Thursday, November 03, 2005

technophobes delight !

I now have at least seven different ways to listen to music when I wish to. But I do not listen to any more than I did when I only had a couple. In fact I probably actually listen to less now than I used to. When I say listen I mean sit down and enjoy they music, as opposed to just having it on in the background when I am doing one of the other things that I now have time for because technology has freed me up. Or has it? I now spend time thinking about if the bits inside the computer are going to be out of date. After all I have to have the latest I might get left behind. The CD is to most still the modern way to listen and store music. And it will be around for ages but its not cutting edge anymore. Actually there is a fool proof way to tell if you’re at the cutting edge. Check what your parents are using. Once the mobile phone started to be used as an every day item by the older generation you know it’s in the mainstream and due to be replaced.

Cutting edge gadgets also cost more that most are prepared to pay. DVD recorders are a good example you can how get one for under £100. It was only a couple of years ago that it was introduced to the consumer market. And have you noticed how quickly the next generation of replacement stuff come up. Once the 78 rpm disc was standardised it lasted for a decades. Then in the early fifties the microgroove was made possible by advances in plastics. And the LP was born within another ten years stereo was added and the LP was the standard across the world. Philips launched the concept of digital audio and we all laughed. How can you get so much on one small tiny shiny disc? Then DVD came along more storage same size disk. And not just DVD there is many different protocols and formats around. These are about to be replaced with the next generation of technology. Blueray. And so it goes on until our entire media collection is stored in one small box and accessed from anywhere you choose.

There is on problem with all this. I really miss walking into my local record store of a weekend and thumbing through the racks to see what is in stock. I miss album covers and gate fold sleeves. When the change came to CD it just was not the same. And now music can be down loaded the connection is getting less. Don’t get me wrong I download music and I have an MP3 player. I have about 12 gigs of music on my PC and this is where I listen now to most of my music. But because I physically do not have anything to show, no sleeve etc I treat it in a different way. And this worries me I am treating it like a disposable commodity. I have a box in the loft full of singles. These I can get out and relive my college day or any point in my past. My children are going to be able to have a good laugh when I am gone and in a way it’s quite nice to think they will have that. But what will they pass on or even have as a memory to look back on. A hard drive is no good without the bits to connect it to. At least even if my kids can’t find a record player to play my old albums they can look at the sleeve notes and the art work.

Photographs are going the same way. How many times have you been clearing out a cupboard or draw and come across photos of your parents, your childhood, children etc. In the future I the photos survive the computer being replaced or the hard drive dieing most never get printed up. Perhaps we need to rethink the reason why we keep stuff before it’s to late. History is important and I don’t mean the big stuff it’s the little things like family photos and record collections that tend to mean the most to people.
Matt x


Anonymous said...

Hi Matt
Really liked your blog, it has got me thinking about how often I use my digital camera etc. I think I need to be more aware and ensure 7 year old has easy access to his past. Thanks Gx

Anonymous said...

wow loved the blog Matt - its nice to be of a age to appreciate things from the past records being one I use to love browsing down the local record shop now you have to go to the local charity shop to see vinyl lol. :) Lx