It seems the way people listen to music changes every day.
Whether it is physical, digital or a streaming format, most seem to have their place with audiophiles.
Looking at my music collection, I would say that almost 80 percent of it comes in the form of compact disc. My peak buying period was in the late 1990s and 2000s so it makes perfect sense. It’s even my first choice still today.
Over the last few years, I’ve bumped up my vinyl collection, but it still only comprises less than 5 percent of the music I own. To a child of the ‘60s, there’s a good chance their collection is predominantly vinyl.
While digital seems to be the main way people consume music these days, it still accounts for probably about 10-15 percent of my catalog. But every day it seems to be gaining momentum, thanks to $5 downloads from Amazon, iTunes and other means.
This whole idea about how people obtain their music was spurred in my mind the other day from a conversation, basically reminiscencing.
My grandpa purchased my first big audio system around 1990 when I was 7 years old. At the time, CDs were becoming more popular and were being sold in the long boxes and retailed for around $20.
With that in mind, the stereo had a double-cassette deck and CD player, more than likely totaling around $300 in value at the given time.
With a mix of cassette singles, full albums and a few CDs in my lowly collection, there was always that song you desired but couldn’t always get your finger on it.
And this is when radio comes into play. It seems long ago, but in the not too distant past, it was fun to call in the radio for requests. Sure, people still do it today, but then you could have your cassette player ready and record the song you just requested.
I recall my sister and I calling in to the local radio station and waiting for songs to be played.
Given this was around 1990, give or take a few, it was probably a request of some song by Aerosmith, Poison or even Warrant’s “Heaven.” Actually, I know it was the latter mentioned song at least once, even though I’m reluctant to admit it.
You had to have your trigger finger ready on the buttons, because you never wanted to clip it too early or late, but you still wanted to catch the perfect start to the song, the one you would then have to listen to any time you wanted.
In due time, you could have your own mix tape at your fingertips.
A far cry from the technology of today, but at the same time, a fun way to obtain music and one that aids in storytelling down the line.
While cassettes fell of the shelves years ago, it seems CDs are doing the same as big box stores simply move them to the back corner of their store and downsize their inventory in what seems like every few months.
Although, I’ve been a recent fan of Spotify over the past months, I’m still an enthusiast of the hard copy.
There’s just so much more to it – the liner notes, artwork and the concept of what should be some extension of the artist.
Call me old school, but that’s how it goes for this music fan, and we’ll all soon see how all forms will coexist in the long run.