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Community Comment: Listening to music has changed forever and not in a good way

Call me a baby boomer or an old fogey, but listening to music has never been so difficult
CD music store
Call me a baby boomer or an old fogey, but listening to music has never been so difficult.

This is a rant about music, access to music that is.

Call me a baby boomer or an old fogey, but listening to music has never been so difficult.

You would think with all the online music platforms, listening to new music would be easy. Not true for this curmudgeon.

My history with buying music started in the 1970’s when Kelly’s Records on Granville Street, and A & B Sound on Seymour Street were king. Saturdays were spent on the trolly bus heading downtown anticipating my purchases with babysitting cash in my pocket.

My first albums were, Led Zeppelin 4, Carol King’s Tapestry, Cat Steven’s Teaser and the Firecat, and Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers.

The same habits continued with CD’s. I can remember the pleasure of buying new artists and giving them as gifts. “Here’s what I love to listen to and I hope you do too.”

You could buy them anywhere, even Starbucks. CD’s were never too much of an investment if you wanted to try a new artist.

I finally subscribed to Spotify because I had no choice.

“You can listen to any music you like,” our kids told us. “It’s an endless music library.”

I loathe Spotify because I am dependent on getting my music from artificial Intelligence. I can request any genre, from Steely Dan or Yacht Rock, but it does not encourage discovering new music.

Artificial intelligence has streamlined our choices and dumbed us down like most technology. We are sheep brought to the trough by Daily Mix, Discover Weekly, or Made for You.

Occasionally I will get inspiration from CBC music or the Peak, but most radio stations play classic rock or top 10.

Dick Clark once said, “Music is the soundtrack of our lives.” If so then my life is D minor that rocks to the familiar and the predictable.

On all platforms I am constantly forced to upgrade devices, install new settings, and pay more for monthly subscriptions. I am a slave to audio streaming providers, because there are no other options to access new music.

Music inspires me, soothes my soul, energizes me and sustains me. It’s one of the biggest joys in life and connects all human kind. 

Losing the ability to explore and experience new music independently is beyond frustrating. Call me a fuddy duddy but modern technology has failed those who like to choose their own musical path. 

Ingrid Abbott is a freelance writer and broadcaster who is shocked at the numerous and insulting words to describe old person in the urban thesaurus.