When I was a teenager, I used to buy record albums; the kind on black vinyl . And I bought a lot of them. You see, playing in a band at 14 years old gave me an excuse to buy more records than I really should have. I also had my income to pay for them, that made it even worse. After all the extra money when your that young with nothing to spend it was terrible. Heck, on some occasions, we’d make $40. That’s $40 for the entire band. But ut still gave me the extra cash and the excuse to feed my musical habit…….
When I bought my first car I was still buying records on black vinyl. Except now, after having a car for a few years, I was about to invest in a 8 track tape player. This was something that was extremely cool at the time. The latest music technology and available in a car. Unfortunately, the cartridges were huge and if I remember correctly, making your own 8 tracks from you records was not an easy task. In fact, I can’t remember if you even could make your own recordings. I’m probably wrong, but that was a quite a few years ago,
After the 8 track player boom, I was back to buying the good old fashion 33 1/3 RPM albums again. The bands band we doing better now so I was purchasing a Laotian more albums. The funny part was that I ended up buying a lot of albums that I had on 8 track be UAE I didn’t want to mess around with outdated media and I did want to listen to this recordings I enjoyed. My point here is that I was still buying albums to play at how and use with the band for learning songs (hard to bring an e-track to practice and even harder to listen to the same passage over and over).
So. now I have my favorite music on black vinyl and 8-track. And the music proliferation begins.
A few years go by and the next big fad is the cassette player. These hung around a little longer than 8 tracks did, but they still ended up with a very measurable shelf life.
Once again the duplicate purchases started; I was now buying cassette tapes. Fortunately for me, cassette recorders arrived almost as quickly as the cassettes did. It also didn’t take all that long for cassette player/recorders to become affordable. I could continue to buy my record albums and create my own cassettes.
Of course, I tend to get lazy sometimes. If I was in a big hurry, I would just buy a prerecorded cassette. What was kind of funny is that I now had the same songs on cassettes, albums, and a few on 8 tracks. I was putting together a huge music library. Unfortunately, it had a lot of duplicates making it artificially large.
Time moves on and cassettes and cassette player/records soon disappear, replaced by something called a compact disk (CD). Now things start to get a little more fuzzy. For the longest time, it wasn’t all that easy to create your own CDs. And it definitely wasn’t all that economical. However, buying CDs wasn’t cheap either. On average, a CD cost about twice what a vinyl album in the beginning. Over time the cost did come down. One thing keeping the price of recorded CD’s high was the idea that they sounded better that vinyl . I know I bought into the hype. Many years later I discovered I preferred the sound of my vinyl albums considerably more than the almost to perfect sound of a CD. In fact, the Direct to Disk recordings I have on red vinyl are still some of the music I enjoy listening to the most. Add to all that the challenge of just getting a CD out of the nuclear war proof packaging.
Over time my vinyl purchases slowly declined as my CD purchases increased. It became to time-consuming to cut your own CDs from vinyl. Add to that that every year there seemed to be just less and less music available on vinyl. Fortunately, it looks like vinyl is attempting to make a comeback. I think more people than just me realized that all that noise on a 33 1/3 RPM vinyl recording was just more realistic than the electronically produced CD. Add to that that under certain conditions, the recording media on a CD will actually peel off.
I still buy CDs though. In fact, I just bought one today. For me, it’s still a pain to track down vinyl of a new recording. Maybe if I lived in New York City, Chicago, LA, or San Francisco, finding vinyl wouldn’t be so difficult. Houston just isn’t a music city, or at least I haven’t located the musical portion of the city yet
You all know that the story doesn’t end with too many CDs and too many vinyl recordings. What comes next is the wonderful world of digital recordings. At first, it was just dumping your CDs down to your computer so you could listen to favorite songs at work or while traveling. It was all manageable until good old Apple came out with the iPod. The iPod changed everything. Now digital music was just the way to go. If you heard something you liked or someone told you about some great recording, with a couple of mouse clicks, you owned it. Before long you have a fortune invested in digital recordings. And God help you should you lose your hard drive, or change computers, or want to lend you favorite song out to a friend.
In the digital age, I find myself buying lots of stuff off iTunes, it’s just so so easy. A friend on Twitter or Facebook comments on this great tune they heard. You track it down on iTunes, like it, and in a matter of seconds you sort of own a copy.
Now you find yourself going backwards. Instead of dumping you CDs to your computer, you are burning CDs from your digital library. Now you have an easy way to carry music with you when you drive…
But wait, cars now Sirus and XM. There’s no need to travel with CDs for those areas you travel through that have poor radio reception. And the proliferation of music continues.
I no longer have my old 8 tracks, although from a collectors viewpoint, I wish I did. I still remember playing the Blind Faith 8 track I owned over and over with the top down, volume up, driving 25 MPH down Main Street in Niagara Falls.
I still have a musical record mess. I have my vinyl, CDs, and MP3 with a few cassettes lying around that I no longer have any way of playing. In fact, in my office, on the corner of my desk, I actually have a reel to reel recorder and I have tapes to play on it.. should I ever choose to hook it up to something.
But I will never be able to go back to the simpler days of music on a single media. I could never travel without my iPod. In fact, I can’t even imagine being on a plane without.
I will never get rid of the hundred of vinyl recordings I own. They’ve lasted this long, I’m going to make sure they last another 20 years.
True Yuk! goes to the close to a thousand CDs I own. I still listen to those. What sad is that all those CDs are slowly making their way into my office and ending up in an iTunes library, leaving the actual CD to never be touched again. In fact, I am sitting here writing this while I listen to the latest Spcial EFX recording that I purchased on CD and feed into iTunes so I could listen to in my office and controlling what I listen to with my mouse.
Well, that’s it today. Not really a rant and not really all that cheesy. Maybe it’s just an example of a very musically mixed up 60 year old kid.
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