A couple of nights ago, Speedy was cleaning out his closet and he took out a stack of playing records. Alex stared and said, “What’s that?” Kinda hard to explain to a kid whose earliest memories of music storage are audio CDs. The exchange inspired me to take photos of the playing records with Sam’s old First Generation iPod Nano which was handed down to Alex a few weeks ago.
For those too young to know, those large cardboard containers house playing records that look like this and which were played on things called turntables like these. Playing records are the iPods of the 1880s through the mid-1980s when audio CDs first hit the market. Their content were non-changeable unlike the iPods that you kids have today. The playing records that I grew up with came in two sizes — the 33-1/3 RPM long playing records that usually contained 10 to 12 songs on Side A and Side B, and the 45 RPM records that had one song on each side. They scratched easily and the scratches affected the quality of the audio. If you want to read the history of the playing record, click here.
Technology is making everything shrink.
Why Speedy still keeps his playing records when we don’t own a record player has to be related to that thing called nostalgia. I had a larger collection of playing records than his but when CDs arrived, I threw them all out. I like digital. I like music that don’t skip and I don’t like hearing ugly sounds that come with the scratches on the surface of the playing records. Needless to say, I am not a sentimental person and I don’t have a thing for “collectors’ items”. Maybe I can sell Speedy’s collection and buy a new house.