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Old 30th Dec 2018, 4:45 pm   #41
stevehertz
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thermionic View Post
Like an earlier poster, I prefer to own a hard copy of what I like to listen too. I do wonder how musicians, engineers, backing musicians etc, would say if it ever got to the stage where a physical copy completely disappeared. Streaming and downloading is great, but how do you give credit to the musicians, producers, etc if all people want to do is listen to a ‘ghost’ copy?


Personally, l like reading the CD / DVD inserts. I like to know who the musicians were, who wrote the song, who engineered and mixed the track, etc. Ok, so this could be provided with a download, but it’s unlikely most people would bother opening up a ‘window ‘ to read the credits!


SimonT.
This is the reason why bands and artists are touring again - and charging a fortune for tickets. At the concerts they sell merchandise including tee shirts, posters, jackets, CDs etc as another way of making money. They are basically losing money by the truckload as a result of downloading. Maybe it's just because 'it was always that way' for me, but I like to own and handle 'the music'. A song title on a computer screen just isn't the same thing for me even though admittedly given good quality reproduction equipment, the resultant sound is just as good.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 5:20 pm   #42
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

We still have two independent records shops in Cheltenham, one selling new and second hand cds records etc and the other selling exclusively second hand vinyl records and cds.

Badlands and Vinyl vaults,both well established .
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 5:28 pm   #43
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

I have been told this afternoon that HMV opened a new shop in Wigan in the last few weeks, have to see if it stays open.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 7:10 pm   #44
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

I guess it's a case of "different strokes for different folks". In the 70s 80s and 90s I bought loads of cassettes - many from HMV.

But my musical tastes changed. What I then bought - on CD, again plenty from HMV (as well as Virgin, Our Price etc) - in the 1990s and early-2000s was a lot different in style/genre/intent.

My tastes changed.

When I moved house in 2003 I couldn't be bothered moving all the cassettes to the new house so I put them in a couple of bin-bags and took them to the local charity-shop.

Now we've got streaming, downloads etc. my collection of CDs sits in a cupboard which I probably haven't opened for weeks.

My tastes have changed again.

If I moved, again the CDs would probably be sent to the PDSA shop. I've got elderly friends in similar situations - "why should I take all these old LPs with me to clutter up a room of my retirement suite when the broadband there lets me listen to the same music - and with a much greater choice of performances - all without the annoying clicks/scratches" ??

I guess it was a similar sort of issue that led to Pianos becoming the post-WWII "can't get rid of them for love or money" furniture-item. Anyone remember Piano-smashing contests at village fairs etc?

I've not bought 'physical copies' of music for well over a decade. These days I'm happy to be able to carry a week's worth of losslessly-encoded [FLAC] listening with me on a 64Gb USB memory-stick. Cars these days have a USB-socket for personal music not a cassette or CD-player.

I don't weep for the passing of old formats (either musical or retail). In times-past if you wanted to hear some music you'd have had to buy a printed hard-copy of the notes, and hire yourself an orchestra/band to play them. Only available to the seriously-rich! These days music has become democratized - a trend which really started with the coming of radio. What happens next - only time will tell.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 8:05 pm   #45
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

It's a bit like 'Woolworths'. We all loved it with happy memories of the electrical counter but hadn't bought anything substantial in the store for decades. Shops cost millions, rates cost hundreds of thousands let alone staff, insurance and all the other heavyweight legislation. Impossible to sustain with just low level sales of CD's and bits and bobs.

There will be many more to topple in the next few years. John.
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 9:24 pm   #46
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

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It's a shame they never got the download store fixed properly from day 1. When downloads first came into being, HMV only had low bit-rate files available, ( I think 128k) rather than even cd-quality, and the download process was glitchy. They seemed to be left behind by entrepreneurs and start-ups who had found better systems. They were IMHO usurped by young companies run by people they'd probably never heard of.
HMV bought up 7Digital and that does offer higher quality downloads. They pulled the downloads after that. Transferring customers to the other site. I had a look today at 7Digital's site and it now looks independent from HMV. There's no mention of the company anywhere on the website.

HMV like many of the other download providers suffered from the Apple monopoly on downloads, whereby they could not sell the itunes download format. The record companies would only allow them to sell Windows Media files, having copyright protection on them. Which could not be used on the ipod players. MP3 only rose after the record companies stop using protection on files. But by them the market was saturated with ipods and people would not go from iTunes to other sites, even though Amazon thought that they would switch if the reduced the price. But that didn't work, due to iTunes cards, which allowed kids without bank accounts to buy tracks.

As for HMV's websites they have had technical issues for ages. And the Government stopped them selling CD and DVD's cheap online for tax reasons. Which stopped a lot of sales.

I'm surprised though that the stores are closing, since the growth of vinyl. I would have thought that people would have bought that at shops, rather than risk it in the post. But perhaps not?
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 9:47 pm   #47
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

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I'm surprised though that the stores are closing, since the growth of vinyl. I would have thought that people would have bought that at shops, rather than risk it in the post. But perhaps not?
Total UK vinyl sales for 2017 £25 million, HMV revenue for 2016 £300 million. Vinyl is growing in popularity, but even if HMV had owned the entire market - and they must have been a very long way from doing that - it's not a large enough market to do much towards keeping them afloat.

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Old 31st Dec 2018, 9:58 pm   #48
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatercathodeshort View Post
It's a bit like 'Woolworths'. We all loved it with happy memories of the electrical counter but hadn't bought anything substantial in the store for decades.
Oddly enough, one of our local Woolworth's sites is now a Poundland and, when I go in there, it often occurs to me that many of the product ranges are actually very similar to the sort of things that Woolworth's sold.

To come back to HMV, personally I avoid the sort of locations that HMV choose to site their shops. Car parking is expensive in city centres and I find our local market towns are more pleasant places to shop.
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 10:54 pm   #49
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

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Oddly enough, one of our local Woolworth's sites is now a Poundland and, when I go in there, it often occurs to me that many of the product ranges are actually very similar to the sort of things that Woolworth's sold.
Well, the concept is the same. When Woolworth first opened every item was 6d (2.5p).

I must live in a down-market town: we have a 99p shop!
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 3:11 pm   #50
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You will be pleased to note that you don't there are plenty of £1 shops in Sheffield still.
Funnily enough the Poundland stores in Sheffield were not just selling things at a £1. And I remember going in and thinking this is not a pound shop!
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 3:36 pm   #51
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

HMV - there was a name to recall - somewhere I have a Xmas present HMV gift voucher that I left too long and all the NZ shops had closed. Must admit to being mostly into physical media 78's 45's, tapes, cd's etc and even more so as a particularly good version of one song I really liked (too much of nothing Peter, Paul and Mary) suddenly vanished off the internet leaving only the far inferior versions online. Same with Anne Briggs, but fortunately in her case I had burned a copy to cd in time.

However in some ways I do NOT lament the passing of the cd stores - whereas the vinyl record stores here were quite good and knowlegble, too many of their successors unlike the British ones had only the $ signs in their eyes, absolutely no interest in service or ordering things and a very hostile attitude to customers - due in part to theft it must be said but still very off putting. Cannot say I'm sorry to see them mostly gone.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 4:12 pm   #52
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

I think my joke misfired slightly - 99p being 1p cheaper than a quid - i.e we're cheaper than cheap!

I've resolved next time I go to count the charity shops, 'uncles', coffee shops (one has just gone - bust I'm reliably told), banks, betting shops and vacant shops and then see what's left. The town centre pub is boarded up. WH Smith remains but it is like entering the Marie Celeste and has an auto-checkout which almost seems to be operating like an honesty box! It looks like it operates on one member of staff. On each visit I'm amazed to find the shop still trading - especially in the face of Amazon book sales.

There was a sizeable white goods shop but that went last year and is vacant. There is another small shop that sells fridges and cookers. Someone opened a toy shop a while ago but that didn't last long. I bet that poor sap is still lumbered with rent and rates.

The old Woolworth now sells soft furnishings (I don't know how much business it does - I rarely see any customers) and houses the Post Office since the Crown Post Office was closed. (The PO was actually in a convenience store before that but that is boarded up.) Things go around in a cycle: In Victorian times often the Post Office was often an extra desk in a shop or some other business premises.

Unfortunately, the majority of the shops are in a 1960s mall type concrete complex which replaced the old buildings when the planners decided to destroy the character of the town and are not suitable for converting to residential. Best thing would be to knock it all down and start again. However, two 1970s office blocks are being turned into apartments.

Expect towns to consist of a supermarket alongside a much reduced high street that accommodates niche-market stores. However, if people start to live in town centres again it might make them less forbidding places at night.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 5:23 pm   #53
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

We once had a 49p shop here, you didn't want to stay for long as it was freezing cold as they couldn't afford to have the heating on.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 5:40 pm   #54
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HMV in Newbury went the last time they went bust ! Newbury town centre seems to be rapidly transitioning to housing and "Bistro Central". Maybe that's the future for town centres ?

The last time I went into Newbury was to visit the opticians, got soaked in a downpour and got "rooked" several quid for the privilege of parking the car some distance away from where I wanted to go ! I've subsequently found an out of town optician with free and local parking.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 6:55 pm   #55
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

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Originally Posted by avocollector View Post
However in some ways I do NOT lament the passing of the cd stores - whereas the vinyl record stores here were quite good and knowlegble, too many of their successors unlike the British ones had only the $ signs in their eyes, absolutely no interest in service or ordering things and a very hostile attitude to customers - due in part to theft it must be said but still very off putting. Cannot say I'm sorry to see them mostly gone.
I find the idea that a music/video/CD retail-store needs to be in any way 'knowledgeable' somewhat odd.

You go in, say "I want this [give them the name, and the label it's on] - do you have it? if not, when can you get it for me?".

Their need for intelligence - apart from knowing which distributor to go to in order to fulfil my request - is essentially zero. The idea that the clerk in a high-street music-shop has even *heard* of Initial-D let alone knows anything about the original soundtrack would never occur to me.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 7:13 pm   #56
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

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Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
I find the idea that a music/video/CD retail-store needs to be in any way 'knowledgeable' somewhat odd.

You go in, say "I want this [give them the name, and the label it's on] - do you have it? if not, when can you get it for me?" ...
I remember, perhaps 40 years ago, going into the basement of Blackwells' music shop in Oxford, when it was in Holywell St, and asking if they had a record of Benjamin Britten's Hymn to St Cecilia. I'd just heard it on the radio, been bewitched by it, and really wanted my own copy. I'd even written down who the conductor and choir were and I was hoping to get the same performance that I'd just heard.

The chap behind the counter explained that sadly that recording was no longer available although I might be able to find it second-hand. However he did have three or four other versions in stock. It wasn't much more than 10 minutes long, so what else would I like on the record with it ? I didn't have much idea. He suggested the Ceremony of Carols, perhaps. Would I be prepared to go for a fantastic new performance but by a group containing sopranos rather than trebles ? No I wouldn't. OK. He'd put the remaining ones that he had on and I could listen and decide which compromise I preferred (great Cecilia but dull other tracks, classic Cecilia but vintage recording so the sound quality wasn't as good, etc, etc).

Happy days.

Incidentally a couple of days ago I remembered a wonderful live performance on telly of one of Arcade Fire's early tracks (famous enough that when they got onto the telly this was what they chose to give us). I just fancied hearing it again. I spent an hour or so listening to loads of their stuff on Youtube, but I couldn't find it. Nor could I remember the title. Once upon a time someone behind a record shop counter might have been able to though.

Cheers,

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Old 1st Jan 2019, 7:42 pm   #57
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
I find the idea that a music/video/CD retail-store needs to be in any way 'knowledgeable' somewhat odd.

You go in, say "I want this [give them the name, and the label it's on] - do you have it? if not, when can you get it for me?".

Their need for intelligence - apart from knowing which distributor to go to in order to fulfil my request - is essentially zero. The idea that the clerk in a high-street music-shop has even *heard* of Initial-D let alone knows anything about the original soundtrack would never occur to me.
Yes and no. Depends on the person buying and how much they know about that 'few seconds of a track they heard on the radio last week'. The Diskery in Birmingham is a very famous record store and the blokes in there must know every record ever made, well, not far off. Believe me, there are times when a high level of knowledge of recordings can come in handy for the buyer.

http://thediskery.com/
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 7:45 pm   #58
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This might help locate Arcade Fire
45cat.com
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 7:14 pm   #59
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

At one time, you could hear a snatch of a tune you didn't know, remember the basic notes, go into a proper record shop, hum a few notes of it badly and the assistant, if they were any good, would recognise it and tell you what it was.

...But now there's Shazam for that.

HMV did once let me put a (Van Halen) CD on and spin through the whole CD looking for a track I'd seen 30 seconds of on TV - probably on MTV. I did find it - (Don't Tell Me from the album Balance). Of course I bought the CD there and then, not least because they had been so helpful.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 2:03 am   #60
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Default Re: HMV in administration.

Last Saturday I took a trip to London and visited HMV's famous store on Oxford Street - "The home of entertainment since 1921" - but maybe not for much longer.

I've attached a few pictures.

The shop has a lovely vintage neon sign outside. On the inside, there were some photos of the shop in its heyday, from when you could buy a wind-up gramophone and some 78s to go with it, when you could listen to a record before buying, and when The Beatles dropped in to the shop to sign records. All history now.

It's sad, but inevitable. Sales of physical media now account for a much smaller proportion of music sales, despite a revival of vinyl records. It's just not enough to keep a whole chain of shops going. Perhaps a few of the busiest HMV shops like Oxford Street could be saved. Let's hope so. But HMV are being squeezed on all sides: falling physical sales, high running costs for their city centre shops, increased competition from online sellers like Amazon who can offer lower prices and wider selection, plus competition from supermarkets. My local Sainsburys and Asda sell games, DVDs, CDs and even vinyl records along with groceries. All this has eaten away HMV's profits.
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