Sunday, February 26, 2012

The evolution of music formats in my generation

On the recent WTF podcast Marc Maron spoke with Tom Scharpling, and the guest remarked on how those of us in our 40's have seen multiple major shifts in music format. It's true. Prior to our time vinyl had ruled for decades, and remained king through our youth. We got to see audio cassettes come and go, compact discs come and (let's face it) decline, and the rise of the digital era. (8-track tapes didn't survive long enough to be in there. Sorry.)

I'm hard-pressed to imagine anything will supplant digital unless the internet simply ceases to exist (which probably suggests a total collapse of society, and then music format really won't be our biggest concern); certainly a different file format may come to prominence instead of the mp3, and the devices on which the digital files may be stored and listened to clearly will change, but from our youth to our onset of middle age we saw the world shift in a way our children will never be able to fully appreciate.

Not that every generation doesn't consider the change in the world they experienced to be equally profound, but that's only because they were using outdated metrics like the industrial revolution or the Great Depression or world wars or insignificant nonsense like that.

Historians will cite the transition from LP's to mp3's as the Big Change, just you wait.

1 comment:

So, what do you think?