armchair cultural observation since 1995

A case for compact discs


“I understand the primary arguments for digital music, such as convenience and portability, and make no mistake: my iPod is filled to the brim and accompanies me to the office every day. But at the end of the day, I like turning around and seeing the wall o’ CDs in my office. True, I haven’t listened to many of those CDs in a long time, but there are memories encoded into them as surely as any ones and zeros. Memories of taking them on roadtrips to Cornerstone, of trading them with friends, of the time I turned someone onto Really Awesome Band #1,235 with their debut CD (which, of course, is nearly impossible to find).

“This is entirely subjective and perhaps even a little irrational, but for me, those memories—that physicality—are just as integral to my appreciation and understanding of the music on those CDs as anything, even the music itself—and I just don’t see myself forming that sort of bond with files on my hard drive, be they lossless or otherwise.”

Jason Morehead

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2 Responses »

  1. I definitely agree. Plus I just like the mystery of record stores. When we were in Amsterdam last week, I found this one record store that ended up being in the basement of a bike shop. It turned out the owner of bike shop had about a thousand lps for sale in bins just sitting next to his clothes washer and dryer. Here I was thousands of miles from home, searching through old records while this guy’s dirty laundry is getting washed beside me. You can’t get a memory like that from the itunes store.

  2. Dirty laundry and thousands of LPs in an Amsterdam basement. My imagination is running wild with that one.

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