Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A farewell to the Christmas CD

Joe who? I can say with some certainty this
won't be on any of our Christmas lists...
Traditionally, Father Christmas has tended to put a CD into each of our daughters' stockings (hung on the chimney with care/in the hope that St Nicholas soon will be there). It's not exactly one of those family traditions that goes back decades - when I was a lad, Santa would have had serious trouble stuffing an LP into my regulation grey knee sock. But the CD makes music a natural gift. At least, it used to.

The thing is, young people - it is impossible type that without sounding over 70 - young people don't listen to music the way we used to. On the whole we were linear music listeners at their age (no more so than under the influence of the dreaded music cassette). We put on an album and played it from the beginning to the end. If there was a track we didn't particularly like (think Beatles' White Album) well, it might grow on us and it would soon be over.

Now, though, we're in zippy zappy instant access music world. It's not just a matter of pressing the exciting shuffle button on their iPods. Them young things never listen to an album linearly - in fact they rarely buy albums anymore, just downloading the tracks they fancy. And that's without mentioning their most IRRITATING habit, which comes to the fore when an iPod/phone is connected to the audio system in the car. They NEVER listen to a track all the way through. By around 70% of the way into the song, they are already looking for the next thing to play.

So, under the circumstances, it doesn't seem right for Father Christmas to pop a CD into those stockings. My suspicion is that he may resort to an iTunes voucher. Okay, it's not as personal as a CD of a favourite band. But it fits much better the way the yoof of today consume music. And old MC FC is never one for being behind the times.

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