Suffocated by Choice

I miss the old days of music- not the oldies, the 90’s, 80’s, or even rockabilly- no, I miss the days access to millions of songs at the press of a button was nonexistent.  The days you heard a song on the radio and may never find out the artist and be left wondering if you’d ever hear that song again.  I miss those days because music lovers had little choice, and choice drives me batty.

Today Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, Grooveshark, iTunes, CD’s (say what?), and countless others, beg for your attention- “I’ve got tens of millions of the best songs, sign up now!”  Oh kill me.  Tens of millions?  How is anyone able to take advantage of such a large collection?  I certainly don’t.  

Because I’m able, at the click of a button, to access tens of millions of songs- new, old, obscure, or world renowned-  my listening hours are spent simply repeating the same songs I already know I love.  For example, playlists- playlists are great, unless you’re me and only listen to the same playlist while driving.  Even at work, I’ll turn on Pandora, set it to shuffle my eight stations and proceed to listen all day.  Day in, day out.  Pandora is great, but even it gets repetitive (if I hear one more Dixie Chicks song, I may shoot myself). 

Then there are the people who have large music collections or a wide variety of musical taste.  How do you manage all that music?  iTunes? But, what about those new albums you want to sample. Or  the sheer cost of purchasing all the music it would take to complete your music collection (especially if you’re like me, and don’t believe in buying “Singles”).  Keep it on Spotify or one of the other streaming services?  Well they’re all shit for managing your collection (except Rdio, Rdio rocks) and then you don’t technically own it.  What if you’re in a location with no service?  Outta luck, unless you’ve synced a playlist. 

It’s obvious that I don’t actually miss the olden days of music as I stated earlier.  I’m simply frustrated by all the choice in the modern music industry. The music I already enjoy plus all the bands and sounds I want to try and I simply haven’t gotten the time or put in the effort to take advantage of it all.  I’m frustrated with choice, and it’s no one’s fault other than my own.  I’ve gotten complacent in the management of my musical tastes; songs are heard and forgotten as the next specially selected song begins. 

Music in my life has become a backdrop to my daily activities, rather than a theme and source of motivation.  I don’t let it improve my day, but be a forgotten part of it. 

Using Rdio (been a subscriber for nearly 12 months), Songza (for new artist discovery), and Pandora (when I don’t feel like DJ’ing) I’ve set out to rediscover the joy of music.  What that entails? I don’t know just yet, but whatever it is got off to a good start this morning with- “The Lions Roar” by First Aid Kit. 

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