Even though I am a media junkie I still have to admit, physical media is dying a painful death. Many people stream movies rather than watching DVDs; satellite radio is the norm in cars now, as is linking up your phone by an auxiliary jack; books are downloaded to Kindles, iPads, and Nooks; and no one is buying CDs. The kids these days get their music through downloads or streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, or just an illegal download. Oh sure, there’s hipsters and their vinyl fetish, but that’s not the norm. When Paul McCartney issues a new CD and it sells only 60,000 copies you know an era has passed.
I still buy CDs and vinyl records. In fact 2012 I bought more than I had in at least a decade. But I’ve got the storage space. Nonetheless, the majority of my listening is done while working on the PC in my man cave and 75% of that is from digital files. I sometimes make a stack of CDs and bring them in but I listen to the stuff on my computer more often. I’ve got about 600gb of music on this PC, a mixture of live shows (all lossless), downloaded music (half MP3s, half lossless), and “essential” CDs that I can never be too far from. When I broke my ankle I spent plenty of time on the couch in the living room. The big stereo is in there and I could crawl over and switch CDs. But it drove me nuts when I’d hit a craving for an album that I only had in digital and I couldn’t get listen to it on the stereo.
I don’t stream anything. Yeah, the services screw over artists but also, I live in a rural area. If I am out of the house I cannot depend on what’s in the cloud to save my life. My tablet and phone are PACKED with music. Which brings me to…
Last year I got an iPad and I paid extra to pad the memory. I’ve got that goddamn worthless piece of bloat iTunes rigged so I can rip CDs into MP3s that are stored on my external hard drive in a separate library. Now I swap music in and out of the iPad and phone all the time. That has made these devices extremely useful. No, it doesn’t sound as good as the CDs though the big stereo, or even a lossless rip on the PC, but it’ll do. Years of concerts and high volume head phone listening have diminished my hearing somewhat anyway.
I’ll keep buying CDs and LPs but I know I’m a dying breed. In fact, the next time I get new stereo equipment I have this crazy idea of getting two CD players. At some point they’re going to become hard to obtain. Demand has plummeted. By the time the second player has burned out, I’ll be ready for the nursing home. I predict I’ll have everything loaded into my BrainPal (TM).