An odd little article on the ipod, odd in the way its view of technology is only capable of looking forward: the transition from ipod to cloud-based music-playing services is rendered as some strange new world. But there is nothing new or strange about these services: they are simply radio in some other form. What was radio, after all, if not a means by which to give away control over the music one hears in exchange for someone else curating a collection they assume someone else will like, including the task of introducing them to music of which they would otherwise be unaware? Streaming services are radio simpliciter; cloud-based services like Amazon Prime Music require either individual cultivation or deferring to someone else's playlist.

Here's the thing: radio is uncool. Most people are also uncool. That there was a fifteen year gap in which people did not primarily listen to and acquire new music in this way is the aberration, not the return of the norm. To listen to the radio (especially now) is to admit a level of indifference about what one listens to that is in direct conflict with the development of taste, or with anything other than the initial stages of the development of taste. That's fine--there are a lot of things to care about and one needn't be overly concerned with being on the cutting edge of everything. But it doesn't affect the habits of the serious taste-developing part of the music world because the people who listen to music via the radio aren't part of that world. (In the same way, approximately, that the presence of a library doesn't impact the ability of a person who cares to develop literary taste. It may even help to develop it. But a serious commitment to reading in adult modes will eventually reveal its limitations.)

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