Where were you when you first heard that song? ( OR: No thanks, Computer)

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When we all get on a bit and drag out our dusty CD collection for a nostalgic listen, we'll inevitably ask ourselves: "Where was I when I first heard that song?" And it seems increasingly that the answer will involve sitting at a flickering monitor, connected to Napster, with a half-downloaded MP3 chirping through those tinny speakers. Sad? Or just progress? Does it take some of the romanticism out of listening? Discuss.

Mitch Surnamewitheld, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I'm such a loser, I've never downloaded a MP3 in my life. (GASP!)

But sadly, I've spent far too much time at a listen station in HMV staring at posters of the lastest Corrs record (or some such thing)...

Michael, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I refuse to feel nostalgic about feeling nostalgic. The way I look at it, getting used to a song at somewhere neutral like my computer will mean never again will I go Napstering for some bollocksy Paula Cole song just because I first heard it while a girl I fancied danced on a table to it. Of course this isn't true at all--what is Freaky Trigger about if not drunken Napstering?--but it's good in theory. Why the fuck did I fancy a dame who table-danced to Paula Pit Hair Cole?

Otis Wheeler, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

But I already have countless romantic nostalgic memories of first hearing songs *on Napster*. The Avalanches' "A Different Feeling" is on its way there. That will be my dewy-eyed moment of recall when I'm old and lonely, not seeking out some bloody rare vinyl.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Michael and I can sit around the dusty phonograph and listen to our vinyl collections whilst the rest of the world downloads MP3s.

Translation, I too have never downloaded an MP3. I just started buying CDs about 6 years ago. The only reason I did that was because I lost a Pogues album in a bizarre kitchen accident and couldn't find it on vinyl or tape . . . but that is another story.

Progress I say. People said the same things when tapes came out, and when CDs came out. I think the romanticism lies when you discover that song you never heard, the band, the lost take on some Miles Davis song. . . that is where the romanticism is for me. The medium is purely secondary to what it holds.

Amber, Tuesday, 6 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Progress will always be there, and it's pretty much beyond value judgements. I will say, though, that MP3s have little appeal to me until I get a portable MP3 player or a CD burner. I just don't enjoy listening to music on my computer that much. In my living room, I have a good componant system set up how I like it accross the room from my favorite chair. That's how I enjoy music. Napster is still just for sampling and getting a feel. I know I'm in the minority on this, and I'm sure it'll change once I get some way of moving those MP3s into the rest of my life.

Mark Richardson, Tuesday, 6 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link


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