alexchiri

2 minute read

A bit of history

I started using my parents old russian vinyl player when I was a bit older than 3 years old (or so I was told). We had a few tens of vinyls, most of them ‘classics’ like Harry Belafonte, Elton John, Roxette, Abba and a bunch of children stories recorded for the radio, sometime in the ‘60s or ‘70s.

You could guess which were my favorites at that time, I knew them by heart and a day wouldn’t pass without the player ‘booming’ with children stories. A couple of months ago, I found accidentally on YouTube my favorite story from those vinyls and without being able to move a muscle I listened mesmerized to those ‘gods’ voices, while memories were flowing before my eyes.

The truth is that after playing one vinyl a few times, I was able to easily jump to the parts that I liked just by lifting the player’s arm and placing the head were I wanted. It started with the stories, but while I got older I savaged the music discs without mercy and I guess that is where my weakness for the 80s music comes from, but this is not subject of this post.

More or less

It won’t be much of a surprise for you what I’m going to say next, but here it goes! In the age of Spotify and YouTube, I realize that content is less memorable. If you ask me to mumble a song that I liked in the last 2 years, it will be quite hard and it’s not because there weren’t any good songs out there. At the same time, I can reproduce most of Harry Belafonte’s “Matilda” easily, even though I didn’t listen to it in the last 15 years.

There are (at least) 2 factors at work here:

  1. Abundance. There's too much content we can get our hands on instantly and that's good but it's also bad, 'cause less sticks with you.
  2. Format. The current format of distribution for music is not helping your memory. The only trigger is the actual content.

I know it’s not feasible to return to the vinyl era and I also know that this is just another less is more post, but I felt the need to just say it as well.

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