Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Tip of the Music Iceberg

We seniors sometimes see only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vast resources of Internet and post pc tablets.

 This happened to me the other day. I had thrown out most of my old LP's, had kept my favorites, but had not played them in ages. I pulled out a few to play. 

My player was not working. It needed a new turntable belt. It was only then that it occurred to me that I might find the music on internet. It also occurred to me that I might be able to find the music of some old 78's long gone.

 I especially remember three or four albums we played at home. We did not have very many and it was a big events when we got one. It would be nice to hear them again. In fact, some of the old 78s are still in my memory so that any other performances don't seem right, such as Artur Schnabel's recording of Beethoven's 2nd piano concerto. 

I tried the biggest and most underused resource. This is Internet Archive and it includes a vast wealth of all kinds of media including books and movies. Everything is free.

Sure enough, I found most of the 78 albums from the 1930s. Indeed, I found a huge repository of Music recorded in the 1930s, more than I ever dreamed existed, far more than ever appeared in the record stores.

I could actually find many more items from the artists and composers I liked. The sound was better than I expected and in most cases had been cleaned up from 78s. I downloaded a lot for later listening. Then I looked at Amazon and found another wealth of music.

I found some vast collections of the major composers for only a few dollars each and recorded with modern equipment. In addition I was able to home in on the best recordings by reading the comments in Amazon. I had not thought to tap the the resources mainly because I had found so much on Spotify.

Then also, there is a vast library of music on YouTube, which I sometimes use.

I put all these resources together and reconstructed a library of the music I like the best plus a lot of music new to me. This now supplements all the good music I have found on Pandora based on my pre-existing likes and dislikes.

I put the new music on an eight gigabyte USB stick which plugs in to my HD Radio and gives me instant access from a remote without pulling out an old LP at all. I also made the music available on my tablets to listen to anywhere, such as in the fitness room during exercise.My new music library is accessible anywhere on Amazon's cloud player.

 I can throw out the rest of the old LP's now as I long ago threw out the moldy old 78's. And I can access any of this music without going to any trouble at all and without pulling out and loading a scratchy but delicate LP on a fussy player.

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