Saturday, January 12, 2008

It's A Digital World

This amusing paradigm shift is from an article in The Economist (CWCID: Instapundit and Samizdata):

"IN 2006 EMI, the world's fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some teenagers into its headquarters in London to talk to its top managers about their listening habits. At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free. “That was the moment we realised the game was completely up,” says a person who was there."

In the 40 odd years I have been listening to music the format has changed numerous times and with increasing velocity - 45's and vinyl LP's to eight track tapes to cassette tapes to CD's and now, finally, digital downloads. It always reminds me of the scene from Men In Black where Tommy Lee Jones explains to Will Smith that MIB markets alien products on Earth:

"This is gonna replace CD's soon; guess I'll have to buy the White Album again..."

Do you have any idea how many times I have purchased the first four Led Zeppelin albums?

Anyway, 2007 was the year that I became familiar with what the teenagers mentioned above already knew. About a year ago I purchased an IPod and began to "digitize" my music collection. Ripping CD's is tedious at best and as of this writing I just can't seem to bring myself to add my voluminous jazz collection. 2007 also marked the year that I stopped purchasing CD's and began downloading my new music - with one major exception. Paul McCartney released Memory Almost Full, which, in an admittedly weak moment, I decided I needed - except that the only way to obtain it was on CD - at Starbucks. My journey into that brave new digital world had suddenly been sidetracked and when I paid the clerk I told her "This is just wrong on so many different levels ..."

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