The endless churn of the digital jukebox

I miss the days of finite collections with borders. I remember buying records that I hated when I brought them home, but I played them anyway because they were all I had. I’d listen until I understood the album on its terms, rather than mindlessly playing whatever suits my current mood. The endless churn of the digital jukebox brings to mind Adorno and Horkheimer’s prophecy from 1944: “the freedom to choose what is always the same.”

James Reeves, Echo

Like James, I grew up with music on physical media, as well as stuff recorded from radio shows onto cassette tapes. However, I’m not as nostalgic about those times. Perhaps it’s because I tend not to gorge myself on music and let the streaming services keep piling tunes to my ears.

I view Apple Music as a infinite record shop with an infinite number of listening booth, that’s open 24/7. But I also frequent the indie stores supported by Bandcamp, and note down songs I hear and like on SomaFM or other Internet radio stations.

Leave a Reply