Okay, so I had to write a rant for English. Just clearing it up with you guys that I have my facts straight. Also, cut me some slack, I'm 14.
50 years ago, people had massive stereo systems. They would sit down, put on some vinyl, and blast it through a massive set of tube-amplified, floor standing speakers. The sound came through warm, rich and crystal clear, the sound was immersive, and people sat and just listened, listened to all the nuances and emotion. Music was something like TV is nowadays. It was a primary source of entertainment, considered normal to just sit and listen to it, with no other distractions.
But after vinyl, CDs became popular. “Digitalization” brought a rise in compact systems. These systems were compact, easy to use and manage and could be used almost anywhere. But they didn’t have that same life of sound. They weren’t used very much anymore, at least not as a primary source of entertainment, because they weren’t captivating. They were background noise. What’s the point of artists spending years to create an album, when all you’re going to do is flip it on for background noise once in a while, what’s the point? You’ll listen to one song and then the album will collect dust. Amazing.
Oh, but it gets worse. As things get more miniaturized, mp3 players come in. True digital audio. But guess what? It’s compressed to the point of death. Now, you can hear your favourite artists sounding like they’re singing into a tin can. Genius. Then, they include these small little things called earbuds, innovative; they seem so nice and small, convenient. And, they butcher the sound even further. Who wouldn’t want these?
Again, why? What’s the point?
Portability, you may say. And you know what? I agree. I actually like the idea of sound for the masses. More music for the people. But what did this radical change actually do? It drove it further into society’s head that music is a background thing, just for “in between places.”
Another thing that came with digitalization is illegal downloads. Isn’t that great? Hordes of music all for free? But really, I’m sure the bands who are trying to make a living off their music agree as well. There’s a reason they’re called illegal downloads.
Now with an emergence of beats, skullcandy, and bose, all ripping people off by the billions a year, good sound seems to be a minimal priority. I’m not saying to spend thousands of dollars on music, stereo sytems, headphones etc. All I’m saying is can’t we get a 70 dollar pair of Grados, or Sennheisers, or AKGs, and for once in our life, just enjoy the music, nothing else?
Very good essay A+.
You cover four important topics,
- actually listening to music versus background noise.
- illegal downloads versus physical media.
- beats, skullcandy and bose (overpriced marketing) versus true high quality sound (for cheaper).
- The illusion of constant advancement in technology.