Some Tech Talk

A couple of stories caught my eye this morning as I was browsing around online.  First, could it be, the death of the Walkman?  To be completely honest, I was shocked they were even still making these things.  Are there really still people out their listening to cassette tapes?  What a terrible way to listen to music, having to search and search for a particular song.  The only thing they were really good for was recording songs off the radio.  I really wonder how much longer the compact disc will even be around.  I buy nearly all of my music online, song-by-song.  It is rare that I buy an entire CD.  How do you enjoy and buy your music in this era?  Do you miss any of the music mediums of the past?  I know a lot of people still love vinyl.

Another story that caught my eye had to do with new technology replacing librarians.  Reading the article, I really do not see this new technology (ummm lockers and/or drop boxes, not very high tech if you ask me) replacing librarians.  Librarians do more than just check out and process books.  They are information specialists on hand to assist patrons with research.  They are teachers and researchers.  I think libraries and librarians will be around for a while.  What will be changing is how information is provided to clients.  I actually look forward to offering more digital options to my clients in the next few years!

Comments

  1. I think your first paragraph ties in with a question you asked a few days ago about the future of books. The vast majority of people buy songs online now. Big corporate music stores, like Virgin and FYE, have all either closed or are on their way out. But every city still has a record store or two for the die-hards: music nerds who want to browse and actually touch the albums they're buying, whether on CD or vinyl. These stores do good business selling to a particular subculture.

    I can imagine book stores going the same way. When e-readers are as common as mp3 players (and I'm sure they will be), sure, probably most people will buy their books electronically and large bookstores like Borders and Barnes and Noble will close. But there will always be independent bookstores selling to the subset of readers who want to buy a tangible object, to browse, read the back covers, touch the paper, and hang out with other book lovers. I don't think physical books will ever go away, but I do think they'll eventually be a niche product, like vinyl records are today.

    E-readers aren't for me. I love my bookshelves: they tell people who come to my house for the first time what sort of person I am, what I like, what I think about, my intellectual history. I like dog-earing pages to mark my place, writing notes in margins, loaning books I love to friends, and donating ones I don't need anymore to the library. You can't do this with e-books. I like that I read Ulysses and Infinite Jest this year and now both books will sit on my shelf in every home I ever have, trophies of the accomplishment of finishing them and immediate reminders of the things they taught me about myself and the world. Give me paper over pixels any day.

    Best,
    Meg

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  2. Hey Meg,
    Thanks for the great comment. We were just talking about this at work today. It seems albums still remain popular mainly for the reasons you mention (cover art, nostalgia, etc.) I believe you are correct about books as well. The physical book will remain popular, I just think with each passing year, more and more will be using eReaders. I just hope they still keep print texts out there for us "book lovers"

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  3. One of my good friends works in publishing at Simon and Schuster. I'm heading down to New York this weekend for Halloween and I think I'll ask her about this over dinner tomorrow night: how people in the industry itself predict e-books vs. printing will turn out.

    Best,
    Meg

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  4. Meg,
    I am curious to see what your friend has to say. I have a post I am working on for this weekend about various universities requiring ebooks (textbooks). Should be interesting. Have a great trip!

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  5. Thanks! I'll be sure to report back about her take on it.

    Meg

    ReplyDelete

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