Home - Viewing one post
Advantages of vinyl, part two
|Record players make you pay attention to music in much the way that cooking tunes you in to what you eat. That's
my conclusion after six weeks with a new turntable. I find myself
focusing much more on the music than I do in my MP3 wanderings. The
reason, I think, is that record players demand work. You have to get up
every 20 minutes or so, clean the record with the cloth, and lay down
the needle. The biggest part of the job, though, is picking the record. .
Unlike with the ipod, you're picking a long record for the entire
house. (In this small house, music at the volume I like to play it is
heard everywhere.) So you have to think about other people, what they
might want or hate. That takes work. And when you put it on, you're
looking around at them, to see how it's faring. Does that little
tuneless riff bother them? Is it too loud? Did anyone notice that little
skip in the record, or the scratch that at first sounds like a drum,
but then not so much?
I try to bring my 20-year-old into the music, now Miles Davis' tribute
to Jack Johnson (the boxer, not the composer of Bubble Toes.) I ask him
if anyone has ever sampled the little guitar and drum riff we're hearing. He listens
for a moment and says, "Probably."
With vinyl, you're listening to music. That's the activity, or at least a
big part of it. (Now, as you may have noticed, I'm also blogging.) CDs also demand attention, I guess. But they take half as much getting up
off the couch, and for some reason I tend to play them softer than
vinyl, probably because I'm planning on doing something else.) With
portable music, I'm almost always doing something else, and the music is
experienced as a soundtrack. Sometimes it devolves into white noise.
In the future, as I write about it in my novel, The Boost (to be
published late next year), we'll have vast archives of all kinds of
information, including music, on tiny chips, as small as a bumblebee's
wing, implanted in our heads. We'll also have streaming right into our head. In the
end, I suppose, it won't feel all that different from today's earbuds, unless we can mix the music with memories or fantasies or perhaps sounds picked up from our own bodies.
By that point, the only people sitting down to listen to vinyl will be
hobbyists or antiquarians, or perhaps the select few still lacking the
cognitive boosts, one ones known as the "wild."
RT @marthagabriel: "It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated."
-- Alec Bourne #quote #goodmor…
follow me on twitter
Kirkus - Kirkus Reviews
Andrew Dunn - Bloomberg News
Culture Mob - Dan Sampson
Shelfari (Amazon) - Tom Nissley
read more reviews
Why Nate Silver is never wrong
- November 8, 2012
The psychology behind bankers' hatred for Obama
- September 10, 2012
"Corporations are People": an op-ed
- August 16, 2011
Wall Street Journal excerpt: Final Jeopardy
- February 4, 2011
Why IBM's Watson is Smarter than Google
- January 9, 2011
- October 3, 2010
The coming privacy boom
- August 17, 2010
The appeal of virtual
- May 18, 2010
My next book: IBM's Jeopardy mission
- March 22, 2010
- November 12, 2009
BusinessWeek cannot afford to stay within McGraw-Hill
- August 6, 2009
How to remake BusinessWeek?
- July 16, 2009