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Thread: Barnes & Noble was just sold...

  1. #21
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement Ben Staad's Avatar
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    Agreed. It wouldn't take much for them to convert one aisle to horror. It is frustrating to go there with a list of Authors because they don't have this genre broken out of fiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sock Monkey View Post

    Also, I would really appreciate it if they'd give us a Horror section. It might not be a big money-maker, but I've always hated that the genre just gets lumped in under FICTION.

  2. #22
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    Very interesting thread. If I missed someone already saying this, please forgive...

    In my opinion, the key to growth for B&N is to create original content. The company should direct its CFO to secure funding (or the hedge fund itself could acquire outside investors) for a movie/television slate for two purposes: to create a separate revenue stream for its own sake, as well as to create exclusive merchandise for the stores. Here's how it would work, briefly: B&N Studios produces, in conjunction with outside financers (think Dune Entertainment, etc.), The Bookstore. It's a horror film with a young cast. Pick any concept/plot you want (evil bookstore sacrifices the young high-school students who work there to compete with Amazon). Jason Blum is hired to produce. Universal distributes. The novelization is only found at B&N. The Blu-ray is only found there (digital sales are only on Nook, but streaming rights are sold to domestic/international sites, hopefully ones like Netflix and Hotstar. The Halloween costumes and Funkos and whatever are only found there. Eventually, B&N starts a streaming service and when you go to the register, clerks ask if you would like to sign up for three months for a discounted price...

    A model like that could have worked for that toy store with the giraffe. In fact, think of something even like Party City...why that company hasn't made horror films to fuel its costume business is beyond me. How much would it take to spend a couple million on a low-budget horror feature centering on a character in a unique mask? Retail, unfortunately, is without imagination, anyone who has worked in that type of laborer position knows it dumbs down even the smartest.

    I would love to see CD someday produce its own original content. Maybe use a Kickstarter-type model. You've got the mailing list...

    One last thing: yes, the library aspect is annoying at the stores. Ditch that, it's obviously not helping...(one thing too the company could do is allow local authors to bring a digital file of their novels and print up several copies to place on the shelves; just the friends/family business on that would help).

  3. #23
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed St. Troy's Avatar
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    Some thoughts:

    Who else remembers Lauriat’s? I loved that place.

    It’s funny to think B&N was thought of as the killer of smaller bookstores, and now we’re worried about their survival (I love B&N, to be clear).

    A horror section would be great.

    The whole “library”/”coffee shop” thing is probably key to getting people to actually enter physical stores; I suspect they do more good than harm.

    CDs will never be dead any more than vinyl will be, although use has shrunk to where cars don't have CD players etc., but there will always be enough people who feel like I do to keep them around. With music, I insist on owning physical media, both because I enjoy the tactile experience (artwork etc.) but also because I refuse to enable the possibility of this happening to me:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Staad View Post
    ...I had a massive amount of purchased music through Zune/Microsoft that was essentially stolen from me. When Zune went away, and my Zune broke, I found out that much of the purchased music and media was not under license anymore and that I had no access to it...
    If someone wants to "retract" the music I own, they will have to enter my home with firearms...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    ...there will probably come a point in the future where you don't really own these things anymore, you're just renting the license to consume it.
    I will literally fight to my dying breath to avoid living like this.
    Always looking to rent out a hidden floor above or below an old library, preferably brick or stone with hidden passageways. No pets (except cats).

  4. #24
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement Ben Staad's Avatar
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    Either way I truly hope physical book stores can continue on for many years. The experience of shopping in person, particularly for books, is an experience that online shopping cannot replace.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by St. Troy View Post
    Some thoughts:

    Who else remembers Lauriat’s? I loved that place.

    It’s funny to think B&N was thought of as the killer of smaller bookstores, and now we’re worried about their survival (I love B&N, to be clear).

    A horror section would be great.

    The whole “library”/”coffee shop” thing is probably key to getting people to actually enter physical stores; I suspect they do more good than harm.

    CDs will never be dead any more than vinyl will be, although use has shrunk to where cars don't have CD players etc., but there will always be enough people who feel like I do to keep them around. With music, I insist on owning physical media, both because I enjoy the tactile experience (artwork etc.) but also because I refuse to enable the possibility of this happening to me
    I do remember Lauriat's. In fact, I recall when my mall had two bookstores, a Lauriat's and another one, both at opposite ends. Imagine that...two bookstores at the mall! It was similar at the other mall near me as well. Now, there are no bookstores at these shopping places, some other stores have closed, and you really don't want to go to them because of all the potholes that have yet to be fixed. There are more than enough eating places there now, as you can imagine. (I'll add, too, I would love to see an 80s-style arcade come back to the mall.) Was Lauriat's owned by a publisher, maybe Simon/Schuster? Am I remembering that correctly?

    I agree that the library/coffee-shop element brings traffic in, and while I have no problem with the shop, I don't like people reading the books. What to do about that model is a difficult challenge, though, I would also agree to that. When I buy a book, I have to hope it is not the last one in stock. Sometimes you see one-left items that are simply not in the best of shapes.

    Sometimes I wonder if a model might work that is essentially a library but you have a membership just like you would a gym. And you can access all kinds of stuff - video games, equipment to make movies, instruments (including recording rooms, rehearsal space) - in addition to books and educational materials. And there would be electronic subscriptions to all the stock-market research you would ever want. Maybe B&N could pivot to that. I guess this could be considered a private library as opposed to a public one.

    I too enjoy physical, and I don't think I could ever get into Kindle/Nook stuff, but I admit that it is easier to power up some movies on my Apple TV as opposed to getting the actual disc off the shelf, and that checking out YouTube for music is way more efficient and economical than tracking down songs you just heard on the radio. What I would love to see, and maybe these things are no longer made (and maybe they aren't as good quality-wise), is a return to disc players that can store multiple discs, or perhaps (not sure if these ever existed), you can take your discs, install them into memory, and then play them from a DVD/Blu-ray unit.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Staad View Post
    Either way I truly hope physical book stores can continue on for many years. The experience of shopping in person, particularly for books, is an experience that online shopping cannot replace.
    I agree. I think we will at least have used bookstores and general second-hand/thrift shops around that also carry some newer stuff as well. I think local authors can also keep the brick/mortar alive...

  7. #27
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St. Troy View Post
    CDs will never be dead any more than vinyl will be, although use has shrunk to where cars don't have CD players etc., but there will always be enough people who feel like I do to keep them around. With music, I insist on owning physical media, both because I enjoy the tactile experience (artwork etc.) but also because I refuse to enable the possibility of this happening to me:



    If someone wants to "retract" the music I own, they will have to enter my home with firearms...



    I will literally fight to my dying breath to avoid living like this.
    I really disagree with you about CDs. Vinyl was functionally dead for probably about 10 - 15 years. It only had a resurgence due to the idea that analog audio has a higher quality than digital. That and the collectors market that sprung up around Vinyl. CDs have none of that nostalgia though and will eventually go the way of the tape. The older the generation that bought CDs gets, the less and less people there will be who buy them. Eventually it will die off. This idea that there will always be people who prefer physical media is real though. There's an entire generation coming up now that doesn't buy anything in physical media at all. Video games, movies, TV, books, and music are all delivered to them on demand on their phones.

    I get what you're saying about owning the music though, and you can still own digital media, as long as your consuming of it isn't tied to a service. For example if I buy and album off of iTunes I can download those files and copy them and do whatever I want with them. Apple can't take the files away from me. The only thing they can do is make is so that I can't download them from them again. Now if Apple where to say loose the license and make the files no longer available to download, and for some reason I were to loose those files, then it would be like I lost or broke the CD.

    Music as a service is something that'll probably happen eventually, but music and eBooks / Audio books will probably be the last thing to fall to that model, and it probably won't be for a long time.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement Ben Staad's Avatar
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    I'm not sure that is right. I have saved music, on my desktop, that I cannot play. Whenever I go to play it on my computer or transfer it to a device it says, "Media Usage Rights Agreement", and will not let me access the file. This is coming from what I mentioned above with my Zune issue. I bought the music from MS outright, downloaded the file(s), and can no longer use them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post

    I get what you're saying about owning the music though, and you can still own digital media, as long as your consuming of it isn't tied to a service. For example if I buy and album off of iTunes I can download those files and copy them and do whatever I want with them. Apple can't take the files away from me. The only thing they can do is make is so that I can't download them from them again. Now if Apple where to say loose the license and make the files no longer available to download, and for some reason I were to loose those files, then it would be like I lost or broke the CD.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Hearing Voices Tommy's Avatar
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    CDs, especially those we play and handle the most, can degrade. It's called bronzing. Leaving your CDs in a hot car is a great way to deteriorate them faster. A digital copy will sound the same on the first play as it will on the 1,000 play.

    My nephew and niece had no idea what either a CD or album was and I could have confused them further by bringing 8-tracks into the picture but, maybe when they are older.

  10. #30
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Staad View Post
    I'm not sure that is right. I have saved music, on my desktop, that I cannot play. Whenever I go to play it on my computer or transfer it to a device it says, "Media Usage Rights Agreement", and will not let me access the file. This is coming from what I mentioned above with my Zune issue. I bought the music from MS outright, downloaded the file(s), and can no longer use them.
    I think it all depends on the service you purchase it through / the lengths you go through to make sure you never loose it. I'm not familiar with the Zune (never had one, so I don't particularly know what their file formats are) but I've done this with iTunes and Google Play Music before. Granted it's been some years since I last did it with iTunes. You used to be able to convert the files to MP3's withing iTunes and then just load them up on any MP3 player you wanted, not just an iPod. I know you can do the same with Google Play Music. Maybe Zune used some weird proprietary file format, I'd guess you can find a file converter to strip off those protections though.
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy View Post
    CDs, especially those we play and handle the most, can degrade. It's called bronzing. Leaving your CDs in a hot car is a great way to deteriorate them faster. A digital copy will sound the same on the first play as it will on the 1,000 play.
    I don't think a lot of people that go on about having physical copies of things get this; CDs have a shelf life, and the more you use them, the quicker that end date approaches. "Well I just won't play it!" Ok, that's cool, but then what's the point of even having it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slayn666 View Post
    I don't think a lot of people that go on about having physical copies of things get this; CDs have a shelf life, and the more you use them, the quicker that end date approaches. "Well I just won't play it!" Ok, that's cool, but then what's the point of even having it?
    I have a cassette of Danny Elfman's score to Tim Burton's BATMAN that I bought in 1988. I must have listened to this thing AT LEAST 5,000 times. Still plays. Just sayin'.
    I "own" a ton of digital music, but I'd much rather have hard copies.

  13. #33
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed St. Troy's Avatar
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    I own a shitload of CDs, most of which are only used once to copy them to iTunes, and from there I listen to the music.

    All other approaches require that I trust someone, and I’m unwilling to do that.

    If I find a CD that no longer works, I’ll buy a new copy, but I’m 50 and I expect my CDs to outlive me.
    Always looking to rent out a hidden floor above or below an old library, preferably brick or stone with hidden passageways. No pets (except cats).

  14. #34
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    I actually agree about physical media for the most part, it's just realistically the people that care about that sort of stuff are a diminishing breed. Younger generations really just prefer the convenience of digital. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if the younger generations aren't even buying music anymore and are just paying for services like Spotify. Personally I don't listen to enough music to do either, I listen mostly to audio books these days, and when I do listen to music I prefer a radio type format (not actual radio) where it just shuffles through a genera or music related to a specific band or artist. I think the last album I bought was the soundtrack to Mad Max: Fury Road.
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  15. #35
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed St. Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    ...the people that care about that sort of stuff are a diminishing breed.
    I expect that it can only diminish until it reaches a natural, sustained level reflecting the non-top 40, non-"I just want to stream" crowd (those of us who take our music more seriously, as dreadfully pretentious as that sounds), and given that streaming has been ubiquitous for some time (who is left to convert?), I believe we've reached that point, but if we haven't, I doubt it can shrink much more. I am curious to see what the future holds, and I hope I'm never forced to abandon my old man ways.

    The pro-CD crowd is even further from the top 40/stream crowd than merely wanting a CD; we are consumers in the traditional sense, buying things like reissues and deluxe editions including Blu-Rays with video and/or 5.1 surround content etc.
    Last edited by St. Troy; 06-12-2019 at 06:15 PM.
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  16. #36
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St. Troy View Post
    I expect that it can only diminish until it reaches a natural, sustained level reflecting the non-top 40, non-"I just want to stream" crowd (those of us who take our music more seriously, as dreadfully pretentious as that sounds), and given that streaming has been ubiquitous for some time (who is left to convert?), I believe we've reached that point, but if we haven't, I doubt it can shrink much more. I am curious to see what the future holds, and I hope I'm never forced to abandon my old man ways.

    The pro-CD crowd is even further from the top 40/stream crowd than merely wanting a CD; we are consumers in the traditional sense, buying things like reissues and deluxe editions including Blu-Rays with video and/or 5.1 surround content etc.
    It sounds morbid, but all it takes for that CD crowd to diminish more is for the generations to die basically. For instance my Dad will never understand streaming services, but my nephews will probably never buy a CD. So 30 years from now when my nephews are my age there's going to be less people buying CDs, and say 30 years after that there may be no one left buying them. This is music specific, video is much harder to predict, video formats kinda kill off themselves over time just to increasing resolutions. We're already on the 4th or 5th physical format for movies in my lifetime. VHS, Laser Disc, DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4k Blu-Ray. Once we're into 8k the Blu-Ray format won't work anymore. I'll be really curious to see what they replace it with, if anything.

    As far as the future of physical music goes, I think most likely what we'll see is CDs go away but vinyl becomes more and more popular, with vinyl being the "physical" format of music and everything else being digital. I don't think this change is happening soon though. It'll be gradual over the next 30+ years, unless something changes in the industry that puts the places that sell those things out of business. These things can happen pretty quickly, just look at Blockbuster and Suncoast video.
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    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    It sounds morbid, but all it takes for that CD crowd to diminish more is for the generations to die basically. For instance my Dad will never understand streaming services, but my nephews will probably never buy a CD. So 30 years from now when my nephews are my age there's going to be less people buying CDs, and say 30 years after that there may be no one left buying them. This is music specific, video is much harder to predict, video formats kinda kill off themselves over time just to increasing resolutions. We're already on the 4th or 5th physical format for movies in my lifetime. VHS, Laser Disc, DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4k Blu-Ray. Once we're into 8k the Blu-Ray format won't work anymore. I'll be really curious to see what they replace it with, if anything.

    As far as the future of physical music goes, I think most likely what we'll see is CDs go away but vinyl becomes more and more popular, with vinyl being the "physical" format of music and everything else being digital. I don't think this change is happening soon though. It'll be gradual over the next 30+ years, unless something changes in the industry that puts the places that sell those things out of business. These things can happen pretty quickly, just look at Blockbuster and Suncoast video.
    Well put Dan, I think you nailed it.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed St. Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    ...all it takes for that CD crowd to diminish more is for the generations to die basically.
    That assumes no one under 50 (to pick an age) has the "non-top 40"/"non-streaming" attitude I described, which I doubt is the case. The borderline audiophile group (with some crossover in the pro-vinyl crowd) is who I refer to, and they are not all old.
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  19. #39
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St. Troy View Post
    That assumes no one under 50 (to pick an age) has the "non-top 40"/"non-streaming" attitude I described, which I doubt is the case. The borderline audiophile group (with some crossover in the pro-vinyl crowd) is who I refer to, and they are not all old.
    The problem is that in my opinion that CDs have no play on the whole idea of audiophile. There is no quality advantage over a CD vs. a digital copy. Maybe over streaming, but this isn't really a streaming vs. cd debate in my mind, it's a streaming vs digital distribution debate. I just feel that if you're the audiophile type you'd go after vinyl not cds. CDs are for the physical format focused, which these younger generations aren't. It's really a instant gratification generation. I don't think the whole "top 40" thing has anything to do with it either. Honestly the indie scene of certain genres entirely thrives off of digital distribution, because they can self publish and self distribute. I honestly think you'd be hard pressed these days to find someone under 25 with a CD collection. There's gonna be outliers, but outliers can't support the industry.
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  20. #40
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed St. Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    There is no quality advantage over a CD vs. a digital copy.
    All digital copies aren't alike; mp3s and lossless files aren't the same, and with streaming, you're always at the mercy of the provider's choices.

    But even were quality uniform, CDs need possess no quality advantage, because many consumers (me, and others who buy what I buy) who prioritize audio quality also prioritize control over the nature of the product (digital in hand is not synonymous to digital out of hand), and this "caring" is the opposite of the apathy that defines the "instant gratification generation" to which you refer, what I call the "top 40 crowd," those casual consumers who flock to the lowest cost/easiest delivery model every time. That crowd is huge in number and defines most of the industry, but not all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    ...if you're the audiophile type you'd go after vinyl not cds.
    "Audiophile" is definitely not synonymous with "pro-vinyl;" the vinyl vs. digital debate has been just that, a debate, since CDs hit the scene. Artists releasing the CD/Blu-Ray material I referenced earlier tend to simultaneously release vinyl editions - audiophiles are generally united in their fondness for physical media.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    There's gonna be outliers, but outliers can't support the industry.
    I'm not talking about supporting the industry; "outliers" = "niche," which is what I'm saying: that CDs shrunk from "default" to "niche" (as opposed to extinct), and "niche" I believe it will remain.
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