Monday, June 22, 2015

mp3eed off

Besides feeling a bit lazy today, I was also a little pissed off that I have to keep buying music that I have already purchased. Last week I listened to Elton John's, Tumbleweed Connection again for the first time in decades. The original record that I bought was well worn when I transferred it to tape, and then after a few years the tape became distorted and unlistenable. I happened across Tumbleweed on YouTube and played the entire album there. So here is a re-print of my blog from January 3, 2013 on that subject.


It was 1988 and I had a lot of time on my hands. I was cooped up at home for over three months in a very weakened condition because I was on chemo therapy. Besides barfing my guts up, and watching crappy television shows, there wasn't much to do. So I decided to move my entire LP record collection (LP; an ancient way of recording music. The L for long, and P for playing.) over to cassette tape. I could see the writing on the wall. When I went to the record store (Another ancient relic where people went to buy music in the olden days.), where there had been aisles and aisles of vinyl records, there was now a wall of cassette tapes and something called CDs. I knew the CD would never catch on because it was so much more expensive than cassette tapes. I spent weeks playing each and every album I had, and recording them to tape. When I was done I felt good. I had secured my collection of music on a form that I would be able to use until the day I died.

On Christmas morning last week, amid the flying wrapping paper, and dogs flinging newly acquired toys across the living room, I slowly opened the large package Mark had handed me. It was a new stereo music system for my office. It took me a while, but yesterday I finally put it together. There were a few problems.
"Mark, where do you play cassette tapes on this thing?"
"You don't."
Okay, I thought, I don't ever need to listen to the couple of hundred tapes I have. I have plenty of CDs.
"They don't make cassette tape players anymore." Mark continued on, "Not only that, I had to look long and hard to find a stereo that plays CDs."
I continued to fiddle with the new stereo, wondering aloud how would I play music on this damn thing.
"Pull down that little panel on the front." Mark instructed.
I pulled it down.
"What the hell is that?"
"That's where you dock your IPod. That's where you play your music."
I don't own an IPod. Now I know how my grandmother felt when the wax cylinder became obsolete.
So the fact is that the market is forcing me to embrace a new technology. I think it sucks, because I know it's all a scam to make you re-buy all the music you already paid for. I have been reading about pirate music sites on the internet lately, and how they have hurt the music industry. I really have no sympathy for them. In fact I think I should be allowed to download every single bit of music that I have already purchased, for free. I'd go with the new technology if they allowed me to do that. I mean how could an mp3 file ever become obsolete? And then I read this.

"Neil Young is all about new technologies. Long fed up with mp3s, the rocker has spent years experimenting with improving sound quality, and now Young has finally trademarked Pono, his very own high-resolution audio format."

 Here is the full Tumbleweed album for your listening pleasure. I forgot how much I loved it.

 Here is the full Tumbleweed album for your listening pleasure. I forgot how much I loved it.

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