Confessions of a Music Pirate

pirateMister Double-X is a 30-something married father of two with a full-time job in the IT industry. He owns a 4-bedroom house, drives a BMW, and plays football once a week. Mister Double-X is also a habitual music pirate. Until very recently, The Pirate Bay would be his first port of call whenever he felt like listening to some new (or old) music. But thanks to Spotify, he has begun the slow withdrawal and is weaning himself off the torrents and onto more legitimate sources. I interviewed Mister Double-X to find out more about his music habits.

How often do you listen to music?

Every day, all day if I could!

What do you use to listen to music (what programs or hi-fi gear)?

DAB radio with breakfast, iPod in the car to work and back, and on the PC/media streamer connected to iTunes  in the house in the evening.

Where do you listen to your music the most?

In the car and whilst browsing the net at home.

In the past 3 months, roughly how many CDs have you bought?

Honestly? None.

In the past 3 months, roughly how many downloads have you purchased?

Four albums for the wife and three singles.

In the past 3 months, roughly how many albums have you downloaded illegally via torrent sites?

Not as many as I used to; maybe about 10 albums. I use Spotify for listening to new albums now. I sometimes download if I like.

Compare with the same period last year. Do you buy more or fewer CDs/legal downloads, and do you download more or fewer albums illegally via torrents?

I definitely download less illegal music now – Spotify is loaded on all devices in my house. My wife and kids use it all the time. I would say as a family unit, we have purchased more music recently.

If you ever have any spare cash, what do you spend it on?

Spend it on the kids – teenagers clothes are extortionate! And on the odd bottle of Jack Daniels for a weekend chill…

Have you ever purchased a CD or MP3 that you’ve already downloaded for free? If so, what percentage of albums you get via torrents do you end up purchasing?

Very low – in single percentage points.

How many concerts or live music events do you go to each year? Do you purchase merchandise?

I will attend 4 or 5 gigs this year and generally buy a t shirt or a mug.

Do you like to have a physical thing to hold (record sleeve, CD booklets) or does this not bother you?

Physical things are old-hat in my opinion. I live in the digital era of a single source for all your tunes/media.

How has Spotify changed you music habits?

It’s free for a start. Most of my listening tastes are catered for and I can access it via the web. All-in-all, the way media should be distributed.

You are currently not a subscriber to Spotify Premium. What would it take to make you subscribe (if anything)?

If I had an iPhone or Android device – this should happen when my current contract expires. Or if I could stream it to my Popcorn Hour media player.

Do you ever feel guilty when you download music for free? How do you justify it to yourself?

Never guilty… I live in the digital age, it’s there and I know how to get free music. Spotify will change this for good when I upgrade to premium once I get a suitable phone device.

Thanks Mr. Double-X.