Yesterday was a happy day: my uncle brought me my broken record player. He had fixed it.

Of course, I was happy to be able to listen to my vinyl records again. I do not have a very large collection (they are expensive!) But there is something magical about this experience of having a box that makes music from a plate and a needle. A trio of observations:

  1. Much more than in the case of a CD or DVD, there’s the feeling that this is a piece of craft, an artistic object that you hold in your hands. The size of the cardboard envelope, with photographic or painted art; the very weight and texture of the vinyl plate; to remove it from the protective envelope. What a difference between this, and taking a metal disk out of a flimsy plastic box; or worse – tapping a button in the Spotify app.
  2. The selection is important. You have to think: what do I feel like listening? After all, you can’t change your mind with a simple gesture on the screen, or by pressing a couple of keys on the keyboard. No; changing your mind means repeating the ritual again, twice: once to put away the previous record, and again to retrieve the new one.
  3. And, as someone who works at the computer and who runs the serious risk of spending a full day sitting, with no more than brief interludes to make lunch or to go to the bathroom… It’s a good thing that the music stops and makes me get up every 20 to 30 minutes!

Convenience is fantastic, and I really enjoy having my songs on my cell phone, being able to take them anywhere and listen to them whenever I want.

But we can’t pretend that nothing is lost in this digital world. Convenience has a price, and it’s not always in cash.

Photo Credit: artnoose Flickr via Compfight cc