Saturday, July 07, 2012

How CD recording changed the listening habits of people.

Now of course it has been 30 years since the CD was introduced ...Commercially I think it was introduced in 1985. To everyone who had listened to records who had a few years on them they would remember 78RPM records, 45 RPM records, 33 RPM records and to many young folks in the 50's and 60's 16 RPM records. This is what we had and what we listened too. It set up certain styles of listening and of care to the records. I can remember parties in the early 70's in which some folks had a large stereo with a changer. So you could play 6 or 7 LP records without worry.  That would pretty much last the whole party.  But when it came to 45's you needed  to change them often as they played for 3 minutes or so. Even if you had a 45 changer you could only play maybe 10 records. Be it 33, 45 or 78, one thing every one of those records had in common was the little reassuring crackle as the needle worked it way to the recorded grooves. It was something everyone had grown up with. It announced the music was about to start!

This is what brings me to this point. I recall the first party I was at in which I heard a CD recording. It was in November of 1986. I remember as my friends had just got married and I had sung at the wedding. It was a month after the wedding and one of their presents was a CD player. They were very expensive then.

There was a group of about 10 of us. So all of us were ready to hear a CD for the first time and were excited about it. So he turned it on and the music started and we all jumped!  There was no reassuring crackle to prepare for the music..The music just came with out a sound. I never jumped again with a CD as I knew how they worked after that...But the Cd brought about the end of that crackle that had been a part of our listening experience through our lives till then. The CD was the end of the disc record. You could play a CD record or groups of them just like LPs and they never wore out..Just were easily scratched.

Now the CD is becoming part of the past as we now download music in a way I do not understand.  But I am sure I will. And I have heard my fair share of downloaded music. But the new ideas of recording have left the crackle to older peoples memories and museum exhibits.