Music, Music Everywhere

Yesterday I spent several frustrating hours battling with the wonders of modern technology. For the record, after about five hours, I won only to waken this morning, check my Facebook and find a You Tube link to the damn thing! C’est la vie!

The battle? Oh it was nothing life threateningly vital. I was merely attempting to download some video footage from a recent MTV live show.

It did set me thinking though about how the world has changed with regards to obtaining new music.

I clearly remember walking into my local Woolworths store circa 1982, with my money tightly clutched in my hand, to purchase my first ever 7” single. And the record was? “Best Years of Our Lives” by Modern Romance and, yes, I do still have it and have a soft spot for it.

This triggered the start of my addiction to music. Lunch money was squirrelled away in order to save up for the next single or album (Sorry, Mum). Trips to Woolworths became a weekly pilgrimage as my vinyl collection grew.

Although I had a cassette player, I never bought pre-recorded tapes, preferring to buy vinyl instead.

In time, I joined the local record library and, like every other local member, took the discs home for the allotted period, having closely inspected them for scratches, and invested in a stack of C-90 blank cassettes. I’ll leave you to figure out the rest of that bit.

The first CD I ever bought was “Stars” by Simply Red. Again, this proved to be the first of many; the first of a collection that continues to grow today on a regular basis.

For a couple of years vinyl and CDs co-existed quite happily in my wee world then, largely due to the demise of the stylus on the turntable, CDs won that round of the music battle.

And so it continued quite happily for many years until Hey Presto! Enter iTunes and mp3 files. The Digital Download age was upon us, signalling death of many a good record shop.

I will confess to being VERY late to this particular party.

I only purchased my iPod eighteen months ago but have been making up for lost time at a rapid rate of knots as my bank balance will testify!

Now it’s second nature to head to “Digital Music” on Amazon or straight to iTunes. Some bands themselves are making mp3 files available via their own websites. Just yesterday I downloaded a whole live concert from Hogmonay on mp3, for a fee, direct via the band in question’s website. Happy days!

As I stare at my small purple iPod, it never ceases to amaze me the amount of music it holds. Even more incredible is the amount contained in the SD card that I use in the car’s stereo.

At the end of the day though I can’t help but feel that there’s something missing from the whole music buying experience when you purchase digital downloads. Even when you buy a CD a bit of the magic is missing.

I was given a turntable for my birthday some eighteen months ago. The Big Green Gummi Bear may argue it was the worst thing he ever bought me. I would vehemently disagree!

Despite all the media that music is available on, you just can’t match that feeling of buying a new album on vinyl, bringing it home, slipping it out of the sleeve and setting it on the turntable for the very first time. That subtle “dunk” as the stylus connects with the black, or coloured, vinyl disc.

You just can’t beat it!

And on that note, I’m off to see if Amazon has any decent vinyl in their January sale!


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