iPod, the new album – CDs going away?

“Looking on my iPod, there’s no physical barrier between Maxwell, Melvins, Messiaen, Metallica, Miles Davis, Mouse On Mars, and Mozart. They are peers. They’re all songs on a global album. This is promising—and weird. […]

But so, this iPod. When I buy CDs, I immediately transfer them to the iPod and then shelve them, where they sit untouched. My vinyl is long gone. The album as a discrete unit containing 10 or so songs feels increasingly dated. I am entering a post-CD era in which one single disc (my iPod) holds thousands of songs—the new unit of measurement. […]

The record album is going away. So are you. Don’t mourn yet. The rise of the phonograph in the 1900s meant that ordinary people who couldn’t afford a steamship voyage to visit the great opera houses of Europe could still be blown away by Enrico Caruso. Tapes of the Velvet Underground helped undermine a totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia. Great things are afoot in this new era, too.”

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