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THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, a local newspaper, publishes well-executed infographics of one thing and another. A recent topic struck a note close to my heart: The way we listen to music.
The article, “FOCUS: How Streaming Music Has Become the Leading Format,” was assembled by Kurt Snibbe and the OCR staff, with various sources including Music Watch, the Recording Industry Association of America, Nielsen, Edison Research and others.
My listening experiences appear to leap ahead of and then lag behind the times. I wonder if yours do too?
I was heavy into West Coast Jazz during the vinyl LP heydays of the 1950s, stereo appearing in 1958, and 1960s. Even when my tastes broadened to Bach, Beatles and Elton John (11-17-70!), I persisted with LPs.
My LPs were (and are) plagued with inevitable scratches, surface noise and odd “pre-echoes,” faint passages heard one revolution prior to their correct occurrence. Also, of course, LPs were anything but portable.
Thus I was an early adopter of portable cassette players. I recall bringing a Philips back from Europe several years before Sony introduced its soon-to-be-ubiquitous Walkman in 1979.
Travelers had two problems with these gizmos: How to carry more than several cassettes on a trip? And, if in a car, how to protect the cassettes from extreme temperatures.
When the portable CD player came out in 1984, I rejoiced: I had a little pouch that held the player and perhaps 10 CDs (sans their jewel cases).
My CD pouch traveled with me long after other travelers started toting tidy little MP3 players in 1998. I gave in, eventually, though today I’m only on my third MP3 device (two of them, iPods).
I’ve written about the resurgence of vinyl here at SimanaitisSays. I confess to a personal audiophilic handicap in not sensing the “inherent warmth” of vinyl versus CD. However, à chacon sa ouïe.
In 2003, the uploading, sharing and streaming of music were introduced. As shown by the inforgraphic, streaming is far and away the most popular music delivery system today.
Traditionalist that I am, I continue to opt for the CD rather than a download. I know: CDs use precious resources, take up space and, indeed, I’m likely to transfer many of my favorites to my iPod and iPhone anyway.
But when the iPod, iPhone or computer goes belly-up (which each has done), I still have the CD. Perhaps without “warmth,” but sans pre-echo.
And aren’t these infographics from The Orange County Register splendid! ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2017