The End of an Era


Our studio is the proud owner of a brand new Altec Lansing MX-5021. This fascinating stereophonic device includes:
- 2 satellites
- subwoofer
- wired controller
- wireless remote
- 2 speaker wires
- 3.5 mm stereo audio cable
- console gaming y-adapter

But no receiver, no cd player and no tape player.

There are no moveable parts on this device that can be opened and closed which should greatly improve my productivity at work. The decision to play music on the old Sony RxD2 stereo with the 3 cd changer and double tape deck meant committing to a ritual that involved plugging and unplugging the cord, assessing the location of clicking noises and hitting said spots with a fist. All with no guarantee that these steps would yield results.

With our new all-digital sound system those types of frustrations will become a thing of the past. I have world wide internet radio, podcasts and playlists in iTunes at my fingertips... what more could I need?

I need mixed tapes and I can no longer play them. I love these relics of the 80s and can't bring myself to get rid of them. Made by friends, old boyfriends and by me, they all document a moment from my life and the people I've met. I get sentimental when I flip through the stack. The artists and titles are cited in different ways -- in all caps and lowercase, in various colors of pen, some inserts include photos. The expressive nature of the handmade covers is what is lost in the digital playlists of today.

And no one can deny the guilty pleasure of perusing someone's music library and finding, scrawled on the spine of a tape, a cryptic name like "DOOM/bloom" or "Artichoke in your tailpipe."

Ann, Jun 7 2005 12:01AM

I recently converted some old 30 year old cassette tapes to CD because they were recordings of my 2 younger brothers and I interviewing each other and saying all kinds of funny stuff when we were really young. There was also a recording of a visit from a really lame Santa that my parents had come visit us. When I saw him drive off in a beat up green Nova, I knew that Santa wasn't real.

mark, Jun 9 2005 9:57AM

i can see how a digital playlist would kill the physicallity of a mix tape, but how does a mix cd figure into the mix?

and ann, i couldn't get past the pricetags "santa" left on my gifts each year. i didn't buy my parents suggestion that when busy, santa outsourced to a shopper elf. i suppose he drove a nova, too.