Music, listening to songs and enjoying music is something that brings us – as humans – together. There are few things that may work in a similar way. Either it’s pop, rock, classic, jazz, folk or any other genre it touches each and every person. It is so old and on the other hand so refreshing new and it – in comparison with the other categories I am writing about – is still in change.
My first contact with music was by hearing songs on the radio and honestly I was not that much interested. The combination within movies made me more curious – when a song was used in a movie teaser or for a commercial I kinda got hooked. With this in mind I always thought about the movie or the product when I heard this song again.
It kinda changed when I entered a small Music Store in Vienna, one of those where the shelves in the rooms were filled with Vinyl Records like I’ve never seen them before (and afterwards). I listened to the music that was played there and immediately fell in love with the raw sound of Punk Rock and Metal. The songs from Bands like The Exploited, Sex Pistols, AC/DC and Iron Maiden completely got me. There I knew it – I had to get my hands on a turntable. I asked my mother that I want to have one and for Christmas I got a Stereo that had a CD-Player, a Tuner and a Turntable, it was one of those all-in-one machines. I loved it and it worked well for a couple of years.
Unfortunately it was the time where the CD appeared on the market, everybody said that this is the new stuff and will replace Vinyl completely. I was quite fond of my small but nice Vinyl collection and thought that this will never happen, the artwork from a LP is much better, I loved the sound and the only visible advantage for me was that you can choose the song just by pushing a button. I even invested a lot of money in replacing the all-in-one hifi stereo with a much better stereo with a Turntable, a CD-Player, a Tuner and a pair of speakers. With the rest of my pocket money and the money I earned during summer jobs I bought all the music I could get – mostly Rock Albums from the Seventies and early Eighties. There they were Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young among many others. My love for Rock Music endured – it came to be that Pop Music, Jazz and variations of other Genres appeared on my interest screen but Rock Music endured, a Guitar, a Drum set, a Bass Player and a Singer and everything’s fine.
When I was confronted with the fact that some bands only produced on CD and not on Vinyl anymore I also had to shift my buying and collecting habits. Within these changes I found some advantages – e.g. it can be taken with you, a bit bigger than your usual cassette player but in better quality. So, being mobile was an amazing thing in those times. In my case – and I believe that I was maybe one of the last ones in those times – I decided to go mobile by using a MD-Recorder, first I bought a mobile one and then I bought one that could be could be connected directly to my stereo. Another found a place in my car and everything was fine, until the MD died only a few years later. Still, everybody said that the CD ist the best there is.
Funny thing was that when I went to the UK I always looked out for small Music Stores to find some LP’s from Bands I loved. Even in those times when the MP3 Format appeared on the scene. This completely changed the way of listening to music – I immediately installed WinAMP, a small program that was able to convert (later rip) your CD and produce a MP3-file that can be stored on your hard disk and played later on. The result in comparison with quality was fairly poor to be honest but updates were provided fast and quality got better and better. This was more or less the next step in making listening to music more comfortable and I kinda loved the shuffle effect. The quality and the lack of a player in those times made this format look like something that would disappear quite soon. Then Apple came along – being a long-time confident and most of the time happy Microsoft Windows User I saw Apple as being an island, completely disconnected from the world and therefore not interesting enough. But I became curious and the market for MP3 players grew – therefore I investigated and found out that all the other producers didn’t get it. I went to the stores, looked and tried the players but when you imagine having hundreds or thousands songs on one of those devices and scrolling down and up to look for it – it made me kinda wonder. In the end I tried the apple device and I was surprised – the logic and the way it worked felt completely natural, the wheel was amazing and somewhere in 2004 I decided to take one of those and since this moment I consume music much differently. Why? Because from this moment you could take all the songs you have in a collection with you, make playlists, tag your favourite ones, even read the lyrics in case they are available. This was amazing and in all the years that came afterwards no other MP3 player was able to provide this combination of usability, quality and mobility in one device. I even fell in love with my Vinyl Collection again – because I had this mobile device I bought some of the old albums I only had on Vinyl synced it to my iPod and listened to it when I was on the way. When in home I took the Vinyl and played it and enjoyed it – it was something that I could have done in the CD era, too but it kinda got lost.
It even made me consume more music like never before, when the store opened I gave all the different artists, either popular or unknown a chance to be heard and listened to, at least. In those times I discovered many new and old Bands. It was like having a Music Store in your living room. I always thought of MP3 being something in addition to Vinyl and when Vinyl started it’s Renaissance and included Download Codes for the MP3 files it was perfect. This looked like a perfect match – I enjoyed my stereo even more and
According the things that I listen to – I love The Flaming Lips, Bright Eyes, Two Gallants, Florence + the Machine, Ani DiFranco, Jack White (including The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather), Belle & Sebastian,Tori Amos, Boy, Cat Power and many more.
Today I am using my iPod for listening to music, either I take it with me or I connect it to my stereo – I still love this shuffle effect. Mostly when I am at home and busy I do that – when I have time to enjoy I take a good bottle of red wine and go through my Vinyl collection and put some good old magic on the turntable.
So, each Friday you will be able to read things about the Music Industry either some new Bands, maybe sharing some nostalgic moments due to a release of some old – and long-forgotten – albums, some live concerts I attended. Hope you enjoy reading like I do when I listen to those things. Have fun! 🙂