The Persistence of Analogue

Posted by: Richard Dane on 31 August 2018

On BBC Radio 4 now.  Exploring the growth in polarity of analogue culture in a digital world. Something of interest to members here - particular as it covers LP records and film cameras among other "analogue" items.

Posted on: 31 August 2018 by james n

Thanks for the heads up, Richard. I'll see if I can catch it later on line.

James

 

Posted on: 31 August 2018 by Mike Hughes

Currently reading Retromania by Simon Reynolds. It has a lot to say on the subject.

Posted on: 01 September 2018 by Paper Plane

Analogue music still works for me.

steve

Posted on: 01 September 2018 by Don Atkinson

To counter the statement that I think Stephen Tate made but subsequently removed (or is possibly in another thread) .......

......what, in this universe is genuinely analogue ?

Posted on: 09 October 2018 by JimDog

um - well perhaps it all is

so maybe quanta are just the minimum quantum that can be 'snapped off' any particular energy field and retain the properties of that field

so, e.g., a photon is just the smallest quantum of a light wave - but the basic form of light is still a field of waves...

Posted on: 09 October 2018 by dektop100

..analogue is certainly persistant. I came across some glass plate negatives recently - images of suffragettes dating back to 1916. Looks like first generation too. Rather dirty, but even with 'no effort' in storage, still useable.

Posted on: 09 October 2018 by SamClaus

Anologue (images, sound, books...) is indeed persistent. HDs fail, digital formats change, files become unreadable, etc., I bet there will be little left of our contemporary "culture" for the next generation to discover. I have thousands of slides/prints of 50, even 60 years ago. Not interesting in themselves perhaps, but they are a reminder of what we were like, of what our personal lives were made of.

I have little interest in streaming for similar reasons - I have never understood the oft-repeated argument that with streaming you have millions of titles at your disposal... if the sound is far better, so be it - but what's the point of being able to choose among millions of titles? I find it difficult to choose among thousands of CDs...

Posted on: 10 October 2018 by Bob the Builder

Streaming has a novelty factor for sure and my partner who isnít that concerned with SQ likes it as do my nieces and nephews but they listen on their iPhones. 

Without a decent internet connection most streaming is totally redundant the thought not being able to access my music collection or worse loose it because of internet failure or because a computer geek decides he wants to hack into and delete my files is just one major reason Iíll never give up an Analogue rig the other is that it sounds better. 

Posted on: 10 October 2018 by Hmack
Bob the Builder posted:

Streaming has a novelty factor for sure and my partner who isnít that concerned with SQ likes it as do my nieces and nephews but they listen on their iPhones. 

Without a decent internet connection most streaming is totally redundant the thought not being able to access my music collection or worse loose it because of internet failure or because a computer geek decides he wants to hack into and delete my files is just one major reason Iíll never give up an Analogue rig the other is that it sounds better. 

But it isn't!

You can still 'stream' from a local NAS to your music system without an Internet connection of any sort. Further, before a fairly recent upgrade to my Internet bandwidth, I regularly streamed from Spotify and now Tidal for years with next to no problems of any sort with a pretty meagre 3.5 Mbps Internet connection.  I also have had, and still have next to no problems streaming to my Muso over WiFi. This will probably be the experience of most users. The temptation is to focus on those who post on the forum with problems rather than consider the silent majority who have few or no problems at all. 

I too still have (love and use) my analogue setup (Michell Orbe turntable and Pioneer RT-909 reel to reel deck), which I believe to be pretty decent if perhaps not quite state of the art (extremely expensive in the case of turntables). However, if you can afford a streamer like a Linn Klimax DS/3 or Naim ND555, or for that matter the NDS, then I think most people will find that it sounds at least as good as most turntable setups up to around the same price level.      

If you are worried about someone hacking into your computer system and deleting your files, then simply backup your NAS regularly and keep the backup off-line or preferably at another location. This is something you should already be doing as a matter of course with all of your important files even if you don't have your music on a NAS. I suspect there is a much greater chance of someone breaking into your house and stealing your LPs than there is of someone hacking into your system and deleting your files - assuming you follow standard internet security guidelines. No backups possible there, at least in respect of your older and probably more precious vinyl. 

Posted on: 10 October 2018 by Hmack
SamClaus posted:

Anologue (images, sound, books...) is indeed persistent. HDs fail, digital formats change, files become unreadable, etc., I bet there will be little left of our contemporary "culture" for the next generation to discover. I have thousands of slides/prints of 50, even 60 years ago. Not interesting in themselves perhaps, but they are a reminder of what we were like, of what our personal lives were made of.

I have little interest in streaming for similar reasons - I have never understood the oft-repeated argument that with streaming you have millions of titles at your disposal... if the sound is far better, so be it - but what's the point of being able to choose among millions of titles? I find it difficult to choose among thousands of CDs...

So did I when I had a CD player.

Now that my 2000 or so CDs are ripped to a NAS, I find it very much easier and more enjoyable to browse my collection and select the CD or track I want to hear. Furthermore, my CDs are taking up space in the attic rather than cluttering up my music room.

I still find it quite difficult to find and select the LP I want to play on my turntable, but I persist because I really do enjoy my vinyl, even if more than just a touch of nostalgia is involved.    

Posted on: 10 October 2018 by ChrisR_EPL
SamClaus posted:

I have little interest in streaming for similar reasons - I have never understood the oft-repeated argument that with streaming you have millions of titles at your disposal... if the sound is far better, so be it - but what's the point of being able to choose among millions of titles? I find it difficult to choose among thousands of CDs...

Perhaps because whatever piece of music you can think of is likely to be ready almost immediately or at worst available for purchase and download within moments. Or browsing through the What Are You Listening To... thread on here, spying numerous interesting pieces and being able to sample them straightaway. There are some stonking revelations to be found in there. Or just wandering off on musical flights of fancy that veer off down unexpected cul-de-sacs and dark alleys, driven by nothing more than a whim & the prod of an ipad mixing local ripped CDs on the NAS and whatever Tidal might have hidden away in the vaults.

Posted on: 11 October 2018 by SamClaus
ChrisR_EPL posted:
SamClaus posted:

I have little interest in streaming for similar reasons - I have never understood the oft-repeated argument that with streaming you have millions of titles at your disposal... if the sound is far better, so be it - but what's the point of being able to choose among millions of titles? I find it difficult to choose among thousands of CDs...

Perhaps because whatever piece of music you can think of is likely to be ready almost immediately or at worst available for purchase and download within moments. Or browsing through the What Are You Listening To... thread on here, spying numerous interesting pieces and being able to sample them straightaway. There are some stonking revelations to be found in there. Or just wandering off on musical flights of fancy that veer off down unexpected cul-de-sacs and dark alleys, driven by nothing more than a whim & the prod of an ipad mixing local ripped CDs on the NAS and whatever Tidal might have hidden away in the vaults.

@Chis It's a very well written post, and your argument appears tempting... At the same time, I listen to classical music, I'm always open to new genres, new composers (and we seem to be rediscovering neglected composers everyday) but I'm not too keen on "browsing", if by "browsing" you mean listening to two minutes of this, five minutes of that - I'm afraid I don't have the time for that. And the suggestions of a search engine ("Customers who shopped for this also shopped for that...") have little appeal for me, I much prefer friends' recommendations. I know it sounds old-fashioned - the digital world has given us choice, but "choice" often means more of the same.

[@mention:23389351210890912]

Posted on: 11 October 2018 by JimDog

I recommend Gloria Coates!

Posted on: 11 October 2018 by PSAN

For me the attraction to analogue is part nostalgia (connecting me to the way I listened to music when I was young(er)), part an attempt of slowing things down (in a world that has become very fast-paced and increasingly technology-driven), part pleasure of actually owning records. Whenever I play a record I tend to play it all (or at least the full one side) whereas when streaming from Sonos I tend to jump more between songs and artists (which, by the way, is really great to be able to do when friends are over - "here's the iPad, play something you like" - or for discovering new music). While I also prefer the sound of a good analogue system (which is what I have in my home office) I could happily live with a good streaming system (my system in the living room is CD based and has a Sonos streamer attached). I don't consider myself particularly materialistic, but I really like the physical aspect of having records (and covers where I actually stand a chance of reading the print, although I admit to needing reading glasses to do so these days ...). Last but not least, the regular trips to my favorite record store(s) and the anticipation when returning home with some great records are a great pleasure in a way that downloading music could never replace.

Posted on: 11 October 2018 by ChrisR_EPL
SamClaus posted:

@Chis It's a very well written post, and your argument appears tempting... At the same time, I listen to classical music, I'm always open to new genres, new composers (and we seem to be rediscovering neglected composers everyday) but I'm not too keen on "browsing", if by "browsing" you mean listening to two minutes of this, five minutes of that - I'm afraid I don't have the time for that. And the suggestions of a search engine ("Customers who shopped for this also shopped for that...") have little appeal for me, I much prefer friends' recommendations. I know it sounds old-fashioned - the digital world has given us choice, but "choice" often means more of the same.

[@mention:23389351210890912]

Thanks for the kind comment.

Browsing; or if you prefer, working through the What Are You Listening To thread and Tidal Playlists identifying potentially interesting* artists and music that I may not have previously encountered. Some of it is dirge, some is ok, as often as not there'll be something that grabs my attention such as the band that drew me in and I ended up listening to two albums end to end consecutively a couple of weeks ago.  It's a votage of discovery recommended by the people on here. It would be twee to describe them as friends, esp a couple of contributors, so I won't. But the suggestions are certainly worth investigating. I'm not sure how you made the leap from that to search engine suggestions; Tidal doesn't do that, it's more enjoyable to rely on following whims & fancies armed only with an iPad and a bottle of Malbec.

From where I sit, 'choice' has opened up avenues of discovery that I'd never have stumbled on, not since Bob Harris was shuffled away from Radio 2 on a Saturday night.

 

* as in, never 'eard of him; I'll give it a go.

Posted on: 14 October 2018 by SamClaus
ChrisR_EPL posted:

Thanks for the kind comment.

Browsing; or if you prefer, working through the What Are You Listening To thread and Tidal Playlists identifying potentially interesting* artists and music that I may not have previously encountered. Some of it is dirge, some is ok, as often as not there'll be something that grabs my attention such as the band that drew me in and I ended up listening to two albums end to end consecutively a couple of weeks ago.  It's a votage of discovery recommended by the people on here. It would be twee to describe them as friends, esp a couple of contributors, so I won't. But the suggestions are certainly worth investigating. I'm not sure how you made the leap from that to search engine suggestions; Tidal doesn't do that, it's more enjoyable to rely on following whims & fancies armed only with an iPad and a bottle of Malbec.

From where I sit, 'choice' has opened up avenues of discovery that I'd never have stumbled on, not since Bob Harris was shuffled away from Radio 2 on a Saturday night.

 

* as in, never 'eard of him; I'll give it a go.

Thanks for correcting me concerning Tidal - my comment was a more general one, as most sites seem to be intent on "recommending" stuff which you have no wish to read (or watch, or listen to...), and all that based on obscure criteria. I still think browsing's not my style, though.