You Need to Listen to CDs

CDs are dead. By 2020, revenues from compact disc sales in the US increased to $ 483 million, down 97 percent from a record high in 2000. Only 31.6 million CDs were shipped in the US last year. In contrast, the Bee Gees alone have 16 million per month audience on Spotify. How do CDs die? Deader than disco.

The cause of death: the unpredictable complexity of the promotional platforms. For a small fee per month, Spotify offers the opportunity to get what sounds like any song ever recorded. Its inspiring algorithms, built on how users feel, always provide high quality feedback. It’s amazing. Listening to good music may not be easy.

In fact, it is too easy.

The streaming platforms are not made with a passion for music. In the past, when you had to buy a record to listen to it, you actually did listen — even to your favorite music. In the end, some of the songs may be your favorite. (Some songs just suck, of course.) You paid good money for that CD, after all. Jumping halfway through the track is like admitting failure.

Not so with the required stream. After listening to any song, at any time, at no extra cost, there is no compulsion to listen to what you do not enjoy immediately. This can make you love more and less music. Thanks to the ideas of Spotify, I have found many songs, especially from Latin America, that I would probably not have encountered without being moved by an algorithm. This is good. However, at the same time, I do not always feel compelled to listen to music that I do not like right away. What about me, when I could easily switch to something else.

Indeed, the recent, immovable availability of something else it prevents me from wasting as much time as I would with my favorite music. During the ad, I buy a disc and listen to it over and over again. With Spotify, I often find a new artist, I enjoy them, and three months later they forget about their presence. If it does not take up space on your wall, it will not take up space in your mind.

There is an obvious way to deal with this problem, which may have happened to you before: vinyl history. Many thousands for words has been written about the resurgence of vinyl. There is a natural symmetry to it. Where the flow of music transforms music into something extraordinary and flexible, the history becomes even more profound thing. It’s great. You can hold it in your hands and admire handmade art. If the problem with Spotify is the lack of controversy, well, vinyl recordings are the hardest part you can get. They really want to argue that work.

Another way to explain the above is that the notes are very painful on the ass. I had a turntable for the last ten years. As I planned to move around the country in the summer, thinking seriously about what to send or squeeze in my little car, I realized that I had never listened to my notes. It’s just a lot of work. The notes are dirty; you have to clean them. It’s a stylus. The notes are huge, and surprisingly heavy; it is difficult to find a place to store and display them. They are expensive. In the middle of the album, you have to stand up to translate. Then you need to get up again when the record is over, unless you want to remove the needle. As the editor-in-chief of WIRED – and the proud owner of 1,300 LPs – Michael Calore amaika.

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