Musical Overload

Musical Overload


Information overload does not only apply to reading and how that affects the human brain. Information overload also relates to hearing and listening, and what I refer to is music. As much as I believe that technology development and the information overload affects us in the way of learning, I also think it is of huge interest to talk about music in our digital age. After the CD got released the music finally got digital, and that created a wide range of opportunities for us as both consumers and users. The analog vinyl and cassette created trouble, according to some, because of sound quality and noise, if they weren’t treated with care. And you can’t argue against that. If there is dust on your vinyl, it is true that this will affect the sound. Now the music is taken even further steps, and we can now download files on iTunes and pay a small amount for each song. We don’t have to buy the whole album. We can choose which song we want to buy (this definitely caused or will cause the death of the CD-single). Music is also available for free listening so many places on the Internet, with and Spotify as maybe the biggest ones. In other words there are great opportunities for users and music lovers.

But is this necessarily a positive thing for users? Well let’s not take into account the negative effects for artists that we can download free music or listen to it online. That can be saved for another discussion. Here I will focus on what this music overload will have to say for us as listeners and music lovers.


Today songs and albums are available on iTunes for downloading, and you can choose to buy separate songs if you don’t want the whole album. Some argue that this is ruining the way we should approach music, because the album should be understood and respected as a whole. A group of people, who share a genuine interest in music, gather together every Sunday to listen to albums from the start to the end. “Groups of music fans sit in front of a vinyl turntable, with the best speakers they can afford, dim the lights and listen to a classic album all the way through” [1]

No breaks and no interruptions. The initiative is a strike against the “download culture” and it is a good example of an aspect of people’s life that someone believes that is being ruined by increased digitalization and increased opportunities. I enjoy buying LP’s for the simple reason that I feel that I buy a whole product when I buy a LP. I get a booklet, a big cover and just feel that I have gotten greater value for the money, and I believe that many will agree with me.

I love music and listen to it every day, and many hours a week. I enjoy that I can listen to new songs by just checking them out in the Internet, and then I can decide if I will buy the CD or not. I think many people think this way. But well I actually buy the CD? And if i buy the CD, will I have the concentration to listen through the whole CD? To be honest, I will probably buy the CD if it is a band I’m particularly interested in, but I sometimes find myself skipping through the tracks to find parts that I like. I feel this is a bad sign. You don’t value the music today as much as you did or “had to do” before. Then you bought the analog music on, let’s say, a vinyl and you had to hear it through. The vinyl was almost something sacred, or something that contained a lot of information (songs) and to get the right impression you had to sit through all the tracks and decide for yourself what your opinion was. This happens more seldom today, I’m afraid. Therefore I like to buy vinyl. And for several reasons. First of all I enjoy the sound, because it’s analog and not compressed the same way as digital music. And when I buy vinyl, I feel that I get more value for my money. The cover is bigger, the booklet is bigger and I feel that the product is more worth than buying a CD from iTunes, which gives me nothing. Nothing at all. I need to hold the music in my hands. And I feel this is something that will get lost in the new digital age. And when skipping through the songs on Spotify, you don’t take the time to actually try to listen, and give the songs the fair chance they deserve. Music is also art.

Treat music with respect.