Technology in reverse?

Technology has affected everything surrounding our daily lives. Just about every home has a computer with internet connection, and growing numbers of us own telephones with access to the internet and more. Those are just two evidences of scientific advances changing life for us all. The music industry has been affected as much or more than any other. Last week as the country mourned the loss of Apple CEO Steve Jobs many musicians chatted or tweeted thank you notes to Mr. Jobs for helping change everything about music production.  You may or may not agree about the extent of Jobs’ influence on the music industry, but there is no doubt about technological advances effect on music products and services. Gone are the days when we would walk to the record store to pick up an album of music because we liked a particular song we heard on the radio. Also gone are the times we got in our car and drove down to the mall music store to buy CD’s we enjoyed.  Now we have MP3’s to download and music sharing websites. All the aforementioned changes have happened in my short lifetime. However, according to Nielsen SoundScan, music-related cassette album sales are up 46% 22,000 units this year from 15,000 the previous year. Overall, those numbers are small when you look at the larger picture, but its eye opening because there are not a lot of new releases created in the cassette format.  Why the growth? It could be that independent labels find cassettes less expensive to create. Vinyl sales also increase year after year according to Nielsen SoundScan. I understand that statistic because many artists will tell you vinyl just has a different sound and seems to “breathe”.  Will this growth of old formats continue? Perhaps! Nevertheless, I do not believe we will go backwards in technology thirty years just because we can. No, we will move ahead. I hope that it will bring even larger musical selections for us all.

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