The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Friday, May 23, 2008
The Times they Are a Changin'
I suppose this isn't exactly new news. But Cnet has a piece on how the old audiophile approach to music is all but dead. The "high fidelity" approach to music is all but dead (or at the very least has been pushed to a far-off corner niche).

It is striking how difference music listening is today. Ipods and the like have made music into a ubiquitous, mostly solo affair. When I was a college undergraduate audio systems were a pretty big deal (often literally). Listening to records was often a communal activity in a particular space. Now this is all but a ghost from the past.

Music today is a commodity--ripped for free track by track, or bought for 99 cents and eventually added to a vast digital library, either destined to become a favorite, or more likely forgotten for good after a couple of listens. Today's music players are regarded the same way--mostly as disposable. Either the player will work for two or three years before sputtering and dying, or a newer, faster, smaller, better player that has far more cachet will be released in six months.

"I often wonder about the 30-year-old iPod," Guttenberg mused. "Will someone still use an iPod in 30 years," like audiophiles do high-end speakers?

The answer is, of course, not a chance.