Earlier this week I got in my van, turned on the stereo and… silence. My trial to Sirius/XM radio has run its course. Although saddened at first, I realized that my smartphone communicates with my stereo via Bluetooth and I have all kinds of music available right my fingertips. I have apps on my iPhone for Pandora, iTunes radio, and Rdio. With these tools I have access to literally millions of songs for free or for a nominal fee. This is a far cry from the tools we had in the 1970s.
My first car was a 1962 Ford Galaxy 500 my parents purchased from a friend for $100. It was equipped with only an a.m. radio. This simply was not adequate so I scrimped and saved from my $1.25/hr busboy job to purchase an under-dash mounted 8-track tape player. My stereo cost more than my car. Variety in those days was accomplished by carrying around a shoe box full of 8-track tapes.
There is no way we could have predicted back then that we would someday have access to almost every song we would ever want to hear on a device smaller than a single cassette tape (a technology that was still in the future in the early 70s). Perhaps this is why we don’t listen to music in-depth like we used to. We simply have too much music and too little time. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I can access anything I want whenever I want. My biggest problem is deciding what I want to hear. What a great problem to have.