Pitchfork recently published a great longform essay on music streaming. It covered the past, history, and present of music streaming, and brought up a lot of great points. These are my reactions.
The piece discussed how “the “omnivore” is the new model for the music connoisseur, and one’s diversity of listening across the high/low spectrum is now seen as the social signal of refined taste.” It would be interesting to study how this omnivority splits across genres, age groups, and affinities. I find myself personally falling into omnivore status, as I am never able to properly define my music taste according to genre, and my musical affinities shift daily, weekly, monthly, with common themes.
Also discussed is the cost of music, whether it be licensing, royalties, or record label advances. Having to deal with the cost of music is a difficult matter. I wonder if I would have been such a voracious consumer of music if I hadn’t grown up with so many free options with the library, the radio, and later, music blogs. Now that I’m older, I make the effort to purchase music when I feel the artist deserves it, but as I distance myself (incidentally, really) from storing music on my computer, that effort becomes less important to expend.
Here’s what was important this week…
A discovery was made at the South Pole BICEP2 research lab that, if accurate, confirms the theory of cosmic inflation. Cosmic inflation explains the big bang, as an article in Symmetry Magazine details: “Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the big bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today’s best telescopes. All this, of course, has just been theory.”Cosmic inflation and the big bang are neatly explained in more detail in this PHD comic.
My favorite part of the discovery is a video released by Stanford of one of the scientists in the BICEP2 project going to visit one of the lead theorists of cosmic inflation to tell him that his 30 years of work had just been confirmed. Much more footage was taken, but they edited the video for emotional impact–and it worked (I teared up). Such a video turned out to be an easy way to make the discovery go much more viral and affect many more people than it otherwise might have. Wired details how the scientists involved manage to keep their discovery quiet until the announcement.