Slow Listening

This week in the Chicago Reader, music writer Miles Raymer discusses "MP3 fatigue" and the "slow listening" movement. A decidedly first world problem, MP3 fatigue is what happens when a person "breathes in more music than they can breathe out". Most people I know use a hard drive as the shelving of their musical library and, these days, hard drive space is cheap. Many of us are also very good at acquiring music for free. From simply importing friend's CDs to knowing the right search terms to find unreleased albums online, if you know how to use a computer and want free music, it's yours.

MP3 fatigue is something I "struggle" with often. In addition to being a computer savvy music fan with little disposable income and flexible morals, I work in a business involving advance promo CDs and downloads. Basically, if I don't watch out I could be importing a few albums every day. If I don't get to know the album I might as well not have it all.

Anyway, Miles is a much better writer than me and it's an interesting article and the first time I've heard this "problem" offically addressed. Give it a read here.

Personally I find the Party Shuffle feature on my iTunes to be one of the best tools for this issue. Sometimes I have the patience to sit and listen to a whole album from front to back, but when I'm feeling more A.D.D. Party Shuffle helps me get to know my library one track at a time. The context is totally different when a song is preceeded by a something of a totally different genre. On the other hand, if I find myself repeatedly skipping tracks from a certain artist or album, I should probably reevaluate it's presence in my library. The article mentions a former Reader writer who's developed his own, very reasonable, regimen...

For the first 11 months of 2009 he’s holding himself to strict rules: “I’m only allowing myself to download one MP3 at a time,” he writes at slowlisteningmovement.blogspot.com. The next MP3 can only be downloaded once he’s listened to the current one. If he buys a CD, he must listen to it all the way through before he buys another.

What world we live in when such a "problem" exists. Anyway, check out it out. I particularly liked to dialogue going on in the comments section at the end.

my new year's resolution for this year was MORE TIME WITH LESS RECORDS... sadly, it worked for like 2 weeks and then it was over.

another commenter...

I guess I'm the occasional freak. No ipod, never downloaded an mp3. Just buy two cds per month on average and listen to them obsessively in addition to lots of vinyl & mixes people make for me, or bands they recommend that I check out on myspace. I felt overwhelmed just reading about your process, which seems intense.


kjp said...

"In addition to being a computer savvy music fan with little disposable income and flexible morals..." great line tim, great line.

thanks for hanging out last night.

xo kjp