End of Tape

End of an Analog EraThe clearing-out continues. After today’s thrift store donation visit, I own zero music cassettes. I had for years intended to copy some of them to disc, but then reasoned that it had been years since I’d played any of them, and that when I do miss the music on them, I can find it on the web.

Having said that, I just checked and found that neither Small Town Romance nor Daring Aventures is available in MP3 form from Amazon. Yes, I know that doesn’t mean that there are no MP3s out there.

I got the other two tapes in the pile I photographed via tape trading, an archaic procedure whereby fans would actually exchange tangible objects in order to expand their music collections. The 1994 Cat’s Cradle show was in some ways the best of the booty things thus obtained.

Anyway, I donated the pre-recorded cassettes, along with most of my CDs. Again, I intended to do a lot of copying to disc, but again decided that time was too short, and the web too good a source of music, for that to be worthwhile. When I choose to keep a CD, it was usually one with good liner notes, track details, etc. For example, I did keep my Watching The Dark: The History of Richard Thompson box set.

And yes, I do have music by other people…

Retro Music Formats

Retro music formats are everywhere, not just in CostCo. For example:

Thoughts on Old Media

Every now and again, I see something about how old physical media, such as paper, will outlast newer media, such as the disc that this post will be stored on. There was such an article in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

The confusing thing is that digital memory offers the illusion of permanence. Even when people would like to see a file disappear, for instance, delete just doesn’t seem to last forever – whether it is on social networks like Facebook, or e-mails or text messages that surface years later.

The article refers to services to convert analog music to digital. I shed my last vinyl records the last time I moved, a few years ago. Next time I move, it’ll be time to shed my cassette tapes.

The ones I took care to keep during the last move are the tapes of Richard Thompson live shows. Perhaps I should convert them to digital. But I haven’t played them in years, and I can probably find the same or similar stuff on the web.

By the way, I read the Globe article on paper, and I paid money for it. And some of you were thinking that owning cassette tapes marked me as a dinosaur…