Friday, April 01, 2005

All quiet here in Redland this evening. Well I say all quiet, iTunes is grooving away, attempting to set a rhythm for more hopeless typing.

Since we’ve become fully iPod friendly loading iTunes has become something of an obsession. We take it in turn to grab a handful of CD’s from around the house and transfer them to something wonderfully flexible and free. The only problem is that I seldom get to listen to full albums anymore, the dreaded “shuffle” mode is so addictive that I really have to force myself to play an album in it’s entirety. I know that it a few years time people will be asking what an album is and their thirst for the killer tune means that attention spans become shorter and shorter.

Of course the attraction of the “shuffle” is that it lets us host our own radio station, with the best music in the world and none of the inane chatter getting in the way. Although we know all the tracks locked within that miniature world, we still gasp at the audacity of a Tom Waits track following something by The Shirelles or maybe Bobby Darin followed by Bloc Party, it all so wonderful. And yet...

If all we ever listen too is the music we already own, where will find the music which will inspire and delight us over forthcoming years? Most of the new stuff I do find comes either from evening shows on BBC Radio 2 or BBC Radio 6, occasionally some web surfing will produce a few interesting results and then I can quickly nip around the web to find a few snippets and samples of songs to tempt me in.

Yet it all seems much harder than it was in the old days, which is odd, as in theory everything is more available than it ever has been. The trouble is simple, these days we have to filter the information ourselves. Previously whole armies of people spent their time deciding what would squeeze out of the narrow conduit which bought the music to us. I’m not sure that I have the time to do it. Anyone want a job?

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