On Friday, Media Play's parent company Musicland filed for bankruptcy, following Tower Records, Wherehouse and a legion of independent music stores into Chapter 11. Chris Anderon's essay names the usual suspects: Walmart, Best Buy, and music downloads, and his commenters go further to point out that the good old days of the mom and pop record store were not always good. Fairly typical is commenter Matt:
I won't especially miss the "cool guy at the local record store" since such "cool guys" typically existed more to laugh at other people's choices than to "turn you on to cool music". Give me an online retailer content to accept my money, dispense music in exchange for it, and leave the condescension at home any day.
I feel kinda sorta sorry for the stockholders and the back-office types who hitched their financial wagons to this dying business model...but no sympathy at all for the formerly-ubiquitous music snobs who stood behind the counter acting superior.
Another commenter notes that shops that sell used CDs are doing just fine, thanks, and I note that we don't see any doom-and-gloom articles about Cheapo, CD Warehouse, or Discland, which are all actually recycled media joints that carry DVDs and video games along with the music....sort of a downscale Borders/Barnes & Noble kind of deal. My personal experience is that I haven't set foot in a record store per se since the Root's place closed - all the music I've bought in the last year or so has been online through half.com, eBay or yourmusic.com; if not there, then at Walmart or Barnes & Noble, usually while I was looking for something else. Ditto with Ed Driscoll and Glenn Reynolds.