After spending several days transferring old CDs into a binder, I wonder, why did we ever have these cumbersome plastic cases? Why was it a good idea to move from vinyl and paper, to breakable magnetic tape and plastic, to plastic and more plastic? The sound tinny, the look, less appealing. The cost of recycling much more. What was the point of all this? And remember when CDs initially came in those long boxes, rather than the more compact plastic wrap? Who had time to make all of this? It seems so silly now, with all music easily accessed with the click of a mouse, or a search on YouTube. It seems ridiculous to own tangible music, and I wonder now, why I don’t just throw away my entire collection, unburdening myself of the weight of it, knowing it’s out there to be found in the ether at any time. I felt strange nostalgia and sadness for a time when holding things, like CDs in their cases, examined at music stores, mattered so much. Now, it is nothing. Now it is dust. Nothing is real. Collections of music are digitized forever and there’s no turning back. Then I think, why does it matter at all? It’s about the music, in any form, not about how it’s packaged. Touch matters. Being held matters. I know this in my life. But music can never be touched. Music is an experience that floats somewhere above us physical beings.
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