Far too often I repeat my oft said pearl: the only thing remaining constant is change.
That said, sometimes it’s a real eye-opener to look far enough in the past that the changes of yesteryear seem laughable. The introduction of the Compact Disc, now known simply as the CD, is one such example.
When reader Paul Stevenson sent me a link to this video I laughed off my ever-lovin’ arse.
Watch the video. It’ll put a big smile on your face.
But once finished laughing, pause for a moment of reflection. Then, imagine how silly today’s going to look in another 40 years.
What we do today seems perfectly normal until you compare it to a handful of tomorrows.
Sometimes it’s instructive to pull our view of the world back and take a broader look. For example, a 30,000 foot view of music reproduction’s two core methods: vinyl and CD, might look very different than our normal image.
For example, when I don’t put much thought into comparing differences between vinyl on my turntable and CD, I consider them different yet not that different. Both make music, both are wonderful mediums, each has its upsides and downsides. A simplistic view that ignores fundamentals.
A more callous look from afar would be very different indeed. One technology is almost entirely mechanical, relying upon a needle wiggling in a plastic groove to generate a tiny electrical voltage vs. a laser beam scanning an impossibly microscopic mirror to extract ones and zeros. The two technologies couldn’t be further apart, yet each is expected to produce similar results.
For me, it’s helpful when listening to the two disparate sources to place them in different categories and adjust my expectations accordingly. I don’t hope for one to mirror the other. I experience vinyl in a very different way than I do digital.
The next time someone asks which do you prefer best, it might make sense for a moment’s pause to consider that it’s hard to compare apples to oranges.
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