[My column from yesterday's edition of the Metro papers. - AC]
First, I ignored it. Then I fought back. Now it’s sucked me in.
I swore I would always buy vinyl, CDs and downloads. Physical possession was the only way to go. The idea of “renting” music repulsed me. However, now I’m in its thrall. I can’t imagine ever doing without it.
It happened when I was sitting with the dog at Starbucks one Sunday morning, breezing through emails. One of the newsletters I get raved about a particular song — an album track — from a super-obscure indie band from Los Angeles. “You MUST hear this song,” the newsletter said.
In the old days, I’d have to write down the artist and album information and hope to remember it the next time I planned a visit to the record store. If I did remember, if it was in stock and if I was willing to part with $20, I could hear for myself what this reviewer was talking about.
But on this particular Sunday morning, I simply switched to a streaming app and launched a search for the band and the song. I was listening to it within 20 seconds. I tapped to acknowledge that I wanted to download a file of the song to my iPhone so I could listen even when I wasn’t connected.
It wasn’t until the dog and I were halfway home that I realized I’d had a revelatory consumer experience. Such instant musical gratification. Mind. Blown.