We discuss the future of the music business, and come up with at last 10 ideas about how things will change in the next 10 years. Because 10 is a good number.
The Sony Walkman was introduced 40 years ago. When it first came out, it was the biggest change in musical listening since the record player. It ushered in an era of personal listening, and, with the popularity of cassette tapes, changed the music industry.
Listen to The Next Track: Episode #154 – Remembering the Walkman and Cassettes.
Sony Corp marked Monday the start of a two-month long event in Tokyo celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Walkman, with interactive exhibits showcasing various models of the iconic portable music player.
The highlight of the event, dubbed “#009 Walkman in the Park,” is an exhibit called “My Story, My Walkman,” which chronicles each year of the hit music player’s history with nostalgic stories by 40 creators, artists and other public figures of that generation. Visitors can listen to songs chosen by the celebrity on each of the Walkmans on display.
The event starts from ground level, where a 2.5 meter tall Walkman modeled after the yellow waterproof sports model introduced in 1983 stands, and continues across all four basement floors of Ginza Sony Park in Tokyo’s shopping district. Other exhibits include a “Walkman Wall,” which displays all 237 models of the Walkman over the years and a “Custom Walkman” corner featuring Walkman skins designed by artists.
The Walkman ushered in the biggest change in the way we listen to music. Shortly before the first Walkman was released, I had a Sony Pressman, which was much larger than the first Walkman, because it had stereo microphones – it was designed for reporters to use recording in the field – but also a big battery pack; I think it held four AA batteries. It was about as heavy as a brick, but I used to walk around with that and the ability to have my own personal soundtrack – something we now take for granted – was revolutionary.
I must say, it was hard to find a photo of the device I had. Even Sony doesn’t have a photo of this on their website, where they have an archive of their products, but I found a Time Magazine article with a photo.
To be honest, my preferred way to listen to music is on CD, as unfashionable as that might be. You push a button, the music plays, and then itâs over â”Â no ads, no privacy terrors, no algorithms!
If you compare the act of playing a CD to that of allowing a streaming service to choose which music you listen to, then what the author says makes sense.
But, with streaming services:
- You don’t have ads if you pay for music
- I’m not sure what privacy terrors he’s talking about; at least with Apple Music
- And there are no algorithms when you select an album, or create your own playlists
The above was an off-the-cuff comment in an interview, and it was promoted to being the headline, but it’s a bit clueless.
The problem with the genre of ambient music is that most of it is not ambient music. No one really agrees on what exactly ambient music is. We discuss the genre, and the music, and how we feel about this type of music.
Listen to The Next Track: Episode #150 – Ambient Music.
We discuss the potential breakup of iTunes yet again, because there is some new information about what the future of iTunes will be.
We don’t often talk about TV, but this week we discuss some TV series, how people watch TV, and in particular the disappearing experience of appointment TV. And we link this all with iTunes, at least a bit.
Listen to The Next Track: Episode #148 – Spoilers.
Kirk bought some new audio equipment: a Sonos Amp. We talk about how this amp works, and how it has allowed Kirk to minimalize the equipment in his home office.
Listen to The Next Track: Episode #147 – Kirk’s New Sonos Amp.
The 50th anniversary concert of Woodstock has been planned, and tickets were supposed to go on sale this week, yet have been delayed. We look back at the original Woodstock festival and how much the music influenced us.
Listen to The Next Track: Episode #146 – Woodstock.