My Jams

I have just figured out the best of all ways to listen to my favorite music. A tiny 32GB USB drive loaded with MP3s. The drive works on my computer, in my car and my home amplifier – everywhere I would want to be listening to music. A simple, very low-upfront cost, free from monthly charges, elegant solution.

Remember when you’d spend hours in a record store picking out and discovering new music. Weather it was vinyl, cassette or CD, all of us (of a certain age and older) have a music collection. Even if it is collection of MP3 files is on our computers, USB drives or cloud storage – its still a collection even if there is no album art nor liner notes. It is something we can actually interact with, hold in our hands, and loan to friends or bring on a road trip.

I think this sense of owning something tangible seems to be something we are learning to do without. Why “have” something when you can get it just when you need it, and not have it take up space when you don’t need it – some would say a “dust collector”

But I really like having my own things. Call me “old-school”.

In my teems I was very proud of having amassed a my music collection of 200 or so albums (using the term “album” generically so as not to giveaway my age). I remember the experience around discovering the music and the store where I found it. Listening to the music brings me back in time to a particular “phase” of my life. I recall listening to the album, digesting each lyric from the liner notes and learning something new about the band.

So what’s the difference between my music and the plethora of options we have today to listen to music? Think of streaming services like Pandora, Tidal and Spotify; or broadcast radio XM and music channels from your TV provider.

The difference is that it is mine. I can transport myself to another time of my choosing when I want to. I can listen to the story of an album, in track order, as the artist intended for it to be heard. The difference is that I am listening to the studio edits and not the live versions Pandora plays. I am not listening to music that Spotify’s algorithms say are like my favorites. Another big deal is that I am not paying money every month and still not being interrupted by commercials.

I use Pandora, occasionally receive XM Radio’s during promotional weekends, and a Plex server loaded with my own music and videos. All nice to have, but nothing as simple, cheap and elegant as a 32GB of MP3 files the size of my thumbnail.

by: “My Artsy Side”