Coexistence of Digital and Analog Media

This article discusses the resurrection of vinyl records and Polaroid cameras and how digital media is coexisting with analog media instead of replacing it.  It is speculated that the resurgence of analog media is because people want something physical to hold on to and digital media just doesn’t satisfy that visceral need. Just hearing the music isn’t necessarily enough, some people need the sense of ownership that comes with physical copies. Some people like Polaroid photographs because they have a certain aesthetic, there is a certain beauty in imperfection. I have a fairly large collection of CD’s. When I was younger, I really liked the feeling of physically holding the  cases and analyzing the little booklets full of art, photos, and lyrics. Now, I still get the CD if it isn’t significantly more expensive than the MP3 album, but I do it for a different reason. I like the security of having a physical copy that isn’t going to be corrupted or accidentally deleted. Services like Amazon have clouds that store purchased music, but because of passwords that can be forgotten and the possibility of these services ceasing to exist one day, they just doesn’t feel quite as secure as a physical disk. It isn’t really a big enough deal for me to spend more than one or two dollars extra. I personally don’t like analog cameras. They take lower quality pictures and those pictures have to be scanned for use in digital formats. As a musician I can definitely relate to all of this. Analog equipment with physically tangible knobs and sliders is far more appealing to work with than numbers on a screen. However, I still do almost all of my work as a musician with my computer because it is the fastest, most practical, most versatile tool in my arsenal. My computer also replaces multiple analog devices.  To do what my computer does would require multiple keyboard synthesizers, a multi-track recording device, a drum machine, many effect pedals, and possibly a mixing board. All of this equipment would be far more expensive than my PC, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and MIDI keyboard. Just for clarity, a MIDI keyboard is a device that mimics a piano and plugs into a computer. Digital synthesizers are loaded on the computer from a digital audio workstation and the MIDI keyboard allows the musician to play them with piano techniques.


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