Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do you enjoy music? Do you download music?

Have you done a good deed today? Here's one: Take a minute to fill out this survey for my friend Mark Katz, a music professor at UNC. Your results will be included in the second edition of his book "Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music", a study of the influence of sound recording on modern musical life.

Music Downloading Survey
The purpose of this survey is to gather information about the practices and attitudes of those who use the Internet to download and share sound files of music (MP3s, etc.). This research is for the second ...

If you have used iTunes, Amazon, BitTorrent, or other online sources to download music, please fill out this brief survey. Thanks.

For anybody who is curious about the questions asked, here they are:
Questions 1-6 are demographic in nature.
7. What best describes the way you *currently* download music from the Internet?
8. Has your use of paid vs. unpaid services changed significantly since you started downloading music? Please explain your answer.
9. Please list the services you have used to download music in order of most to least frequent use.
10. Approximately how many songs have you downloaded in total? Is there anything you'd like to explain about your answer?
11. What kind(s) of music do you download? Please mention specific genres or styles.
12. Do you download music to explore unfamiliar artists or genres? If so, can you give some examples?
13. Has downloading/file-sharing affected your taste in music? Please explain.
14. Do you share your sound files with others (i.e., through e-mail, burning to CD, etc.)? Is there anything you'd like to explain about your answer?
15. How do you feel about downloading music without paying for it? Please explain your answer.
16. How do you feel about the legal actions (cease and desist letters, lawsuits, etc.) that the recording industry has pursued in order to discourage illegal downloading and file-sharing? Other/Comments
17. Do you buy CDs? If yes, why do you sometimes choose to buy CDs rather than download the same music on the Internet?
18. Do you go to concerts? If yes, does your downloading/file-sharing affect your concert-going habits? Please explain.
19. Do you have other thoughts about file-sharing/downloading that you'd like to share?


  1. This research paper captures my feelings about the validity of internet surveys.

    Open web surveys don't have a well defined sample frame, which makes it difficult to know if they are really in the survey's target audience.

  2. Steve,

    I appreciate the difficulty in regards to open surveys. However, I know this person's work and did complete the survey myself although it does not pertain to my online behavior.

    It is focused more on behavioral and attitudinal aspects of downloading music. It is not a scientific survey, nor does it pretend to be.

    Dr. Katz is a musicologist who has made a career out of the focus of his dissertation which led to "Capturing Sound." He teaches at UNC-Chapel Hill and recently spent some time in Japan studying the work of Japanese DJs.

    He's been featured in the New York Times and on NPR. His work is pretty fascinating.

  3. If it's not a scientific survey, why doesn't he just make up the results? It's a lot faster and easier.

    The fact that you responded to the survey reinforces my point -- by your own admission, you are not part of his target audience.

    Results from non-scientific surveys published by PhDs are spread by the media as fact. I'd be very concerned that he plans to "draw upon the results of this survey for a chapter on music listening habits and the Internet." I hope by "draw upon", he means "use the results to guide further, more rigorous research before publishing."

  4. Steve,

    I'm sorry apparently this is a topic which is much more controversial than I had imagined.

    If I had NEVER downloaded a piece of music, then yes, I should not complete the survey. However, I have even if just minimally and my experience in this area is limited to iTunes which is addressed in the survey.

    An important question centered on the legality of music sharing which I do happen to have an opinion on. As a musician, issue of royalty payments is an important part of the discussion.

    Anyways, it is certainly not something which you need to participate in. I thank you for the challenge (although admittedly this one kinda annoyed me, LOL).

  5. It certainly wasn't my intent to annoy. Just enjoying a little intellectual back and forth with someone I respect and admire.

    On another topic entirely, can you recommend a Coronet primer? My dad found my old Coronet while cleaning out his attic. I used to play in junior high, and I am still able to blow a basic scale. Practicing might be a fun way to meet the new neighbors. :-)

  6. LOL. Intellectual banter. It's much easier to be snarky and suspicious of 'other' Ph.D.s who aren't likely to be the bestman at the wedding if my bf and I ever get married. :)

    I just received the following message (on Facebook) from Mark's wife.

    "Lisa, thanks for spreading the word, he has almost 300 responses so far!"

    Mark posted the survey just yesterday. Now, he may have spread the word in his college courses, but I don't know the details on that.

    For the granddaddy of all Cornet method books, go with Arban's Complete Conservatory Method.

    For a book with short technical studies in many different keys, go with Clarke Technical Studies.

    I'm sure that you're neighbors will love it.

  7. Hmmmm... Leg rubs... Weddings... Things are warming up around here.

    Thanks for the recommendations. I still have images in my mind of Dizzy Gillespie playing that wacky-ass trumpet on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. And those cheeks! I wanna be like Dizzy!