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Old 02-25-2006, 09:00 PM   #1
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Do computers make the experience of music better? or worse?

I love my Itunes library. It’s the best radio station on the planet.
8,600 songs waiting for me every day. All in one place. All ready
at the click of a button.

And I love the internet as well. Finding a hotly anticipated release
that leaked 2 months early is a great thing. Fresh. Fast. Easy.
It’s all there on my Mac or in my Ipod.

It’s a world away from how I used to listen to music. I remember
buying cassettes. Cassettes blew. They warped in the sun, and a shitty
tape deck could destroy your only copy. Fast forward was a bitch
and put your only copy of an album at risk.

So, in general, you listened to albums all the way through. Over, and over
and over (anyone else remember when “auto-reverse” seemed high tech?)

Hell, making a mix tape was a real-time experience. You really had to plan out
what was going on the tape. Nothing was worse than having the finale of side A
cut off cause you ran out of tape. It took planning. For real geeks, it took a paper
and pencil as well. Calculating how you could get as much music as possible on
those 90 minute Maxell cassettes.

Cds made the whole function better. You could scan to tracks with no risk of
destroying the CD. You still had to pick out a CD to play, and actually put it in
the player, and making mix tapes was the same chore (but CD’s gave you the
exact time of each track, something cassettes couldn’t do.)

All these little chores have been erased with the computer. Thousands of songs
at your fingertips. Make a mix CD without listening to 1 song on it. Like track
3 and 8 off a record? Only put track 3 & 8 on your computer. Download the new
Tom Petty CD 2 months before release. Breeze through it with some quick mouse
clicks, and form an opinion w/o even really listening to it. Poor kids today.
They’ll never discover that gem of an album track, cause the technology let’s
them avoid it.

I used to have a giant cassette case in my car. 30 tapes or so. Maybe 350 songs.
And I listened to those 350 or so songs over, and over, and over. Now I go to
My car with my Ipod and carry 3600. That’s insane. There’s only so much time
in a day.

I dunno. It's snowing, I’m drinking beer and rambling.

(look at that margin go further and further to the right)
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:08 PM   #2
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Definitely better. It has made it so much easier to achieve new music and manage your music collection
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:09 PM   #3
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I remember when making a mix for someone was a real gift because it took so much time to get all the songs together and time it right.

People do miss out because they download one song at a time from itunes and may only hear the top releases of a certain band.

I remember trying to record off the radio, now that took skill, mess up on your timing and you have a stupid dj talking in the middle of your mix.

It's certainly easier to hear more variety with the internet though I doubt most people get as into a single artist as they did when they were stuck with that one tape in their car.

Yes i love my itunes I've been ripping old cd's all day
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:10 PM   #4
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beer
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:12 PM   #5
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Yeah. I remember recording off the radio.

That used to suck.

But you really had to want it. You were invested.
You'd listen to dj banter and shitty songs to get that new tune you were looking for.

Now you press a button.
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Man
beer
I need another one.

Being snowed in is an automatic "Beer Day."
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:27 PM   #7
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Making playlists has become my new "mix tape" phase I spend a lot of time (probably way too much time, in fact) creating the perfect mixes for all moods and periods of my day/week, etc. And I feel just a geeky as I used to feel creating those perfect 90 minute Maxell tape listening experiences

I think the internet has been good, though. For me personally, as a fairly poor kid, I didn't have a lot of money to buy whole albums. Remember how much CDs cost? That was my allowance for a month!

And let's talk about the VARIETY! I've been able to access so much music online that I would never have been able to access in a store. Let's not mention the dismal music buying scene in the US... Most of the music I listen to comes out of the UK and is not available in the US... I would be stuck without the internet.

And let's not forget either that the internet has provided us just such forums as these to discuss new music

So yeah, there are still people who will only get one song here and there and not bother with whole albums... but then there are those of us who will! And who will be able to experience a wider variety of albums, too!




P.S. mmmm.... beer.
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by redkat
People do miss out because they download one song at a time from itunes and may only hear the top releases of a certain band.

[...]

It's certainly easier to hear more variety with the internet though I doubt most people get as into a single artist as they did when they were stuck with that one tape in their car.
Maybe I just have a different attitude and mentality to most people, but I certainly find that to be untrue, at least for me. Before I had the Internet, I barely got into any bands - I had a few CDs, but due to how expensive they are (Australian CDs can be quite dear, especially when compared with some US prices), I rarely bought anything and if I liked a band, the only time I got to listen to them was when a hit was played on the radio.

Now that I have the Internet, if I hear one song I like, I can instantly look up the album it's from, or if I read about a band, I can instantly look up their 'classic' album. If I like that album, I can look up the band's entire discography. Suddenly, I'm right into a band and know their entire catalogue, when I would've otherwise just known four or five hit songs and been lucky to hear them a couple of times a week on the radio.

Before the Internet, I enjoyed music and loved a bit of it. With the Internet, music is an essential part of my life.
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:05 PM   #9
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It's good for all the reasons listed above.

The only two draw backs I see is sometimes it's overwhelming. There is so much at your fingertips that unless you're rich, you just can't own all that you would like to.

The second, and the biggest problem I see is that I have a feeling that the true art of making an album will dissappear. There are those albums you need to listen to all the way through, the artwork, everything it's as if it's really just one entity.

I fear the future will have artist that don't even sell any type of hardcopy of the music it will all be sold over internet. It will just be about songs. They may not even come out with 10 or 12 at a time it will be just a few here and few there. It will be about songs and not collections of songs or albums.
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:15 PM   #10
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I think there are pros and cons to both. Though CDs came out in my generation, I'm still old enough to remember cassettes very vividly. Nine or ten years ago, CDs were expensive, CD burners certainly weren't cheap (were they even around back then at the widespread level they are today?) and my family's only computer had a hard drive of something ridiculous like 2 GB. Speaking of the computer, it's hard to believe that was considered high-end! Using it for music was pointless, so cassette was the only way to go. I still remember the frustration of having the tape get fucked up while it was in the player (and getting shouted at for it, if it was one of my father's cassettes.) It took forever to wind it all back in again! And then there was the issue you mentioned of finding the song you wanted to listen to. You either listened to it the whole way through, or you spent ages fiddling with the fast forward/rewind buttons.

That said, cassettes were a bit more fun than CDs and digital music. I'll never forget how proud I was when I made my first proper mix tape! There was a real art to it. I always used my calculator to figure out which songs would fit, and cursed the cassette sleeves that didn't include the song lengths on them. For the latter, I had to time the songs myself.


I kind of miss cassette tapes in that respect. And I think it's a bit sad that most people growing up now will never have experienced them (I suppose some of you could say that about my generation and vinyl records.) But then again, nothing compares to letting your iTunes play on shuffle. You'd never be able to do that with a cassette!
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:29 PM   #11
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Man, I don't miss cassettes at all. They sucked. Being able to access all your music from a big database is all win.
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:35 PM   #12
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I just remembered something else annoying about cassettes. Walkmans! They were so bulky. If you told me ten years ago that there would be a portable music player that could hold thousands upon thousands of songs in it and still be a mere fraction of the size of a Walkman, I wouldn't have believed you.
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by GibsonGirl
I always used my calculator to figure out which songs would fit, and cursed the cassette sleeves that didn't include the song lengths on them. For the latter, I had to time the songs myself.

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH

NERD!
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrBrau1
...They warped in the sun, and a shitty
tape deck could destroy your only copy. Fast forward was a bitch
and put your only copy of an album at risk.


"Warped in the Sun"...sounds like a great Radiohead song title!


We've come a very long way in 5 years, or less, with the way music is distributed. It seems like yesterday I was mailing out those Maxell tapes you mentioned, in exchange for U2 and Pearl Jam bootlegs. (many traders wanted nothing but the best, i.e. Maxell, in return!) Technology has changed all of that, in a hurry. For the most part, I think it's truly incredible. It's let me instantly explore other bands, and the ability to research them is unprecedented. Add to this, the vast array of live material through file-sharing, and it's downright mind-blowing.

A very small part of me wonders about the death of the album--the idea of listening to something straight through to grab a theme or concept that the band is trying to articulate. I wonder if the music industry has refined its focus to singles to such an extent now that a band like Pink Floyd would have trouble getting off the ground initially, even if they were geniuses. Bands like The Arcade fire overrule this point however, as well as the fact that if it wasn't for file-sharing and the internet, I would have barely scratched the surface of Pink Floyd.

So, most definitely, music that doesn't melt in the sun is the bestest.

It also results in less destruction. Years ago, after I said something very saucy, my mother whipped my copy of Duran Duran's Arena at me as I was walking out of my bedroom, breaking my cherished music to pieces. Future generations are now spared the same plight.



Quote:
Originally posted by MrBrau1


I need another one.

Being snowed in is an automatic "Beer Day."

I think you are on to something here. I usually hate beer, but after helping a friend shovel his driveway, he forced one on me...and it tasted damn good. Must be barometric blizzard pressure on the brain.
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:57 PM   #15
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Giant databases are great.

But cassettes and vinyl forced the "album" on you. It was too much of a pain to skip around, so you digested the whole thing.

If you wanted to hear "Pride", you had to listen to "Sort of Homecoming" first.

Nowadays, most people would just download "Pride", never exposing themselves to the great song that came before it.

And it didn't matter if you were a huge music geek, or just a casual fan. The technology helped shape your listening experience.

For that aspect, computers fail.
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