While waiting for someone to show up to a meeting, a few of us were chatting about music. Greg was playing a selection from his "music that'd scare you about the rest of my music collection" (or something like that).

I mentioned that we all had some of those in our collection, and that mine were probably some of the less popular one-hit wonders of the 80s. But then I revised my claim, instead saying that it was my collection of movie soundtracks.

From there the discussion wandered into how we've lost something with digital music. For me, I was always able to locate some of my favorite CDs based on their cover art or even the color, font, and amount of text on the "spine." Greg commented that he's been able to walk into someone else's house and, at with a quick glace at the CD rack, identify some of the music they share in common.

As we move toward digital subscription services (like Yahoo! Music Unlimited), fewer and fewer people will own the physical CDs anymore. I've already lost the ability to identify my own favorites in my collection. Soon, being able to scan your friends music for common discs will be gone too.

I wonder what the digital version of that will be?

Posted by jzawodn at June 08, 2005 07:00 PM

Reader Comments
# Manuzhai said:

The digital version of that is called Audioscrobbler...

on June 8, 2005 07:10 PM
# Pooya Karimian said:

Intresting you're right. I think if we can download the albums' art such as covers, some desktop backgrounds, buttons and icons that we can use on our webpages may return the fun. What do you yourself think?

on June 8, 2005 08:46 PM
# Andy Baio said:

"Wow, nice MD5 hashes!"

on June 8, 2005 09:03 PM
# Mike said:

Just visit a cd cover site...

on June 8, 2005 09:14 PM
# mitch said:

I am expecting our "profiles" will travel with us as we move around the network and as we hit the pages of other people our profiles will be compared and notifications of common interests will be triggered.

It is sort of like on Y!360 where I can select a movie title and it produces a list of others with that interest. That is fine for a single entry, but longer term I expect to be able the system to take a combination of things and compare.

Online dating sites already employ these sort of techniques and I believe it will be extended beyond that.

on June 8, 2005 09:49 PM
# Miles said:

er, have you used Yahoo! Music Unlimited? Browsing, neh, streaming a friend's music collection is *exactly* what it allows. But certainly not their physical disks.

on June 8, 2005 10:32 PM
# Jesse Endahl said:

Perhaps something like delicious monster?

on June 8, 2005 11:10 PM
# Jesse said:

Er... oops. I meant Delicious Library =)

on June 8, 2005 11:11 PM
# Adam said:

I don't think there's any less of the sharing aspect... it'll just be in different ways, as others have suggested above.

Personally, I ripped all 350+ of my CDs a year ago and haven't missed 'em one bit. When friends come over, I can find just the song I want for them via search or browse, and they often get a kick out of searching or browsing my digitized library themselves. So, yeah, the visual/tactile aspect is lost, but much superior possibilities (IMHO) are uncovered in the digital world.

on June 8, 2005 11:22 PM
# iamdecal said:

its obvious, you'll just get each otheres flikr streams of the cd covers.

you know that was gonna be a joke, but actually...

on June 9, 2005 01:08 AM
# Chris K said:

I think I have already run in to the next evolution of the "what do my friends listen to" thing. Twice. With two different results.

When I was visiting a couple friends on Saturday night for a planned "let's see if we can cook" get together, we spent most of the night in front of one of the PCs that they have hooked up to some nice speakers, just browsing through their entire collection.

Instead of a quick glance to see what they liked, I was instead treated with some good quality time where we talked about music, how it made us felt, and the memories that were associated.

Another thing that some of my friends and I have started doing is sending playlists to each other. So you don't get the actual tunes, big deal! You get to see what other people are listening to, and if you want you can hunt down the music yourself. I have been introduced to some amazing groups that way.

on June 9, 2005 04:47 AM
# Jeffrey McManus said:

Dammit, there is no shame in loving one-hit wonders of the 1980s! Free your inner Kajagoogoo!

on June 9, 2005 09:33 AM
# Jim Dunn said:

Reminds me of the brilliant Nicholson Baker article on the demise of library card catalogs and the subtle and surprising "metadata" that we use without consciously being aware of it, until it's gone! One of Baker's many examples of useful information in card catalogs was noting which section of cards in a drawer had been noticeably discolored by years of thumbs rifling through and which sections were still pristine.

on June 9, 2005 12:28 PM
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