Controversy

11-3-11

Controversy

I recently wrote about “Cloud Computing” and was both castigated and encouraged.  Warren thinks I should give up on physical media, but didn’t offer me a suggestion about my interest in music and / or films.  Jim has a good idea for music storage, but his plan is dependant on Mac products, which I consider to be as fallible as any other electronic goods.

I like the zen of Warren’s “Just give up” strategy, but…my interest in recorded music extends to some physical aspects of the packaging, too – the aesthetics of printing / paper over a period of decades, from a variety of countries.  Watashi wa kami no otaku desu = I am a paper freak.  Nothing on Earth smells like a carton of freshly opened LP’s from Toshiba Japan.  What was in the LP cover glue in Europe in the 1970’s?  Who invented Clarifoil lamination in England?

So, all the music is now on a cloud or some delicately chained together preparation of electronic products.  I want to see the packaging, so I Google it.  Should I start the website where I discuss exclusively the aesthetics of paper freakage, as regards phonograph records?  I’ll need a better camera…and a rostrum!

Does my tale continue into the century with physical specimens or am I stupid, and should just attempt to upload “my experience” onto the internet?  Am I foolish for buying archival cartons for the nicer pieces?  All this stuff I’ve hoarded not worth anything?  Can’t I be considered like the guy who wants to save birds about to become extinct?  The 20th century “music package” guy?  A paradigm shift over to replicant-style experience?

I see.  I’ll be the sad old guy who sits with his collection in a house in California.  The Dead Sea Scrolls filling the rooms of my home.  In 25 years, someone from the local newspaper website will come knocking on my door, “Are you the old coot who has all the old music?” – Yes, I’m that guy.  “Do you live here all alone?”  Yes, I drove all the others away, by my insistence that there was…no other way.  “Why do you care about old music?” – It was part of my experience, mostly in the 20th century.  I like this music.

So, they leave.  Their website has a photo of me, sitting amidst all my cartons of decomposing paper and plastic.  Someone I went to school with 65+ years ago recognizes me, and tries to find me.  Dozens offer their help, mostly on the community forum.  I get a message from some guy at a college somewhere.  They have a 20th Century Music lab set up.

“Sorry, I can’t travel to Colorado.  I have never been able to do the elevation”, I tell him.  “They have pills for that now”, I am told.  “I’ve had ‘em before, they just make me sleepy”, I say.

When I die, the garbage collectors (the highest paid public servants) come in, pick up all my “garbage”, and bulldoze my home, now state / city / county owned.

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5 Responses to Controversy

  1. Warren says:

    Whoah there, pardner. I never said that *you* should give up on physical media. I did say that *I* had, to the extent that i find it to be possible to do so. Where’s the controversy? What problem are you trying to solve? If it’s that there aren’t enough record stores left, then yeah, I get that. But I am sure there were people that were pissed when we went from paper scrolls to the printing press, from shooting film to shooting digital, and from manual to automatic transmissions. Record stores still exist, and may for a long time, but they are more exotic than mainstream now.

    I wonder if part of what you are missing is the communal experience of buying music? I remember being in New Zealand, in the small town that Gary ended up moving to, and finding the loveliest secondhand shop located in an old cinema. I think I found a Pete and Dud record there, among other things. I asked the owner about getting his email address, and he would have none of it. He preferred corresponding by postcard. He could probably built himself a nice mail-order business using email, but he preferred doing it the old fashioned way. Made him happy…

  2. ronkanefiles says:

    If you’re “all done” with physical media, can I have your Yes 45’s, then?

  3. Warren says:

    Prolly….

  4. postpunkmonk says:

    I am mostly annoyed at how it seems like the death knell is being written for the lovely CD format. When I go to record stores now I am seeing maximum floor $pace being given to 180 g vinyl bundled with 256 KBS MP3 downloads – a worst of all possible worlds scenario from my perspective. 180 g vinyl is always more expensive than a commensurate CD, IF it’s also available on CD format. Vinyl still degenerates with play and has surface noise and physical artifacts that affect the sound. When I play it I have to remain completely still in my chair! But if it’s all there is, I’ll go for it. But they give you lossy downloads that won’t have the surface noise but instead throw away 75% of the sound information, introducing new digital artifacts that affect the sound. Grrrrrrrrrrrr! At least I had 25+ years of the great CD format. My favorite way to buy music ever. Of course, I’d be angry even if they gave lossless downloads, simply because there is no sound carrier [hard disc, CD-R] that can “play” audio files that is as durable as a pressed CD! Hard drives WILL fail – it’s just a matter of time. CD-Rs are notoriously sensitive to environmental effects – particularly heat. A properly manufactured CD is as everlasting as it gets.

  5. Bob Gaulke says:

    hmmm…..I feel both sides. My allegiance is to the music. It’d be nice to have some quality objects to leave to the next generations, but I’m also stymied by the fact that I haven’t had a stable address in 18 years….vinyl at my parents’ house. 1/2 my CD collection in a friend’s basement in PDX, and a giant plastic tupperware full of box sets and cds in japanese cotton sleeves, sans jewel boxes. I download. I order shit cheap online. I dump it into my laptop, but like having all those little CD coffins in the other room… one day, i’ll just rub my shrunken naked body over all those grooves.

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