The age of right now

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The digital age has changed the way I enjoy music.

As a young adult discovering my tastes in music, I purchased a lot of compact disks. Most of them came through the mail from a record club. Who remembers the now defunct Columbia House?

I would estimate that about 50 percent of my collection came from mail order record clubs.

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Every time that box came in the mail with a stack of new music it was like Christmas.

I had a habit of ordering albums that I had never heard before, so upon receipt of these shiny new compact disks I knew I was about to embark on a musical adventure.

But today BMG and Columbia House are no longer needed. Today’s music purchases don’t require the wait time of shipping. Online methods such as iTunes have replaced the physical medium for music storage. Sure, iPods are great. I rarely leave the house without it.

But, I still like to step into a record store from time to time. And these days I don’t buy a CD unless I know it deserves a place in my collection.

That’s the great thing about the digital age, I can sample music for free on a band’s website or through YouTube.

There is a downside. When purchased digitally, there is no album insert that contains all the little details about the band. Sure, most of that stuff can be found on the Internet. But to me there is something about holding something tangible in your hand.

On the upside, when I leave the house I no longer have to look through my collection to decide which albums I want to hear that day. I grab one device that has every album I own on it.

And instead of trying to decide what to listen to, I just leave it up to shuffle and skip track.