Missing the Radio
This might sound odd, but like many a person with a smart product I decided to save some space and sell off my old CD player with a built in radio. It was old and a little broken but still functional. I sold it for a buck fifty last summer. I did not notice the change much at first, but my world has gotten a lot quieter and not in a good way. Believe it or not, simply turning the radio on had been an unconscious choice many an evening after work, or simply because I did not want to stream anything. Sometimes there is nothing good to binge online, but more often someone else is watching cartoons. Yes, it often came with slight static, but the music which was always some pop/alternative mix was the ambiance to a hectic pace of life. Now if I want to listen to a wider range of music I have to turn on data, which I share. If I manage to turn on the data, I then have to recall where my ear buds are as they may not be in my coat pocket, and what if it isn't coat weather?
I have been searching for this year's earworm. The "Despacito", the "Play That Song" or the "Call Me Maybe." The one tune that will make rush hour less bothersome and hopefully quicken my steps. Under the guise of learning about digital content for the Library I have been perusing Hoopla Digital and the Naxos Music Library. Certainly there are some interesting choices in these apps. I have been to a 2Cellos concert, they showed up in jeans and t-shirts with these slick electric cellos head banging to classic rock songs such as Thunderstruck. If Naxos has 2Cellos, I say to myself, they have more than just classic classical. I noticed there is also a great music history component if you like theory. Gregorian Chants anyone? It is indeed a fun app but if I find that earworm, it is by chance.
Next I flip over to Hoopla where I know I can get full albums for free with my library card. I can listen to a song over and over if I really want to before committing to a purchase. Please note, I did not have to wait for the Sting and Shaggy album "44/876" which is also available in CD format, or Dua Lipa for that matter. "New Rules" is still alive on the Billboard top 100. But without the radio, I have to wait until I'm actually in a car now to discover newer music. Does anyone want to suggest radio hours for the TPL360 survey?
Then another funny thing started to happen. My son found my old CDs! At first he thought a copy of "Kaleidescope Heart" by Sara Bareilles must be a spider. It has a pattern on it that was unlike anything he had ever seen. I cannot even imagine thinking of a CD as a spider, but once he discovered that there are things you can play a CD on it has been pretty eye opening. Kids like to listen to music and press buttons! Why did I ever think I could live without my old player? There is also the point to be made of listening to songs you love with your friends and family. Having the radio also made it so much easier to just hang. Elton John's "Rocket Man" still takes me back to a family road trip to Nova Scotia when I was thirteen. I am literally seeing Peggy's Cove in my mind when I close my eyes. Or if I hear "La Recompensa" by Don Omar, then I am in Cuba. If I hear "Punk Rocker" I am walking outside a mall in the Central Business District of Melbourne listening to the radio and I can still feel the 36.6 degrees of dry weather in October.
So keep your old equipment and enjoy the innovative formats too. For many reasons, mine being that it helps in the search for new content and Toronto Public Library still supports the old formats.