  6. JQIsidore says:

    A “true artist” unlike the industrial fake, is an expression of soul which only an individual can use-fully adapt into it’s own cultural morality. When we change our systems to fit the needs of cultural honorable beings, there might be a chance for survival of more then just mp3’s and magic spells.

  7. woahEXPLOSION says:

    As our culture continues to devalue music, the music will degrade into terrible.

  8. Stephen Romero says:

    I think the sales of tangible items, mainly vinyl with included artwork, stories, etc., along with the ability to download the MP3 version so that it can be shared with all your friends is the way to go. People hoard records, and the fact that you can buy an album that was pressed in the 60’s and still be able to play it, makes the use of your dollars towards something that would otherwise be free somewhat satisfying.

  9. Sam Robbins says:

    it’s strange how smart and eloquent he is, and all i can think about is how GORGEOUS he is.

  10. Mdeezen says:

    Now this has nothing to say about the financial impacts. But free access of music allows creators and listeners to be influenced by a much wider variety of songs and performances there by making the rate of change in culture increase dramatically as consumers can experiment with their taste in music risk free and creators have a wider verity of musical influence. Summary: If culture begets more culture then greater exposure means faster growth and this seems like a good thing to me.

  11. dunespeak says:

    Looking at the comments make me cringe sometimes. I just think that they did a bad thing with the more recent copyright law where it is extended over 50 years past the author’s/creator’s death. I feel society works at a faster rate. And we really have turned towards big companies, haven’t we? One of the things that’s wrong with us. Until we can figure that out, then what I think doesn’t matter. I think there’s ways to share culture “freely” while still giving the ACTUAL creators their due but..

  12. Robyn Demetrius says:


  13. linkdamasta64 says:


  14. BadMadChicken says:

    Or i give away the stuff i work for and get stuff in return.

  15. Thomas Day says:

    its not stealing though, if i let someone borrow my new Eric church cd, would you consider that ‘stealing’? Its sharing.

  16. philip dasaro says:

    If its communistic to share art, then yes I am a communist. And there is nothing wrong with that.

  17. GamerWithACat says:

    it’s still stealing 

  18. GamerWithACat says:

    I call America’s copyright laws something that is a truly great and an exceptional part of our capitalist nation.

  19. GamerWithACat says:

    No its called that the world will be filled with communist thieves who lack a sense of morality. Have you ever actually worked for something in your life? Being lazy and wanting everything to be given to you is a sad and deranged way to live. poor thing.

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