The Problem With Playlists

Remember when you used to listen to albums? Or LPs?

You’d put the first side on and maybe you would put two or three more albums on the spindle and when all four Side A’s had played you’d flip them over to listen to side B’s.

Then maybe you finally discovered that this practice was scratching up your albums and you resorted to playing one disc at a time.

However you played your records, you listened to an album in its entirety.

The Beatles had Sergeant Pepper, The White Album and the Moody Blues and Jethro Tull both produced albums that you had to listen to in the order presented on the record. Of course, there were many other groups who provided long-playing entertainment.

The point is, I don’t listen to albums anymore or, not as much as I used to.

I have all my music on my Mac and downloaded onto my iPhone. I can still play albums but the ability to create playlists has captured my music listening attention. Maybe it’s a type of Boomer ADHD? Maybe I don’t have the attention span to listen to one entire album? Maybe I need the variety of different groups and even different styles of music on a playlist to keep me bemused while sitting poolside?

It’s the natural development after the vinyl disc morphed to the CD which only survived a few years only to be replaced by a digital representation of the music we love. Remember going to Sam Goddy’s or even EJ Korvettes and perusing the record aisles? You may not have known what you were looking for when all of a sudden and album by the Byrds jumped out like a guest on Let’s Make A Deal screaming at you PICK ME!

It was the start of impulse buying for me. The same was true of books as well. You may not have had any idea about any book in particular but then one just seemed to jump of the shelf and into your hand.

Now, you have to know what you are looking for. You either have to have the name of the song or at least the group. iTunes does have the requisite logarithims to identify your likes and will have a list of digital albums from groups you have previously purchased but it just isn’t the same.

Playlists are nice don’t get me wrong but hearing songs out of context just isn’t the same. I even anticipate the next song which appeared on the album despite knowing full well, that I never included it in my playlist.




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