Many of you have gotten older since you first began to listen to Rock and Roll way back when (ever).  Not only has the music changed since the early days, the way that we listen to it has changed.

From LPs and 45s, to transportable 8-tracks, and cassettes, the heralded (and reviled) Compact Disc, and finally (for now) in the widely varied digital format, distribution methods have come and gone (and, in the case of LP, resurged in popularity).

Yeah, all of these things are natural and expected, if not exactly appreciated.  But I do have an interesting question to pose, particularly to the older readers: how drastically have your listening changed from vinyl to now?

We all do utilize most features of digital music.  Of that there is little doubt that we all haven’t been impacted by the light-weight portability of the format.  At one time, most of you were sit-down listeners of LPs, both sides, start to finish.  Even in 8-track and cassettes, there was usually start to finish listening.  As a result, we invested in bands because we spent quite a bit of time with them.

This is a subject that we have discussed many time.  But this time, I’m more interested in the readers and their predominant form of listening to music.  So, if you don’t mind, hit the comments section and tell TAP how you primarily listen to your music these days.  If digital, do you still apply quite a bit of time to the entire album?  Do you create a playlist of favored tracks?

I’ll start it off:

I consistently use CDs but LPs (as my library grows again) is creeping up near the 50% mark.  I use YouTube to listen to bands that are new to me.  Once I discover that I liked them, I buy their albums, and listen to the whole thing.  In doing so, I hope to find cohesion and longevity.  I don’t often find it but I try.

By MARowe

23 thoughts on “A Question”
  1. I listen to CDs except when I use MySpace or You Tube to hear new bands or new releases by my favourites. I have downloaded a couple of times (paid for, by the way) some Flac recordings then burned them to CD and printed the info and made a physical CD for my collection. Other than that, my routine is exactly like it was with LPs. Unless time is a problem, I sit down and listen to a whole album – and now have to use my reading glasses or a magnifying glass to look at the lyrics or read the cover info. The only thing I miss is the larger vinyl format – and that is the ONLY thing I miss.

  2. I began buying CDs in 1985, and today, I am buying more than ever. I neve cared for vinyl, and only owned a couple LPs. Nowadays, all my CDs get imported as Apple Lossless files into iTunes. From there, they are streamed to my Apple TV, which is connected to my home theater via HDMI. Apple TV allows me to access 53,000 tracks with the press of a few buttons, and the sound is excellent.
    Songs that are synced to my iPhone and iPad are transcoded to 192Kbps AAC for space savings. My 16GB iPhone mostly holds new purchases (and favorite new artists like Angela Easterling). My 64GB iPad holds a much larger selection of old favorites and purchases from the past two years.
    Even with ease of creating Smart Playlists, I almost always listen to full albums, whether they are standard albums, compilations, or boxed sets.

  3. I listen to cds. Usually whole albums. A few times a year I will burn a compilation cd from my cd collection.
    My ipod died a couple of years ago and, even though I loved it, I never got around to replace it and I realy don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. I rarely donwload anything digitally.
    I find out about new music and bands from websites and magazines.

  4. Currently, and only because of a lack of space, I listen to digital music of which I’m not big fan. LPs are still my prefered format (still have all my old LPs and 45s) followed by CDs.

  5. Great topic! I “Purchase” all of my music. My LP,Reel to Reel, CD, DVD-A and SACD collection abounds. Most of this collection has been tranferred to computer “I Tunes” and placed on to my I-Pod Classic. My I-Pod Classic is my move around/travel device and used often. My collection is used while at home and my equipment serves me well. I understand the difference. The I-pod is convenience. My equipment for all of the original material is just pure fun. I get to work with my LP’s and Tapes and I feel part of the process. To me, that is half of the fun, the hands on part.

  6. When i am on the road I listen to my iTunes via my iPhone. At home I listen mostly to SA-CD, blu-ray audio and DVD-Audio. That is why I look forward to your updates on the new High resolution multi-channel or stereo releases.

    1. “At home you listen mostly to sacd, bluray and dvd-audio” that doesn’t give you a lot of variety does it?

  7. I buy CDs, though not as often – had a hard time finding a physical copy of the new Rush CD when it came out. Some music (like Rush, for example) I still want the disc and packaging. Some, however, I just buy in digital format and put on a disc for the car. Still have a couple of hundred LPs, but no turntable at the moment. My listening style depends on what I’m doing. If I’m in the car, I tend to listen to whole CDs. If I’m working in the yard or working out, I use my mp3 player, but it’s on shuffle and I’ve culled out songs that would slow down the work or the workout. At work, I have the music on my player on shuffle, but if a particular song strikes me right, I’ll stop and set it up to play the whole album.

  8. Since beginning the conversion to CDs in the mid-80’s, I haven’t reverted to buying LPs. Upgrades to audiophile discs is the only change I make these days, as most of my LP collection is long gone. Purchased downloads have been a very minor part of my scheme, and usually just as a sampler for an artist new to me, prior to buying their CD.

  9. I buy CDs exclusively and listen to whole albums. I’ve never purchased a single digital download and suspect I never will. I do often look for new music on YouTube and Spotify (where I can listen to an entire album for free) and if I like the music I will then seek out and buy the CD. MP3s are similar in that they let me try music, but if I like them I buy the CD and then delete the MP3s. In my car I listen to CD-Rs of mixes I rip from my favorite CD tracks, but I always keep my original silver CDs safe at home. Digipaks and out-of-print CDs I always keep protected in resealable plastic sleeves to protect them from dust.

  10. For me, it’s vinyl at home, CD’s in the car. The amount of new and reissued vinyl coming out (not to mention the great sound) is just totally mind boggling. And not to take advantage of it’s popularity doesn’t make much sense. Never know when it will end. I also still listen to 8 track tapes (after I’ve rebuilt them). They don’t sound great but they’re really cool to mess with sometimes. Back to the subject, I still listen to albums from beginning to end. Heck, I’m 50 years old. It was the way we did it back then.

  11. I started collecting music in the early to mid 80’s. First LPs, then a mix of LP’s and cassettes. Once I started getting CDs in he early 90’s, there was no looking back. I gradually updated my LP/CS collection to CD, only saving a handful of collectable LPs as keepsakes. Listening to music used to be an activity unto itself, where I would sit and memorize the lyric sheet and liner notes for an album while listening to the music.

    Today, I still enjoy buying physical CDs, even prefer going into a Newbury Comics store to buy them, even though it may be a little cheaper and more convenient to buy online. I have been buying more content from iTunes as well lately, mainly for space and convienence consideraions. I do about 99% of my music listening now in the the car, either on CD or iPod. My normal process is to buy a CD, listen to it once or twice in the car, then upload it to the iPod, and make a playlist for that band. When listening to the original CDs I listen to the album beginning to end, but with the iPod, I construct my own playlists.

  12. I bought cassettes and vinyl(from flea markets, though I have no means to listen to them) and CDs since 1990. I buy some via iTunes.

  13. I’ve been on a couple of parallel paths for a long time. Ever since my father bought a reel-to-reel tape recorder in the 60’s, I’ve been making ‘mix-tapes’. But I also appreciate the practice of listening to an album ‘end-to-end’. I’ve moved along with the times, going from LP’s to 8-tracks, back to LP’s, over to cassettes, back to vinyl, over to CD’s and now embracing the return of vinyl…seems like a bit of a pattern. :-) I haven’t given in to the purely digital formats (at least not yet); probably because I like the tangible feel of artwork and media in my hands. I also think physical media establishes a clear ‘license’ and I’m not quite at ease with the ability of purely digital media to protect those rights.

    I really enjoy listening to the entire work that comes with an album, especially with artists like King Crimson, ELP, Apocolyptica and others who may not deliver a concept album, but do provide a theme or mood. But I guess I’m schizophrenic because I also enjoy the jarring juxtaposition of Frank Sinatra and Disturbed that comes from setting a 160GB iPod to Shuffle Play. Nowadays I tend to run Shuffle Play while working or doing things that have me less than fully attentive to the music, and listening to entire CDs or albums when I can fully appreciate them (mostly while driving alone to and from work). When I get a new CD, I find time to listen to it from beginning to end at least once and then add it to my iTunes library.

    Over the last couple of years I’ve been converting my vinyl music to digital format so the music fits into my schizophrenic behavior. The cool thing is that I can ‘capture’ it at better resolution than a CD and shuffle it right into the mix. I also rip all of my CDs into iTunes in Apple Lossless format.

    I appreciate the portability of the iPod, but I struggle because less than 1/6 of my library fits (yes, that‘s 16% of my iTunes library) so I have to make decisions about what to carry and what to leave behind when I’m away. I’m looking forward to better (read: cheaper) capabilities that allow me to connect remotely to my entire library. I’m resistant to Spotify and other bulk providers because I want the discovery process to remain familiar. I guess that’s one area where I haven’t changed. I want friends (including you Matt!) to tell me about new artists and new things from familiar artists and then add them to my library. And that means acquiring that ‘license’ I mentioned earlier.

  14. I replaced all my vinyl with CDs, and gave the LPs away. I have never regretted it. I now have over 1,200 CDs, as well as 2-300 DVD-audios and SACDs. All my CDs are ripped twice: once in Apple Lossless, to play through my Apple TV and my Denon receiver, and once at lower resolution for my 140GB iPod Classic which is plugged into my Pioneer car head unit (which also has XM). FWIW, I also dump a classical subset onto my iPad, which I use as my wake-up music via an iPad dock into the Aux port on my Bose wave radio. Never buy and download digital music directly.

  15. I began colecting vinyls ages ago, then listened to homemade cassttes when I was a student and didn’t have much space… Now I’m mainly listening to MP3’s, I’ve organized my collection with a computer program I made myself, which allows me to make playlists, reorganize titles in doubles (in album and compilations for instance…). When I like an artist, I buy the cd and spend now more money on deluxe editions, which brings back the “object” aspect of the vinyl I lost with cd or mp3. And when I have space again, I will buy a quality deck and begin collecting vinyls again

  16. Technology, as well as a severe dose of cynicism, has depleted much of my enthusiasm for rock-n-roll. I’m a musician (over 35 years as a guitarist), and the business has simply turned me off. I really am at a bit of a crossroads, of some kind, I’m sure. I’m almost 50, and even though I’m far better than I ever was as a player, I simply don’t have the same type of anger/angst/frustration that I used to push my sounds as a young person.

    In other words, I think I’ve lost my “fire”. The biggest reason? Probably boredom. At my age, rock music is no longer written for me; it’s for people 35 years (or more) younger than I am. Most current artists bore me to death (A7F, Vampire Weekend, etc.), and most older bands (AC/DC, KISS, Judas Priest) need to quit tarnishing their legacies by putting on lackluster shows, tuned down on the guitars, so that the singers can hit their notes…..barely.

  17. I enjoy listening to an album as sequenced by the artist. I also appreciate the album graphics and liner notes along with finding out who wrote and played on the song. That said I’m not a big fan of digital downloads or storing one’s collection on a harddrive or in the cloud. I need the tactile component of the listening experience.
    Many years ago I sold my vinyl collection (many regrets now because many old titles are no longer available or were never available in the CD format). Replacing some of those titles is not quite as satisfying if they are only availability as a DD. I will hunt the remaining bricks and mortar record shops or shop Amazon’s sellers to find the object of my desire. When I do DD I usually burn a disc to put on the shelf.
    The only time I don’t listen to an album from track one to the end is when I am using my mp3 player. I usually set my player to shuffle.

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