If you’re currently a young person, you grew up being able to listen to whatever song you wanted to listen to whenever you wanted to listen to it. It’s like how I grew up with television. It’s always been there and you can’t imagine life without it. Right now you’re probably streaming video on your cell phone, downloading six albums and Snapchatting the whole thing to your Instagram followers (yes, this is how I picture young people. Get off my lawn.)
But it wasn’t always that way. There was once a time when you had to go outside and travel to a store in order to get the new album that you’d read about (in a magazine.) It sucked.
Now, some people speak of this time period as if it was some “golden era” where people gathered in record stores and bonded over their music choices, but that’s a lie. Maybe some people hung out in record stores, discussed albums, learned more about music and discovered albums that they’d never heard of, but I didn’t. I awkwardly shuffled in to whatever CD store/big box outlet sold albums the cheapest, spent far too long looking for the CD I wanted, tried desperately to avoid making small talk with the cashier and then went back home as quickly as possible. I didn’t want to make friends. I just wanted to listen to music faster.
And that’s why the current time is much better. At this point in time, you can easily access just about any song that has ever been recorded from your computer and you can do it nearly instantly. It’s amazing.
Of course, listening to music on the Internet is so commonplace these days that we don’t ever think about how absolutely incredible it actually is to be able to hear any song on demand. But there was a time when that wasn’t the case. There was a time before Napster.