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When physical records are gone, what will you miss?

Written by Tommi on 15.01.2009 11:13:21

Blog image for entry When physical records are gone, what will you miss? I'm writing this to expand the thoughts of Seth Godin in his blog post When newspapers are gone, what will you miss?

Years and years after some pundits began predicting the end of newspapers, the newspapers themselves are finally realizing that it's over. Huge debt, high costs, declining subscription rates, plummeting ad base--will the last one out please turn off the lights.

On their way out, though, we're hearing a lot of, "you'll miss us when we're gone..." laments. I got to thinking about this. It's never good to watch people lose their livelihoods or have to move on to something new, even if it might be better. I respect and honor the hard work that so many people have put into newspapers along the way. If we make a list of newspaper attributes and features, which ones would you miss?

Everything in Seth's post rings painfully true to records as well. I'm a long time (at a time morbidly obsessive) buyer of physical records and I make income generate revenue selling them and even I've listened to most of my music in digital form for a while now. Even if 99% of it is stuff I own on cd or vinyl ripped into mp3-files. I've known this road we're on with physical records is a dead end street, but I've planned on roughing on as long as we finally hit that final brick wall. It's just that in the past the brick wall has just been a rumour and bleak futuristic dystopia, but now it seems to be actually getting here faster by the day.

I've been starting to ask myself the same kinds questions from time to time that Seth poses about newspapers in his blog. What will I really really no jokes really miss when records are gone, as a listener of music (I'm guessing the ramifications are quite obvious for If Society) and I've noticed that every time the list shinks smaller. A few years ago thinking about digitalizing my music consumption habits seemed dull and dreary, but the more I get exposed and conditionalize myself to listening music in the digital domain, the more I feel at home with it.

Yeah, I guess I'll miss the feeling of going to a great record store and browsing through racks of records, but is that yet another symptom of boring old-dude nostalgia built into me? If it is, I'd really like to opt-out of a behaviour pattern like that.

Obviously I'm also pondering this in the big scope of things. Newspapers and records will never completely die out. They'll just die out in the grand scheme of things. I'm also concerned about people being able to create music at a semi-pro (or ProAm) level in the future, since my belief in generating revenue from recorded music in the digital domain are slim to none, but that's probably the subject of another post. I'd just like for everyone to honestly think of what they'd really miss if records would disappear at some point in the not-too-distant future.

(In borderline relation to the subject: there's a record flea market at Pitkämies this Saturday (Jan. 17) from 12am to 4pm. I'll be selling a bunch of my obsolete stuff there as well, but we've got a whole bunch of other sellers too, so empty your account and show up for REALLY cheap records!)
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