Saturday, January 11, 2014

Do you remember this? Blast from the Past...

- By Michelle

So while I generally like to make it known how "YOUNG" I still am, I can't help but think about the many changes that have occurred in my very short lifetime thus far.

This morning while driving around my my 16 year old daughter, I was telling her about my personal history with audio equipment. "I remember sitting in my mom's car when I was a little munchkin and watching her insert and 8-Track into her 8-Track player! Do you know what one of those are?" I asked her. Of course she had no idea. She's only been around since 1997. So I go on to explain how they were about the size of VHS tape and were so hip at the time since your only other option was to listen to music on the radio or a record player. 

Of course I also had a record player growing up. Those beautiful black vinyls seem to have had a much longer lifespan than the ill fated 8-Tracks. I remember fondly listening to my Rumpelstiltskin record fairly regularly. It scarred the ba-jee-bees out of me, which was delightfully delicious fun to an 8 year old. 

As I grew older, I picked up a number of additional records including the country diva Tonya Tucker from a neighbors garage sale with the $20 I found in the dryer. My mom wondered how I acquired those and oh yeah… "Has anyone seen $20 laying around the house?!" Not me… Our dryer was in our unit's storage chamber down the road.

In the 1980's things started really kicking up with the introduction of the cassette tape. Now we could really be portable with our tunes and "Say Anything" that came to our totally rad minds. 

I remember endless sessions of trying to find the right song on my Cindy Lauper tape, (forward button…. Stop… play… middle of wrong song…. forward button…. Stop…. play…. right song, too far…. rewind… stop…. forward… just right, hit play. Next song, forward to the end of the tape, flip over…. press forward… and so on.) It was worth it to hear She Bop while I Bee Bopped around the room and when I needed a karaoke break, Time After Time. 

Cassette Tapes were so ingrained in my life that I really distrusted the shiny new rainbow reflective devise that showed up next, the CD (aka Compact Disk). I mean, sure I could listen effortlessly to any song just by pushing the track number, but as soon as you got one little scratch on that baby you were all done. 

But when it seemed as if we were at the top of the food chain with all this, then we get the MP3 players. I seemed to skip right over those, at least the early versions of them and went straight to iPods. Gone were the days of selecting which music to take with me, I just take it all. Now I can listen to one album, or shuffle to hear a selection from any number of favorite tunes. But what is so strange about this progression is that we went from these items to play our music from…

… to absolutely nothing. I mean, yes we have our iPod's to listen to our music on, but there is no actual album device like an 8-Track, Record, Cassette Tape or Compact Disk that you purchase and carry home in a bag. It all just floats in from the mystical place called iTunes right into our pods and down that long white cord into our ears. Convenient, yes! A bit scary… Absolutely!! I imagine in the future you'll simply have to think of a song, just to have it downloaded directly into your head. ;)

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