Every once in awhile I try to stop and think about how the world has changed in my lifetime. Technology is consistently making life faster, smaller, and for the most part more convenient. Usually these changes make strides on improving the world around us, but occasionally I find myself looking back on technologies that didn’t make the cut.
Music has always been important to me and my family. I grew up listing to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Police, and could operate a record player back before I can remember. I remember walk-men cassette players before compact disc became the standard.
In middle school my friends and I didn’t collect trading cards, we collected CD’s, and we lugged them around everywhere. It seems funny to think about now, saying that I can fit all the music I’ll ever listen to in my back pocket.
With the internet and the iPod came a musical revolution. Napster, Kazaa, Limewire, BitTorrent….. all allowed the circumvention of musical markets. The iPod produced a way to easily store, transport, and consume digital media. To combat pirating iTunes and other sites allowed consumers to purchase select songs for less than a dollar. This resulted in higher production of singles, and a tendency for poor quality albums (there are definitely some exceptions).
However in the last few years there has been a counter revolution slowly growing. 2013 marked the first time that iTunes sales hadn’t increased since it’s conception in 2003. There’s a new player in town, and it’s the oldest.
For those who want to hold artwork, read lyrics, and listen to something not stored as zeros or ones. Much like Lazarous, Vinyl has risen back from the grave. To those who don’t know vinyl is what your grandparents listened to. Warm, crisp, tangible, it even sounds better to some. In 2013 sales topped 6 million copies, that’s pretty impressive saying most people threw theirs away 20 years ago.
It’s interesting how somethings can go full swing, and a reminder that sometimes the newest thing isn’t the best and convenient isn’t better.