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January 18, 2005

Comments

Chris Cagle

And the fact that another kind of music listening experienced as random - radio - is one of the most familiar of the past century takes some of the novelty of the idea away.

Though I think a lot of the iPod utopianism has to do with the breakdown of formatting, the idea that it's ethically superior to listen to that Buzzcocks tune next to some world music drum pattern next to some old country classic next to up-and-coming hip-hop artists. This was something that radio was highly unlikely to produce. And in many ways (since I'm happy with rock music) that's what my nostalgia is braying against rather than the mere existence of non-album mixes - I'm likely to burn CDs mixes of my favorite songs, after all. And I've always admired the vibrant singles culture in Britain.

But to answer your question, I'd guess that at least a good two-thirds of the records I own have album integrity. And perhaps others have that aura by virtue of being packaged as an album.

Miguel Sánchez

Though I think a lot of the iPod utopianism has to do with the breakdown of formatting

Oh, I agree. Though again, this isn't as novel as its made out to be (not by you, I know.) After all, people have been turning to college radio for years for that sort of thing. Not to mention the experience of switching stations until finding something to listen to. Thats the real "white knuckle ride" of music listening: trying to change the station with one hand before Christina Aguilera can start singing, while gripping the wheel of a car going 75 in traffic on 128 with the other.

As for album integrity, my question was mostly rhetorical. I suppose people will differ as to whether it's there or not. I'm guessing we probably have at least a fair number of records in common that I think of in terms of good tracks and stuff to skip, a hits-plus-filler format, that others might consider unified wholes. However big your collection is, however, it pales in comparison to the whole set of records - even just rock records - out there, so I'm not sure what can be learned from looking at our own small subsets. For that matter, if "[other records] have that aura by virtue of being packaged as an album", does this not indicate that the mix always already prior to the album?

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