perspective on technology

Every once in a while, I read something that reminds me that much of the world does not always see things as I do.

In a recent Rifftides post on Herb Geller, Doug Ramsey writes the following:

Amazon offers Herb Geller Plays at an inflated import CD price. The album has not been reissued on CD in the United States, but Verve, which controls the EmArcy catalogue, offers it here as an iTunes download. Those who comprehend that technology may want to investigate.

The part that woke me up was “Those who comprehend that technology.” Sometimes I forget that there are people, valuable music fans, that have issues with technology. As we look to technology as a means to make the creation and distribution of music, especially niche styles, easier and more economically efficient, we also run the risk of alienating large portions of our technophobe listening audience.

I am not sure what the answer is. Do we maintain the old ways of the industry, so as not to leave our Luddite friends behind, or do we simply write off the business of the technologically impaired as out of date and too hard to service? Is there a middle ground where we can use technology to its greatest effect and still maintain and develop the members of our audience who tend to be more…old school?

4 thoughts on “perspective on technology”

  1. Time is probably the best solution. Any new technology is at least partially befuddling to a lot of users. Remember the old photos of Dad trying to tune that early regenerative radio receiver or that 6″ Philco TV while the rest of the family sits by and watches in fascination?

    The thing that’s important to remember is that some folks will never get it. Has grandma ever figured out how to get rid of that blinking “12:00” on her VCR?

  2. I realize that eventually it will all shake out, but I am a bit unsure how to proceed in the meantime. I don’t want to alienate people, but things would be easier if we didn’t have to deaal with the physical media. Unfortunately people like the physical media.

  3. For some reason I’m thinking of Ken Nordine’s “Colors,” or “How to Speak Hip” by Del Close — this seems to me like something that could only have happened in the days of LPs (but maybe that’s because it only did happen then); yet now they’re available on CD. I guess the connection is, would our technologically impaired friends be receptive to something similar, mixing jazz and spoken word on a CD that actually educates (with the use of album-style liner notes) on the need for and benefits of self-released online music?

  4. Shane, I know what you mean – and there’s also the satisfaction of having a physical *thing* to hold, as well. I find that I still prefer to buy CDs that I really like, and want to have around for a long time, whereas I think I unconsciously think of digital music formats as less permanent. I think it would take a lot for people to abandon the physical product completely.

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