Tag: cds

Culture Tech

Nostalgic for bookstores

Photo by Wells Baum

Our online identities have become our real-life identities, one where the rapidity of instant communication breaks down the slow pace of life. Tech makes us impulsive and drains our patience–we demand things with a click of a button and expect a drone to deliver them the same day.

So it’s no surprise that some people want to feel what it's like to slow down again. The record store may be dead–selling CDs at least–but the bookstores continue to fight against the frenzied activity. Amazon just opened its second bookstore on the West Coast. The Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris is thriving, offering “an antidote to commercialism.” Some readers prefer personal recommendations over algorithmic ones.

For some, there will always be an allergic reaction to the rapidity, convergence, and intangibility of digital life, and a nostalgic desire to visit places that encourage us to think, browse, and chat. We will not salvage or recreate everything pre-digital, but we will prop up those spaces that give us an escape from the velocity of ourselves.

Social Media Tech

How teens and hipsters stain the resurgence of Vinyl


Vinyl artwork looks like framed Instagrams. No wonder the kids use them to decorate their dorm rooms. Vinyl covers are like the new posters.

“I have vinyls in my room but it’s more for decor, I don’t actually play them”

Note: She said ‘vinyls,' the equivalent of saying something like ‘The Facebook.'

While records are meant to be played, vinyl enthusiast Liz Buckley also points out that at least these so-called hipsters are supporting music even if they never spin a record.

Music is an elastic medium — each format birthed its stigma. The iPod obviated the mini-disc, but MP3 files clogged the hard drive. Streams made music abundant but fungible. Tapes were an interim format, albeit they are still big in Japan. Meanwhile, CDs turned song names into unforgettable track numbers.

“It’s a sadness to me that the invention of the CD means I know far too many tracks by their number, not their name. “OK Computer‘s your favourite Radiohead album? Me too, me too. Bloody love track five.”

However, vinyl is the two-sided original. Its imperfections mirror the real and raw aesthetic of Instagram Stories and Snapchat that teens love today. Like an unopened vinyl, many of those social media posts go unopened — signal exceeds the noise.

Uncategorized

The CD Case «

As for the CD format, I can’t imagine listening to, say, Green Day’s Dookie any other way. Dookie is to CDs what Creedence is to vinyl. It is a record resting eternally in the collective memories of aging music fans, a lost piece of data tucked inside scarcely used multidisc changers and laundry baskets full of shit leftover from collegiate apartments. The Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head is like that, too. So are Odelay, Siamese Dream, and Exile in Guyville. You can’t hear those records without anticipating the parts where the disc is scratched to hell and won’t stop skipping.

Vinyl I get but CDs are the industry’s attempt to monopolize users into an overpriced bundle when all there may be is a couple good tracks. Plus, that shrink wrap always infuriated me.

My CD rack is old and dusty and while I'll never use any of the CDs in it again the collection is nostalgic; it represents the days I collected music religiously. Music was so much harder to find pre-Internet but it also made discovery more fun. Nothing beats the pleasure of finding a great album that no one's ever heard of.

Uncategorized

Vinyl’s great, but it’s not better than CDs

Perhaps the best audio-based case for vinyl is actually precisely the fact that it does mess up the original recording. A lot of vinyl fans talk about the “warmth” of records, particularly of the low-end. But, as Pitchfork’s Mark Richardson puts it, “the ‘warmth’ that many people associate with LPs can generally be described as a bass sound that is less accurate.” The difficulty of accurately translating bass lines to vinyl without making grooves too big means that engineers have to do a lot of processing to get it to work, which changes the tone of the bass in a way that, apparently, many people find aesthetically pleasing.

People enjoy listening to Vinyl because of its imperfections. Vinyl produces the same visceral vibes as unfiltered photos on Instagram.