I just bought a Beach Boys album for the fourth time. Yeah, I’m ready for some stability in the music format so I can keep one for longer periods of time.
It all began in 1966 when I received a stereo for my 15th birthday. One of the groups I immediately bought was the Beach Boys. I enjoyed that LP for years in the house, but the car was a different issue.
In 1968 a friend got a new 8-track player for his car and handed down his old 4-track player to me. The first thing I discovered was the 4-track unit was 12-volt and my 1952 Plymouth was 6-volt. It took some doing, but I converted that old car to 12-volt so I could install the player.
Of course, the 4-track music format gave way to the 8-track, then the CD and finally the digital format. That was in several different formats until recently. At first, they were DRMed (digital rights management) as WMV or ACC, but finally gave way to the more popular format … MP3. The other formats, ACC and WMV are still with us with no DRM because of iTunes from Apple and Walmart Music store.
Now, all the 4-track tapes are gone and I gave away the last 8-track years ago. I did get a car with a CD player in 2008, so I skipped most of the CD spending. I think we have 15 or 20 CDs we play in the house, but I rarely take them with me in the car. I carry my whole music collection on my Zune which includes the ripped CDs and the music I’ve bought online.
My question is, what is the next format that will require a complete re-do with our music? Will we be able to easily convert our MP3s to the new format or will it require buying our music all over again?
Oh, by the way, I recently bought the Beach Boys album from the Amazon MP3 store … again.
What are your thoughts on the the music format wars. Who wins, who loses in the next evolution of music?