Oh what the iPod has done. 1,000 songs in your pocket (or in my case 3,300 and counting) seemed like such a great thing - and it is, but it has permanently changed the way I listen to and how much I enjoy music.
I've had enough - Give me more!
Every month I download 90 songs from eMusic. I probably buy on average another 2-3 albums per month. Then there are the free MP3s you can get everywhere. I think I’ve reached my breaking point. I thought about the music that I had purchased over the past month and with over 7 albums worth, I had not one coherent thought about any of them. I have impressions, but no overwhelming feeling for them.
When Radiohead’s OK Computer was released in 1997 – it was a seminal moment for me and my music listening career (don't laugh - career is a good choice of words for it). To this day I believe it is the best album I have ever heard. The first time I heard it, I got goose bumps. I proceeded to play it so often that to this day it’s as familiar as my family or friends. It is one of the last great albums that for me that is an album and not a bunch of songs.
One day while walking through the city listening to Green Day's American Idiot I realized that it is as good an album as I had heard in years. A classic even. What surprised me is that it took me so long to figure this out. I had had the album for 10 months. I realized that the problem is that now listen to so much music, that it all doesn't have the impact that it once had. Music has become a commodity. Nothing is special anymore and goose bumps are rare.
Music critics often review a cd on one or two listens. That's where I am now. Every month I have 10-15 new albums in my queue. I realize now that I've probably missed some classic because I didn't give it enough time. Proof is when I thought about my top 20 favorite albums - 16 of them were produced prior to 1999. Now part of that is because that is when I was first discovering the music I now listen to, but I think the other part of it desensitization.
So a fleeting thought passed through my head - stop the influx. Yeah, that's a great idea. Stop the influx. But it's like crack - once you've had a taste - you can't go back. How did I live without 300+ cds at my disposal at any given moment.
A discman? 12 songs in my pocket? The dark ages.