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October 2021 Retro Gaming Article

December 3, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I feel a bit left out of the Spotify Wrapped craze, but I own a subwoofer and CDs which seem better to me

Spotify Wrapped for Blackpink
As fans and artists alike are sharing their musical consumption and stats, I wonder why no one questions streaming as a standard.
Spotify's yearly Wrapped event is in full swing as music fans gloat about their streaming habbits from duration to genre and beyond. Creators also get the opportunity to gloat about their own stats for songs and albums released this past year. I miss out on this event by choice. I rarely stream music. I tend to consume music via physical media, in album format via Compact Discs. I enjoy the occasional single and even burn my own mixtape CDs now and again, but streaming is foreign to me.

I listen to albums from start to finish - the way the artist intended. That pretentious sounding statement had more meaning years ago when artist released full albums. Now we get random singles that are added to equally random playlists and no longer can artists tell a story across an entire album. We either like or dislike the single and add it to a playlist or ignore it. Such an empty way to enjoy music.

A phone and bluetooth speaker should be a last resort. Discover real steroe!
As with video formats, i've endured several format shifts in music as well. I bought my first CD in the latter part of the 80s. It was Ozzy's Blizzard of Oz and I still own it in pristine condition. My excitement spiked when the Kiss catalog began appearing on CDs around the same time. It was a durable, digital medium that took music beyond analog mediums. Having grown up with vinyl and copying my albums to cassettes, those shiny CDs seemed like a grand leap forward in technology and sound quality.

I went to Best Buy to purchase a new stereo and the saleman aske me what kind of phone I had and walked me towared a shelf of bluetooth speakers. I promptly left the store. I grew up with stereo sound )two speakers) and thunderous bass from a subwoofer. I loved listening to music as much as feeling it - via subwoofer. My son is part of the first generation to grow up with digital options for media. From video games and movies, to music and entertainment. It's all on his phone.

Each generation is different, but this is the first one that I feel is a step backwards in terms of entertainment media. Gone are the once powerful stereos with pre-amps and sub woofers. Everyone wants portable options. Songs are digital MP3 files with wireless connections to ear buds or single speakers... some of which will float in your pool. I loved the durability and exactness of CDs. Many felt they lack the analog beauty of vinyl, but as much as I agree with that, I loved this bold new format.

Streaming!?! What is that? How is that the standard? Artists want to release nothing but strings of singles that mingle on playlists with every other form of music. I don't get that. I don't like that. I know I'm old and stubborn, but show me how a single speaker that fits in your hand, yet easily distorts is a move forward. We've been sold a lifestyle in which we own nothing physical and interact with these figital things on-the-go. Some may prefer this, but it's been nearly forced onthe rest of us.

I'll end my rant by saying the younger generation should experience music apart from phones and bluetooth speakers. Let the roar and feel of a true stereo system treat your senses to the way music should be heard!

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