Today more than ever, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to the format our music comes in. Back in the day you didn’t have as many options, and the ones that existed were a little pricey. The solution was to wait for one of your friends who could buy the album, and you would make a cassette or later, a cd from his purchase.
Has the ability to get music any way you want, tainted our ability to appreciate it? Why buy one CD when you can buy multiple digitally? There are cd sales everywhere, you can buy full albums for $5.99 so you feel the need to take advantage of the deal. But when you have 10 albums queued up, do you pay enough attention to each one?
I am guilty as well, of looking for the quicker way to get to the music I want, but lately I realized it ruined the magic of buying the physical album. There’s something truly exciting album ripping the plastic of a brand-new album and looking at the artwork. Getting lost in the page of lyrics, listening to the album in its entirety and immersing yourself in something new. And when you get vinyl, oh man, it’s so exciting. You lower that needle and just hear the crackling and it warms you up inside. There’s no feeling like it. Vinyl also sounds so much better! When music goes digital, something gets lost in the way, since it’s compressed to fit into one of our streaming devices or for broadcast. Where else can you hear the squeaks from Bonzo’s drums in many Led Zeppelin tracks, such as Since I’ve Been Loving You? It just feels so good to hear something that’s not perfect. Perfect sometimes isn’t better.
Then there’s the convenience of digital music. Not having to go to the store feels great, but again, kills the magic of the experience of browsing through records and even meeting people with similar taste to yours. One of the downsides of buying a digital copy, is that you can’t proudly display your music collection in shelves at your house. And that looks damn cool.
It all comes down to your own personal preference; Some people like the immediate availability, others like the whole experience that comes with it. Browsing, artwork, sound difference, etc. And the beauty of it all, is that no choice is the wrong choice. At the end of the day, the music is what matters, how it makes you feel.
What about you? How do you like your music?