The sanctity of a complete album

Uncategorized

Does having playlists of mp3s in random order mask the “full album” experience that we used to have a not so long time ago? Back in the tape days, I would have complete albums which I would play and get used to – discovering more songs, hearing the artists’ (or music label’s) version of what they value and in what order.

Anyone who has heard albums like “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd would probably feel unhappy when they meet people who have only heard an individual song from that album. Unless one has experienced the continuity of the entire album, the heart-beats and voices in between songs, one can not fully appreciate why it was one of the longest running albums of all times (It was on US Billboard Top 200 for 741 weeks).
But today, more and more people are listening to only individual songs. I always felt like an old purist debating the sanctity of the complete album, but I just became aware of how our listening behavior can actually destroy the concept of an album altogether. This gentleman has explained how the science of economics will catch up with our listening experiences.

Maybe individual songs could be priced in such a way that it would be cheaper to download a complete album; that would be one incentive to make people still download all songs from an album. Or maybe people can use one of the subscription services from Yahoo or URGE. [I am working on a comparative review on Yahoo Music Unlimited 2 Go and URGE All Access To Go. I have used them both, but currently am siding with URGE for reasons I will explain in the review]. These services do allow complete album downloads and URGE seems like a savior since it really retains the flavor of the complete album; it even throws in an album review from All Music Guide in the mix.

I sincerely hope the album does not die. But I am not sure if I am simply resisting a good new-age trend or am concerned about the loss of an experience which is too valuable to forgo.

Closure

Uncategorized

So you quit your job in a good software company, move to a new country, start school again but it just doesn’t feel complete until you do that one thing: Format+Clean+Reinstall Windows on your laptop.
I finally got around to doing that yesterday and it’s only now that I feel like my “transition” is complete.
Microsoft Office 2007Interestingly, as a cheaper alternative to Microsoft Office 2003, I go ahead and install Microsoft Office 2007 Beta (which can be had for as low as $1.50 which gives you a valid license till Feb 2007). And I am quite impressed by it. Coupled with Microsoft OneNote 2007 Beta, I feel all set for school. Proudly using Microsoft Outlook 2007 Beta for all my structured and non-browser information needs I am happy that they have removed the Exchange Server bias and treat IMAP accounts with more respect. I also go ahead and install Internet Explorer 7 RC1 and I am surprised at myself for not using Firefox anymore. More interestingly, I also go ahead and Format+Clean+Reinstall the OS on my phone and I suddenly become aware of how stress-relieving this activity can be.
Six ZoneTick clocks in taskbar, auto-arranged in 2 columnsOfcourse, I do not feel complete until I have installed Zonetick which I so willingly bought as the best solution to the “what time is it there?” problem. Dictionary and Translation software by Babylon
Nor can I feel at ease until I install my good old Babylon – a tool which is surprisingly indispensible despite the fact that a browser can probably get you more information than it. Probably its only winning factor now is that it’s a more efficient and structured interface to the big-bloated-information-blob the Internet is.
With a light heart and a light mind I sleep at peace when I retire to bed.