Astroknot (Level 13)

Also this... one book, 90000 people
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   I was thinking the other day, there are a crazy amount of options if you wanted to listen to music. I mean how exactly do you listen to whatever your're into, like the iPod or other portable .mp3 player device. They're great for on the go listening while in the car or exercising it's also probably the most popular way in this era. But I was thinking about all the ways I've used, besides my iPod, like cd's, the cassette tape, vinyl records, and eight tracks. And okay, I'm not old enough to have actually used the eight track format in any real capacity, but I know what they are and at one point had a player for them. The cassette is what I used most growing up, I had a few in my collection I listened to constantly, and then cd's became popular when I had a way, which wasn't very good, but a way none the less to get some money, so I have a collection of cd's that is almost respectable. However, all that being said my favorite way to listen to music are vinyl records. I had barely a few as a small child, and even now I really don't have that many  and those that I do have have a special place. I'm not Rob from High Fidelity, though I would not mind having that deep of a collection at all.

     First things first, when you use the vinyl format to listen to music, you're most likely settling down to give whatever you put on an actual listen, because there aren't exactly portable players for these things. I'm not saying you can't do anything else, you can, but if you are going to take the time to bust out the record I think you're more likely to pay attention to the music. When was the last time you took the time to listen to you're favorite album and really took in the beat and followed the bass line, or followed the notes on the guitar solos, even followed the flow of lyrics on some good hip-hop. Most likely it's been awhile, maybe you should take the time and rediscover what made you like that particular album to begin with.

     Secondly, I like the physically bigger format. It makes for bigger artwork, and I love sitting there listening and studying the album cover, going over the songs on the back one by one so I can learn the names of them instead of just saying, "Well yeah that third track was awesome".  And on one of the records I do have, Alanis Morissette's Suppsed Former Infatuation Junkie, which is a double album, so not only do you have to flip the record over, but there are actually two of them for four sides of awesome, when you open it up on the left side is all the lyrics to all the songs in one place, not in a little booklet like you get in cd's. And just the records themselves have a good asthetic look to them. As colorful as the bottom of a cd might be as light reflects off the bottom, no matter how closely you look you can't really tell where one song stops and the other beginns. On a record however you can see all the bands representing the music, if you inspect closer the way the light makes the rings on the record have a shimmer to them, that's all the grooves imprinted on the media. You have a physical representation of the music, that's something you don't have on a majority of formats.

     Lastly, and most importantly of all, is the way they sound. Today's .mp3 and other digital formats leave music very clean, which is good for many things, but it also leaves something behind. That staticy hiss before the beginnging and all the slight imperfections really give the record a real soul like quality to them. It's the analog quality to the music that gives it that. Just putting on record in the turntable and dropping the needle on and watching it spin around in circles makes it feel special. If you bought a song off itunes or amazon and got something that sounded like that it';d be a little dissapointing, because you know that they couldv'e used a higher bitrate, or had a cleaner file, ubt the record has a definite charm to the quality.

     Listening to vinyl records is not for everyone. The person who needs clean sounding audio can be a real stickler for what makes a record a record, but those who choose to sit and listen to not just music, but the subtle undertones of the format itself know there in for something special every time they put on a record.

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