Black Dog on my Nokia Slide

I’m young enough to appreciate MP3s and old enough to be amazed by them. They’ve been around long enough to have almost superceded CDs – in portable form, at least, what other way is there to play your music? – but I still remember vinyl… Okay, you can start guessing my age now.

I’ve just listened to Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog on my Nokia Slide; I’m now on the gentler Going to California. On my mobile phone! My phone! And it sounds pretty good! I’m not old enough to have owned these songs in their original form – at least not when they were new – but I do have fond memories of vinyl in general. One of the first albums I bought was The Art of Noise’s Who’s Afraid of the Art of Noise? – which, if you are still playing that game, may give you a further clue as to my age.

Interlude: Misty Mountain Hop – what a song!

Anyway…

In the days of vinyl, tape, even CD, an album of songs always took up the same about of physical space. Sometimes you had a double album, which took up double the amount of space. There were occasional diversions from the norm, but the kind of dimensions we were dealing with were always easily visualised. With MP3s… who knows how much physical space a song or an album or even a musician’s entire repetoire takes up? I think this is it – this fundamental difference in dimensions and consequent visualisability is the source of my continued awe of this now-not-so-new sound storage format. MP3, if I think about it, feels like not merely a natural technological progression from vinyl, tape and CD – but it is a representative shift into a whole new technological sphere. Everything is going digital – virtually all of our sources of media-based entertainment already are digital, and several versions into their life. Such things make me think about the future…

We are moving towards full digitisation and full information transparency… aren’t we? Everything, our music and our minds, will be digitised and accessible to everyone. Inevitable. Scary.

Damn, but Nickelback’s Hollywood sounds good!

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