Thursday, January 2, 2014

To Halve Undo Whole 'Til Deaf Do Us Part

 and SID Sez 120413

I usually fall asleep listening to talk radio. After one particularly great sleep, I remained in bed and watched Michael Jackson's "Ghost" video. While I wouldn't call it a disappointment, it wasn't as good as I would have hoped to see coming from the brain-trust of MJJ, Stephen King, and the great Stan Winston. Maybe (not just maybe) it was too long.

Checking my email I saw one of my favorite notices. From Amazon: $5 albums. Nowadays, $5 per platter is an incredible music buy. When I was a teenager buying vinyl, that was in the neighborhood of the going price of nice. …back when a dollar sort of was real money-like. Today, that's half the price of a new MP3. Today that's what I buy more readily than do I consume hardcopies. And why is that so? Convenience: the ultimate impulse buy. I purchased Raul Midon's first album from iTunes immediately after watching him perform on Late Night with David Letterman. A year or so before, when I heard of Chaka Khan's Classikhan album of classic song covers, I visited at least two stores to finally find it and purchase it at the price of $15.99 + 6% MI sales tax + the price of fuel and the wear and tear of aggravation.

Nowadays, the allure of vinyl sound and its comparatively bigger than life package presentation has recaptured the collectors' hearts. …at steep prices. … comparatively. Thinking about the state of music consumption today, I can make a three-way division of end uses.

First: There are the free receivers. For purposes of not overly extending the scope of conversation, I'll not lump in the data-ripping/file-sharers. That said, this category is made up of passive consumers who listen to broadcasted music mostly. There are also those who hear enough while frequenting clubs and/or parties and ceremonies where the music plays as free as the wind.

Second: There are those who are mostly/to/strictly into pay downloads. As I stated earlier, there is a convenience factor. The downloader is much more interested in controlling their playlist than are they concerned with amassing a physical music collection.

Third: Group three is more concerned with having a music library than just a playlist. Those in this group take much pride in having at hand physical pieces that can be showcased on shelves and in open media stands—or closed ones for awesome reveals. Part of the process of enjoying their acquisitions is starting the music then sitting down to listen while perusing liner notes, inserts, or booklets.

Following along the wedding analogy suggested in the title, the first group wants a good, enjoyable, and/or interesting time with as many as frequency and circumstances allow. They're easily bored with a single subject and hardly even make the effort to learn titles. The second group is into limited brief commitments. While they may not stay into one for very long, they reserve the right to revisit when the whim dictates. Group three is the figurative "polygamist" group. Each "wife" in the collection is precious to them. In fact, if upon a visit to the library, a three-er finds that he cannot find a particular album or CD, it is a grievous state of affairs indeed. This final group wants to have its music to hold forever, until deafness would do them to part with their precious platters. Group two cares less than half as much. And those in group one can't even remember what this blogs is about. It's about where music stands or doesn't stand today.


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