Monday, June 9, 2008

on music and our appetites.

All right! Very interesting stuff today from the Phoenix New Times, via Prefix, asking the question: When we can hear all the music in the world, will we? Oh man, I've been talking about this for so long! It's so refreshing to hear these questions being asked.

The article is basically saying that, yeah, we can get albums in about ten minutes, for free, over a broadband connection, and that, yes, there are tons of people out there being exposed to new music, but wondering if they're really listening to it. Are we just going to listen to our same old favorites, since so much fluff is passing us by, ultimately causing us to tune it out?

Totally great question, right? (BTW, you need to follow this Prefix link in order to see all the trackbacks and read all the comments because there is seriously great material out there being talked about.) I've been on this trip for a while, which is why I'm such an obsessive a-hole about keeping my iPod on random. I feel like if I choose every time, I'm likely to just set it to whatever album I'm obsessed with at the time and that'll lead to me forgetting all this great, old music that I have, or not listening to the third track of an album that I only loved tracks one, two, four and five on when I was sixteen, but now that I'm old and cultured, I'll finally appreciate it. Hah.

Seriously, though, I think there's a lot to be said for this concept. We've heard the examinations of availability versus desire before and I'm sure we'll hear them again, but this is the first serious application to music that I've read about. I'd be very interested to see if they could get people to participate in an experiment keeping track of play counts and frequencies, etc. The only problem with the iPod (insofar as this experiment...there's plenty of other problems...) is that it has to play the whole song to register it on the play counter, and I'm sure that present technical difficulties for my idea for this experiment. But that's why there's scientists: to think up solutions to problems that I can't.

Anyway, go read the piece and let me know what you think of it.


Brando said...

Word, I think the average Joe will only listen to their favorites, or maybe they're iPod isn't very organized. But people like you and me, do get to listen to all kinds of things. My latest kick is to make a smart playlist that includes everything from the last 2 weeks, and then play that at random until it's through. That's how I make sure I hear everything before it goes on there...

Michael said...

B, word, we are smart. I haven't got a chance to listen to the wombats yet, but I noticed it downloaded on my other computer, so I'll probably listen to it tonight. Will let you know.