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WCNI Radio > WCNI - 90.9FM

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Cpt. Z



Joined: 22 Apr 2004
Posts: 101
How We Consume and Listen to Music  Reply with quote  

I just stumbled across a couple articles that cover the topic of the changes in how music is accessed and listened to. I'm sure you've all heard this before but here's a little more food for thought:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121023882

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=833454

I'm old-school myself. I grew up using all those various mechanical and electrical devices to extract the music from the vinyl, the tapes or the disc. It's like magic. I also find some comfort in the rituals that one goes through before the music happens in an old-school setting. But nowadays I see DJs coming to WCNI with laptops and/or ipods and nothing else. No crates brimming with their homebrew collections. It's all so un-magical Surprised)

I have mixed emotions about this digital direction that music is taking. I can see myself jumping on board the digital/download train very soon. There is lots of music available out in cyberspace, music that I can investigate easily and purchase at a reasonable price, music that I might never find out about through old-school channels. This can only help me to broaden my tastes and expand my playlist when I do a show at WCNI. I guess a downside is how much music is too much music? When does listening to music become a flat experience?

Having tons of music and listening to it all the time could (for me, I think) make the music lose the magic, or at least hide the magic that is contained within it. I'm also wary of the compression that the original musical sound must go through before it reaches our ears. I'm sure that in the future music will be transposed from its original soundwave into a digital signal and back into a soundwave with almost no lose of integrity. Today's easily available download formats tweak the sound to make it fit and flow. It may not be audible in an in your face way, and it may not matter if you only listen to loud or compressed pop/rock, but extended listening to most digital formats will tire the ear (and brain)... even with CDs played through a less than stellar system. Of course an FM signal is too coarse to expose any defects in the source material (other than pops, clicks and hiss), so WCNI sounds as good as always.

Like I said earlier, I'm getting on the digital bandwagon. The pluses out weigh the minuses and the minuses will shrink over time. But I'm the kind of person that will always appreciate being able to hold the music in my hands and take the time to digest it slowly. What do you think?
Post Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:52 pm
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Cpt. Z



Joined: 22 Apr 2004
Posts: 101
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Related to my previous post - here's an interesting take on modern tech:
... scroll down to "Good Enough Is The New Great"

http://www.nytimes.com/projects/magazine/ideas/2009/?hp#g
Post Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:13 pm
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Cpt. Z



Joined: 22 Apr 2004
Posts: 101
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Another take on what is important to us in how we access music. Hmmmm.

http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/the_holy_trinity/
Post Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:15 pm
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Streed_303



Joined: 22 May 2004
Posts: 122
How we consume music  Reply with quote  

Interesting thread you have here. I plan to elaborate a little more, however I heard this on NPR today. Never mind the iPod or the laptop! Imagine all your music on a 'cloud'

http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2010/09/27/130159775/music-stores-2-0
Post Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:38 pm
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Streed_303



Joined: 22 May 2004
Posts: 122
Forget the iPod, laptop... Now its the iPhone!  Reply with quote  

I am suprised that more people haven't weighed in on this thread, but in the last ten years of so, it is amazing the transformation taking place in how our music is marketed and consumed.

It still is a 'ritual' going through your library and finding the appropriate music for your current show. Is there a holiday coming up, did an artist die / have a birthday? Is an artist performing nearby? I am sure questions like this and more still go through the DJs mind as part of 'show prep'. However, where one gets their sources is changing. Like Phil has mentioned, instead of bringing in crates of various 'media', someone may have a well sorted 'playlist'...

As a side-note, in Hip Hop circles, there used to be a 'rite of passage' by being a 'crate boy' for noted DJs. Being a crate boy was like being a 'roadie' in Rock. Enterprising sorts who wanted to further themselves would start out by carrying the record crates of these DJs to their gigs this building an association with the artist. Now a days, if a DJ is carrying a laptop (to be interfaced with a Serato or Traktor setup) I'm sure they'll be hell bent to let someone else carry their laptop. You know EVERYTHING is in there! Where, if a crate boy 'lost' a few James Brown records, hopefully, the DJ had 'doubles' to begin with. So, in the spirit of this post, I am sure that the position of 'Crate Boy' in the Hip Hop world is disappearing.

In this digital transformation, there is a lot of change going on. About 10 years ago, when this MP3 thing started taking hold, it was the domain of the tech-savvy. Hard drive storage was only a fraction of what it is today (a GB was considered a LOT) and not many people had high speed internet. Does anyone remember taking 20 MINUTES to download a 5MB file through dial up? And, there wasn't much in software to play back these files. But of course, this quickly changed, Apple came out with iTunes and (later) the iPod. That first iPod was revolutionary since it had a 5GB hard drive (where previous mp3 players only had megabytes of storage) that could hold 1000 songs! Oh, that was 'sexy' 1000 songs in a device the size of a pack of cigarettes? People were willing to pay $500 for one of these!

However, as time progressed, Apple (and a few other companies) have seemed to create their own infrastructure on how this music is marketed and consumed. Shortly, after the release of iTunes, there was the iTunes Store. Apple made getting music very easy. The iTunes store never closed, never ran out of stock, and offered an attractive 'price point' (which could be paid with a gift card available everywhere). Believe me, after going through the 90's where record companies were not releasing 'singles' - so you had to buy the whole album for one song - $.99 for a song was a welcome alternative! So, the record industry did it to themselves. People were sick of paying too much for CDs.


Now, as time has further progressed, we got over the 'sexiness' of the iPod and found out it wasn't that great. Consumers found out the battery didn't last long and (initially) couldn't be replaced. I wonder if anyone has an 'original' iPod that actually works? Also, in the DJ realm, iPods sound like crap! Part of the reason is the quality of the source file, but most of it is the 1/8" output (ok, the 30 pin connector is a LITTLE better). A few years back, I was DJing an outdoor event and decided to A/B the iPod. played the same track from the iPod and a CDr. The CDr sounded MUCH better. This was a turning point for me as to how to embrace this digital world.

Anyway, in the 10 short years this digital media revolution has gone on, there has been a LOT of change. I can think of at least 6 different music file formats (WAV AIFF MP3 AAC FLAC OGG) and the playback technology is changing as well. Right Now, people may be using iPods and laptops. In the near future, DJs may be bringing in iPads and using their cell (smart) phone. Also, the library they draw from might not be on the device itself, rather from a 'cloud'. I am sure DJs may have already pulled a quick request by playing a song off of YouTube or a Myspace Page - similar concept.

As a matter of fact, the WCNI music library could be a 'cloud' accessed by remote devices. I'm sure there is some 'legal wrangling' about how to do this, but the benefits (no theft!) could outweigh any drawbacks.

Basically, we are in the midst of change. Technology may come and go and we as DJs will try and embrace it to do what we like to do. However, I think we should look beyond the 'shiny and new' elements of whatever comes down the pike and make sure it gets the job done -and done well!

Currently, after trying the iTunes / MP3 player thing, I have currently found 'Digital Happiness' with the CD-RW. My current computer can 'burn' them, and our current CD players can read them!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GimT-hEKJ24
Post Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:31 am
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Streed_303



Joined: 22 May 2004
Posts: 122
Andrew Andrew use the iPad for DJing  Reply with quote  

In the spirit of this thread, NYC DJs Andrew Andrew push the technological envelope and use the iPad w/ Abelton to DJ wirelessly. Check out this video to see what they do. They are not running an iTunes playlist...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJPF7mVtsIo
Post Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:05 am
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Cpt. Z



Joined: 22 Apr 2004
Posts: 101
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I'll grant you that the 'Andrew Andrew' wireless iPad mixing thing makes some kind of technique progress (gimmicky more than substantial), but jeez, those guys are annoying a hell. Please guys, STFU! These guys will hold back innovation just through the power of their personalities. Wink
Post Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:38 pm
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Streed_303



Joined: 22 May 2004
Posts: 122
Andrew Andew  Reply with quote  

Andrew Andrew annoying annoying? Don't tell them, or they might find a way to capitalize on it! Smile

Anyway, as long as new technology comes out, people are always going to find ways to embrace it. However, lets hope they don't rely on it as a crutch.

Just think, one iconic piece of technology that has changed how music is consumed turns 10 this year... The iPod. Sure, there were mp3 players a couple of years earlier, but Apple managed to put a sense of style into the product and built software (iTunes) that blew open the doors (and help create a new infrastructure) for where we are now.
Post Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:29 pm
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