A few weeks back, I’d put in my earbuds and was planning on listening to a podcast while I cleaned the kitchen. Somehow (because, apparently, I don’t know how technology works), I loaded my old Apple Music library instead.
I hadn’t listened to these songs in ages, these relics from back in the days of my old iPod.
The first song made me smile. The next sparked a particular memory. The third was from a playlist I’d created for a long-ago novel. I kept listening even after I’d finished up with the kitchen.
And it struck me—hard. There’s a significant difference between a curated playlist and one generated by an algorithm.
So much so that a few days later, I went out and bought a turntable.
I’d been planning on doing this for a while, but I was hemming and hawing over what to buy. Then I found this little fellow:
It does everything. It plays records, CDs, FM radio. It even has a cassette tape deck. (Somewhere, I still have mix tapes.) And if I really want to, I can stream via Bluetooth. (And I might. See above re: Apple Music library.)
The sound is lovely, and its size is nice and compact. It now lives between the kitchen and the living area, so I can hear it while I’m cooking, then turn the volume down for reading in the evening.
Then I unearthed some actual records. We have more—somewhere—but these are the ones I’ve found so far. An eclectic mix, to be sure. These particular records belonged to my parents. Except for the Sesame Street one. Pretty sure that was mine.
After my surprise Apple Music encounter, I realized that I hadn’t been listening to music lately. I miss it. What I also miss is doing it myself. Streaming is fine (I guess). But sometimes, all you want to do is pull a record from the stack, blow off the dust, and hear the telltale scratch and hiss of the needle before the music plays.
Sometimes, you don’t need perfect.