I recently read a post that caused me to think about how the way I listen to recorded music has changed over the years. Back in the day, if I wanted to play a record I had to be in my room. I’d pick out an album and put it on. Even when compact discs replaced vinyl albums the process was still the same, except you could play the record all the way through without having to turn it over.
These days my album collection is long gone and my CDs are gathering dust in a box in my basement. Now my music collection is digital and can travel with me at all times. If I want to listen to music while working in the garden, for example, no problem. I just insert my ipod earbuds and a vast collection of music is instantly available on demand. My old stereo is in a box in the basement and I never play music in the house any more.
The other major change in how I listen to music comes from the ipod’s “shuffle” function. I almost always keep my device set to “shuffle songs.” Gone are the days of picking out a record. Also gone are the days of listening to an album. It seems the ipod has secured the dominance of songs over albums. It’s like having a collection consisting of only 45s.
Although I don’t generally appreciate electronic gadgetry, I admit to liking my ipod. I use it listen to podcasts while I work, as well as music. And I enjoy the ability to “shuffle” my music collection. If only it had a “shuffle album” function.
On the subject of songs, Hippie Cahier wrote an interesting post entitled Twenty Five Songs. I thought about doing a list of my own, but decided (for now at least) that I didn’t want to take the time. Her post did cause me go see what the first and last songs in my collection are alphabetically (“Abandon” by Dare and “Zydeco Honky Tonk” by Buckwheat Zydeco). The ability to easily figure out something like that is another cool thing an ipod makes possible.