"Why I'll never own an MP3 player"
11-6-08 "Why I'll never own an MP3 player"
From reader Jim D.
My computer is my computer. It is not my stereo or my TV. My computer interacts with music when I ask it to (mostly transferring vinyl to CD’s, sometimes ‘burning’ CD’s). In 2008, there is not an element of my music fandom that requires me to stick earbuds into my head, fortunately.
And if I did wear headphones, or insert earbuds – I would certainly not listen to ‘lossy’ sounding MP3’s! I mean, who wants to pay for official ones? And if you get ‘free’ ones – you’re at the mercy of whoever created that MP3.
I grew up in the age of the LP. In the 70’s, there was a big drive to get you to listen to your LP’s on stereo headphones. Well, it does sound different. You can listen more closely, at times. Things become revealed, stereo guitar, little hidden things only unearthed by close listening etc. I donned my heavyweight Sansui headphones, cranked the dials to “10” and played King Crimson dutifully, as the ‘phones pressed my ears to my skull, forever flattening them.
I Walkman’d with the best – making cassettes from LP’s. Nice, high-bias (Type II) tapes, from often superior imported pressings of Frank Zappa LP’s – to savor for the first time as I sat on a train going from Amsterdam to Koln (“You Are What You Is”, is the one that made the lasting impressing in this manner). Or alone in a hotel room in
When I moved to
My CD burner arrived in 1996. Play the LP’s onto a MiniDisc, stereo pinplug it into the computer, burn a CD, if desired. No big ‘loss’ – there are those who would argue that the MD is a ‘lossy’ format, but my ears are not sold gold. I downloaded a Thunderclap Newman demo from petetownshend.co.uk – my first and last download. It was an MP3, with my CD burner handily converting it from an MP3 to a “.wav” file. I buy LP’s for $1, I can find CD’s for $3 – why do I want to pay $1 per song for a format that I don’t care about? And I collect. I want the artifact from my favorite artists – give me that ACR 12”, CD Single – whatever. My phonograph works well, sounds good. My CD player is not yet illegal, and it works mightily.
And now I can play MD’s in my car – they sound great. Where’s my need to handle a ‘lossy’ computer file?