The way we listen to music has always been changing. There was a time when people listened to music through vinyl records which were cumbersome and had to be handled with care so as not to put a scratch on them. Then came cassettes which were easier to handle, much smaller in size and there was no fear of scratches. These were in time replaced by digital music and CDs became the means of taking your music with you and there were no side A and side B anymore. But digital went a step further and put music into chips. So now you can listen through your cell phone, iPod, laptop or tablet, clicking with the tip of our fingers to choose what we want to hear. Now the internet is overflowing with digital music we can access anytime and from anywhere. So, do we still need albums?
Whether it is through the use of YouTube or any other mobile app, you can easily download and listen to your favorite artiste with just a few clicks. So why would one bother going to the market, searching for an album and buying it? This is how most people feel these days. In fact, the younger generation doesn’t even know how to play an album through a C.D. /D.V.D. player.
So, why are singers and musicians still focusing on making an album, releasing them and supplying them to the market when people are enjoying any and every kind of music without paying a penny? With internet access so readily available, music can be downloaded or streamed and listened to anytime without bothering to buy an album.
In relevance to the topic, Ryan Higa; a YouTuber better known as the host of the NigaHigachannel states that albums are out-dated and no one is interested to watch anything in a VCR/CD/DVD player mentioning he doesn’t even possess one and neither does anyone else where he lives. The YouTuber mentions it in one of his video which is related to scary, horror movies while criticizing them. Though this might have been contextualized with regard to movies but it is no different in the music industry.
Moreover, the upcoming generation, the generation of the 90s and especially of the 2000s don’t have any of knowledge regarding the subject and take them to be gadgets and technologies used by the older generation. Playing or recording in a tape recorder or a cassette is now considered to be old and has been considered only useful at the time of writing or photography of olden times. One such theme was that of the olden times in the Flickr Friday group; a group in a social networking site flickr.
Personalizing to the context, there was a cassette player in which my family members had recorded our voices by giving a brief introduction or simply singing a verse or two of any random song in which I was supposed to have been rcorded though I was barely more than two. This I got to find out when everybody was listening to the things they’d done in their childhood days. So, one fine day when I was in 3rd or 4th Grade, I got to listen to that very cassette. After I learned how to play it, I tried to record something without anyone else knowing it but it seemed like I wasn’t able to do so. I could not find the recording when I played the cassette later while I was a fifth or sixth grader.
Not only our generation but the older generation is also slowly embracing new technological advancements as they can get to download their old favorite songs. The youth today don’t go looking for a music store to buy albums. For this some mobile apps, whether it be our own Nepali app like Kripa Unplugged or foreign apps like Gaana, Saavn, Radio Tunes, Music Volume EQ, etc. all have further developed in the musical field eliminating the use of albums.
While talking about the payment in regard to the “Internet”, by uploading music videos from YouTube and circulating it through the social networking sites one could get paid more quickly than through the albums if they work persistently giving an impact to the audience. Though this might take time it eventually can be a good tool for bands and solo artistes.
To be honest, no one might have bought an album of Adele’s Hello even if Billbord announced the song to have reached maximum views within just a month of its upload or that of Justin Beiber’s Sorry, Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth’s See You Again, PSY Gangam Style or that of Nepali songs like Jaalma, or any others as you just listen to a song and if you’d like to you download or else just don’t care as one may like Eminem while one Taylor Swift while the other might hate his or her songs.
So, with the advancement in newer technologies, gadgets and advancement in IT sector, we could say the era of CDs, DVDs, VCRs, Tape recorders and moreover music albums are gradually heading towards its downfall to be replaced by downloads and streaming from the internet.