I have found some great stuff via random downloading. I have also found some terrible stuff that way…

If you are a regular reader of Pop Rock Nation, you know that I am a music lover and enjoy a broad spectrum of musical styles. I often discover music by stumbling across it. If I hear something I like in a bar, for instance, I’ll use Shazam to find out the name of the song and the artist. A lot of times, I’ll then purchase the song. Sometimes I’ll download free songs on Amazon or iTunes. I’ll even pay to download something if the mood strikes me and have quite a few albums in my iTunes library that I bought on a whim.

Now that I think about it, I’ve actually bought a lot of music that way. Back in the days before the Internet, I used to buy albums without hearing them first. There was a time when there weren’t any “listening posts” in music stores. You basically took a risk whenever you forked over your hard earned money for a new album. Sure, you might have heard a song or two on the radio if the album had a hit or two. But the rest of the album might very well have been a mystery. I had a friend about twenty years ago who often refused to buy albums for that very reason. She only wanted the songs she knew and liked, so she’d buy singles or tape stuff off the radio.

A couple of weeks ago, I downloaded a couple of albums off of Amazon.com that consisted of Spanish guitar music. I was inspired by our recent trip to Spain and Portugal and wanted something nice in my collection for times when I wanted to make a mental escape back abroad. I kind of knew what I liked and listened to a couple of samples, but otherwise knew nothing about the artists other than what I heard on the short clips Amazon provided. I bought one album by a fellow names Armik because he’s Armenian-Iranian and I used to live in Armenia. From what I heard on Amazon, he plays a hell of a good Spanish style guitar. I bought another by Johannes Linstead because his album got a lot of great reviews. So far, I’m pretty pleased with both purchases.

“Andalucia” by Johannes Linstead.

“Flames of Love” by Armik.

The flip side of this is that sometimes I have ended up with some less impressive purchases. I bought an album by Argentine pianist Raul Di Blasio based on a beautiful acoustic piece I heard on a YouTube video. I could only get the piece by buying the whole album. I did, and it turned out I liked the rest of the album much less than that one beautiful piano piece I’d heard on YouTube. The rest of the album was very new age and kind of bored me.

Raul Di Blasio’s “Solo”, piano version.

As much as I love music and engage in random downloading, I also love books. I will even read self-published books if the subject matter interests me. Today’s post was actually inspired by a terrible book I downloaded last night. It was kind of my fault. I didn’t read the description or check up on the author. I thought I was getting a non-fiction book and it turned out I got a very shoddily written novel. I read the thing and was a little annoyed at the end. It wasn’t a total waste, since I was able to write a rather scathing review of the book on one of my other blogs. But it did remind me that I need to be more careful about random downloading.

Here’s a little something I recently found while random downloading…