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Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing

By Jesse Wallace Subscribe to RSS | May 21st 2012 | Views:
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Aside from ongoing arguments on whether illegal downloading harms artists, one thing is increasingly true: doing it can get you in a lot of trouble. Currently, it’s something that companies are increasingly cracking down on. But for people who want to have access to music and films, what are the alternatives to illegal downloading?

Radio is obviously one place where people have been accessing music for years. In fact, the taste of legendary DJs, such as John Peel, has shaped the course of popular music as it is known today. However, as well as traditional radio, a wealth of new internet stations is changing the way people discover music. Sites such as Pandora and Slacker offer personalized suggestions based on what you’ve previously listened to. By using radio rather than illegal downloading, you have the chance to come across all kinds of new artists.

Getting out and seeing live bands is too often overlooked in these discussions, but it’s probably the best thing you can do if you want to support musicians. When you pay an entrance fee or buy a CD or T-shirt at a gig, it’s likely that a far greater proportion of the money will go to the artist than when buying a record in a shop. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other people who are fans of the same music.

For films, why not watch them as they are meant to be seen—on the silver screen? The effect of digital surround sound and 3D visuals is difficult to reproduce on a laptop. Also, look to film festivals to find directors’ cuts and special showings. If you’re worried about the cost, try cheap matinees—the first film shown on each screen is often discounted. You can also sign up on free preview websites to get codes for free tickets for the latest releases.

If you can’t afford the cinema whenever you want to watch a film, you can always rent videos instead. In an effort to compete with illegal downloading, many rental companies are now offering lower rates, longer renting periods, and abolishing late fees. Independent video shops are also often staffed by people who are passionate and knowledgeable about film, which gives you a great opportunity to get a recommendation and see something you would never have otherwise heard about.

Something else which has become popular recently is the use of on-demand subscription services such as Netflix and LoveFilm. With these companies, you pay a monthly fee and get unlimited access to stream a huge collection of movies. As long as you have fast broadband, you can legally access movies without leaving the comfort of your room.

Finally, why stick to being a passive consumer? Get a guitar or a video camera (even the cheap one on your phone) and start creating things yourself. Surely that’s got to be more satisfying that clicking on a link?

Jesse Wallace - About Author:
Jesse Wallace writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

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