It is 2016 and “Do you want me to play that song on vinyl? Tape? CD? or iTunes?” Holy shit! You can actually do that. That’s roughly 70 years of music history and technology and we can easily access anytime. Wow.
Recording music isn’t anything new, but the way it’s done has drastically changed, it seems that ever since the mid 1800’s we’ve been dolling out new technology quite rapidly. We are in a place and time where we can liberally choose our medium. So, how do you listen to your music?
In the last decade we have seen an obvious resurgence of the Vinyl format. We can thank the eager interest from millennials in the 2000’s! You shouldn’t scoff if you’re a production snob (Audiophile). It is great news. More demand means, more albums will likely get re-issued and perhaps get a recording treatment. (Mobile Sound Fidelity, yeah?)
A combination of novelty, nostalgia and trend has instigated a sales spike in cassette tapes recently. Some benefits of cassettes: they are smaller and a more inexpensive analog format to own. Even though the audio quality of a cassette can’t compare to the lossless format of vinyl, it still provides a beautiful and tangible audio experience.
The future of digitalizing the digital, is currently in the works. Technology addicts, Audiophiles and commoners will debate whether one format is superior to another…or if it even matters at all. While there are pro’s and con’s to everything. We clearly see how particular formats(cough-vinyl-cough) Produce a tactile, visual and audio experience. Some express concerns about the environmental effect–some debate that the production of said media is insignificant.
While the digital era has done wonders by allowing new artists to emerge and connect to other people. It has also downplayed the music experience all together. While there are so many options, most people have restricted their ears even more. They are no longer forced to listen to an entire album, they can no longer spend hours studying the album art and lyrics…they can’t even SMELL the music for goddsakes!
I don’t intend on pretending that I know what the future holds, but right now we have choices. We have come far enough in history, we just might indefinitely have choices. I don’t know. It will also take a few years into the future to see how this era of choice but compressed, impatient ears affected our culture.