Sonic Artefacts: "Record Collecting" in the Digital Age

Chris Anderton

Abstract


This article examines fan practices of record collecting in the digital environment. It examines two forms of fan practice that suggest a shift from the secondary involvement (Shuker 2010) of physical record collecting to a tertiary form predicated on the collection and distribution of digital music files. The first digital era practice involves the collection of unofficially released recordings of live music performances as not-for-bootlegs created and circulated by and between fans. The second involves the collection of music originally encoded in out-of-print, rare or private press vinyl and cassette releases. The fans and collectors involved in creating, distributing and/or collecting these various forms of digitized music are characterized as active and informal cultural intermediaries, who curate, organize, archive, discuss and circulate recordings and information. Their activities also raise questions about cultural memory, the provision of ‘free labour’, and the contested nature of copyright.
Keywords: popular music, bootlegging, blogging, record collecting, fandom, copyright

Keywords


popular music; bootlegging; blogging; record collecting; fandom; copyright

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