It's interesting to think I've lived through the rise and fall of at least three major music formats in my life so far... vinyl records, 8-track and cassette tapes, and now we're even seeing the end of CDs, with only 5.5% of music sales in 2019 being on CD. CD's had about a 30-year run, but cassettes had only about 20 years. I never really thought about the music culture shifts as I was living through them, but it's fascinating to look back.


We had an 8-track player in one of our cars when I was younger, but 8-tracks were bulky. 8-track actually rolled out in 3 Ford vehicles in 1966 before there were even home units. The format was actually developed to solve the problem of playing a record in a car. But the compact cassette was released in 1963 and 8-track was dying out in the late 70's, and removed from stores in by 82, and record clubs by 88. The 8-track was on the way out before I owned more than 1.

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The portability of music kind of defined the 80's. The boombox is practically the symbol of 80's youth. Being able to listen to music of my choice in the car, at work, even at the lake... that wasn't a freedom previous generations had. Digital music has made that portability ubiquitous... most of us walk around with a music-playing device in our pockets now.

How we consume music has changed so much in just the 50-ish years I've been alive, it's kind of mind-boggling when I look back on it all.

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@CarlCravens I stopped with CDs. Tried Spotify for a spell, but my carefully-curated playlists would have tracks that they would lose the rights to and disappear. Got tired of someone else being in control of what I can listen to. Now use #slimserver (I believe it was you that put me up to that in the first place) and #Ampache for streaming to phones.

@jgoerzen I listen to a streaming service, but mostly because it comes bundled with something else I pay for. When I really like something, I buy it and download DRM-free. A large chunk of my music collection is ripped from CD, but I rarely buy CDs anymore.
The vinyl record collection is just outside all that and is as much about collecting nostalgia as anything... an excuse to someday explore all the used record shops around here (and there are a lot) and dig up lost (to me) treasures.

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