It's been over 12 years since my first album, Sector, was released and back then physical CDs was how music was distributed. I know many listeners still prefer to own a physical copy of the music they purchase, but for me that train has passed a long time ago. The money wasted in pressing, printing, storing and delivering physical discs, both for the artist and for the listener, along with the environmental effects of this process, is to put it simple: unecessary.
Making quality MP3 albums was a focal feature when I redesigned the Imphenzia.com web site and an important factor was to make sure that the album would be instantly accessible upon purchase ready for transfer to your MP3-player. The cover and disc artwork is also available for those of you who wish to make a physical copy for your car stereo (although your car most likely plays mp3s by now as well so even that is becoming a redundant requirement). If you purchase an Imphenzia album today, you will always have access to download the music from wherever you are. Have a look at the screenshot to see how the tracks, zip-archive of the entire album, and artwork is presented.
For a long time, however, I've actually thought that the entire concept of albums is quite out of fashion as well. Why should you need to purchase a collection of tracks that may contain tracks you don't particularly like just to get the ones you do want. Again, it comes down to the extra sense of value found in the packaging and concept of an album. The obvious solution to solve this would be to purchase singles, but then it becomes a tedious work to add the ones you want to a shopping cart...What is the music worth to you?
So what is the solution? The most recent feature developed on Imphenzia.com, available from 8th July 2009, is that instead of purchasing a single or an album, you make a donation representing what the music is worth to you
- and you'll get instant access to ALL the imphenzia tracks
. I've been thinking about this concept for some time and it is the time to take this step. If you feel 6 hours of trance music is worth $10 - that is what you donate to get access to the music in high quality. If you want to show extra support and appreciation and feel that the music is worth $30, then that is what you donate. I believe that the consumer is mature enough to make this decision and I think it is a way forward for the music industry to combat piracy. In all the debates I've seen about piracy, it's all been about "It costs too much", or "It's not simple enough", or "I don't want DRM" - this is a solution to solve those issues.