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Thread: How much have your listening habits changed, with so much new music out there?

  1. #1
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    How much have your listening habits changed, with so much new music out there?

    Hello, fellow progheads. I've been seeing in a couple of threads lately thoughts along the lines of: 'I'm not buying any more new music right now, because I haven't given enough listening time to the stuff that I have bought'. This got to me thinking.,,just how much has the way we listen to music changed? I'm not talking about whether it's on a $5000 stereo, or a cheap set of earbuds, but rather the approach you take in listening to the music you purchase. Specifically the amount of time you spend on listening to new releases/purchases.

    Back in the day, most of us on this site probably got started with the 70s classics: Yes, Genesis, etc. And we wore the shit out of our vinyls, tapes, cds, etc. Most of us probably know the lyrics and music to Yes's Fragile album, for example, backwards and forwards...listening to each track hundreds of times...becoming completely absorbed in every detail and nuance of each song.

    Nowadays? I find that with all the new music I get, for the most part I don't even know the titles of tracks anymore, let alone remember the riff coming up in the next song, and play a lot of stuff, maybe 4, or 5 times before moving to the next thing. I use as an example: the last Accordo dei Contrari disc. A very good record from a few years ago. Filled with great instrumental fusion. Worthy of my listening time, and yet...if you asked me how track 8 goes, I'm quite sure that I couldn't tell you. It might jog my memory and be somewhat familiar when I play it, but that's about it.

    How about the rest of you? Do you still listen to new releases dozens and dozens of times, and get deeply immersed in the album, or do you listen to them a handful of times, and then move on to the next one, simply because there is so much music out there? And is this a good or a bad thing? I mean, at least stuff always sounds fresh, if you don't over listen to it, I suppose, lol.

    What say y'all?

    neil

  2. #2
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Interesting thread topic. I'm under 50, so my listening experiences started more in the 80s than the 70s. Originally for me it was top-40 radio and music videos. It wasn't long before I was buying vinyl and cassettes - and later CDs. Early on, I bought a dual cassette deck and started making mix tapes. I wanted to make compilations of the best music I purchased. I would listen to full albums even early on, but also wanted this option.

    And sure, when there was less, I think most of us can say we knew the material much better because of it. The CD era didn't change that much for me, except re-buying old favorites. However, I bought a 5-disc carousel and would love playing on "shuffle".

    The internet obviously changed things, but ultimately it was the invention of the iPod along with MP3s that did it for me. I was an early adopter and thought that portability was a good thing. In 2007-2008, I converted most of my collection to MP3. This opened up a huge phase of "re-discovery" for me. Music that was collecting dust on a shelf was now a click away. I also was fond of making playlists and going in full shuffle mode.

    The main thing that has changed in the last 10 years is the rapid proliferation of content (from all mediums) along with streaming services (including YouTube). Now it's all about instant access and portability. This has caused our culture in general to become increasingly ADD. It certainly has affected my listening (and watching, reading) habits.

    However, some of my core "issues" haven't changed. I'm still a collector. I still want to hear new things. I think by that nature, I can't possibly give much of the music what it might deserve. Fortunately, it's pretty easy these days to weed out a lot of music you'd rather not own by sampling it first on platforms such a Bandcamp, YouTube, and streaming services. But with that said, there are still albums that get released (both by favorites and new discoveries) that I will listen to over and over again. These become my new favorites. Beyond that, everything else is 1-3 listens along with when it might come up in a shuffle play.

    In the end, I guess I am comfortable with my listening habits. While some of the intimacy and familiarity is lacking from the old days, I'd rather have it like it is now with access and portability. And there are always song/albums old and new that eventually become part of the "lifetime rotation".
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  3. #3
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Over the years habits and tech have changed the way I listen to music.
    Back when it was just vinyl, it was albums. I had a stereo and headphones at home.
    Then came cassettes. And walkman and tape players in cars. I was not stuck at home.
    I wan't really into making mix tapes, so it was still albums for the most part.
    That continued into the cd era for home and using the discman. The shuffle feature and multi disk players added variety and a break from straight through album play.
    Then came MP3 players and the ability to carry a bunch of music around. It was great to be able to carry a small album collection in my pocket or car and listen to things at a whim.
    Since then ( the early 90's ) I got into ripping and locally streaming my collection in the house on a variety of different systems.
    The availability of cheaper storage and NAS allows for high quality rips. Music players are built into common portable devices, phones and car stereo so I can now carry hundreds of albums in my pocket and listen whenever I want.

    So listening habits.
    When I buy a new album ( and I buy all my music, unless the artist is offering some at no cost ) I will listen to it straight through a number of times.
    In the car , at work , or at home. Till I am ready for the next one.
    I buy 5-6 cd's or downloads a month so there is almost always something fresh, even though some of the purchases are old albums I am backfilling.
    Normally I listen to a shuffle of my collection. Streaming from my phone to the car stereo or to my pc, in the shop, or from a collection at work.
    So it's music 10-14 hours a day. I don't watch TV much at all, so that is my entertainment.
    Sometimes an older album strikes my fancy and it pops up to regular straight through play. There are some that may never be heard again ( except by accident of shuffle ).
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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  4. #4
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    The web is a bit of a curse. I find too much good stuff. Between this site, Talk Classical, and Steve Hoffman, it just never ends. I have to credit PE for getting me into a lot of the cutting edge stuff on Cuneiform, and ReR, plus a lot of great Canterbury, British jazz, and Finnish music. And some great music by PE members Kimara, HOG, Dean Watson, Bob Drake, D. Kerman, Mike Johnson, etc...

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    I am similar to you. I still buy about the same amount of new releases that I always have, but like you, tend to move on from them after 6 or 7 listens. I have many old albums that I can remember every lyric and nuance, but that rarely happens with newer material for me. In fact, I often can’t remember a single track from newer albums that I have listened to multiple times. I think part of it is my brain just does not retain things like it used to. As for listening habits, my favorite place to listen to music is still in my car, and I still happen to own one of the few newer cars left that has a CD player in it. Even though I have converted many of my CD’s to digital, I am going to mourn the loss of CD’s when they eventually go away as it is still my preferred way to listen to full albums. As others have mentioned, with all the internet outlets these days, the sheer volume of new music is hard to comprehend, and contrary to popular belief, there is still a lot of great music being made if you wade through the crap. The other aspect of all of this is that it is also easy to discover old music that I may have passed over back in the day. There is just so much out there.

  6. #6
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    I try to emulate Arjen Luccason (Ayreon's) approach. "I will listen to something new every night at 10 p.m." Of course, I'm asleep under headphones by the end of even a medium-length album, so may need to push this back to 9 p.m.


    I buy a lot of new music. I find I don't have time to digest releases as fully as I used to, but I still spend time poring over lyrics (when my reading glasses are up to the task), artwork etc so I will always buy physical product. Like my reading pile, my stack of releases waiting to be heard seems to be growing. My selection of discs I haven't yet fully digested and put on the shelves now seems to be stocked with things I bought about two years ago...

  7. #7
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    Neil, my brother....

    I agree with Cozy that this is an interesting topic.

    As I approach 75 I find my listening to progressive music has waned dramatically, and not because I don't still love a lot of it and, as importantly, the prog community, but I find myself listening more and more to what I listened to in my youth. Doowop, folk music, 60's folk-rock and a lot of very good pop.

    That music seems to comfort me more these days, and generates excitement from the specific memories it elicits. Yeah, I have to throw on some Bent Knee or jazz etc. periodically to make me concentrate & think, but I can still sing along with all the doowop songs I sang over 60 years ago and remember every lyric, melody and inflection/nuance, but have forgotten 75% of the lyrics I sang both as a folkie and later in bands. Classic old people long-term/short-term memory shit.

    Thank you for hearing my confession, Father Folkert.

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by progeezer View Post
    I find myself listening more and more to what I listened to in my youth.
    Ditto.. I'm in my early 60's and when my wife and I do long car trips / vacations.. we bring along one of those Time Life 60's / 70's collection just to keep each of us satisfied..
    Call it nostalgic.. whatever. I buy new music occasionally but like others have mentioned I don't have every note / lyric memorized like I did my early album collection. But I think that has more to do with the size of my collection now vs. high school.. I had maybe 30-40 albums in the mid 70's so it was easy to keep everything in regular rotation.

  9. #9
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Interesting thread topic.
    Indeed.

    I'm a decade newer than Geezer, and have been collecting albums since '68 (what's that... 51 years? Christ.) I have a vast collection of stuff I consider "favorites" (in a vast range of genres) yet I'm always discovering new things that I HAVE TO HAVE Sometimes the new additions get played to death for a few weeks before being filed away, sometimes they get played once and filed away "for future reference." (I have a lot of stuff filed away for future listening... when I'm dead?) Sometimes I don't know what I feel like listening to, and will thumb through my racks until I find something I haven't heard in a while -- or more likely have even forgotten I own!

    Sometimes I put on one of my Pandora stations and let her surprise me.

    It's all precious to me, but there is WAY MORE incredible music coming out every day than a person could ever keep up with.

  10. #10
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    The type of music has changed more than my listening habits. I listen to a lot more classical music than anything else these days. There is so much of that out there that is new to me, that its still interesting. Then there is my collection, which is purely pedestrian compared to many here, but I am in the middle of going through it from A to Z. Some I wonder what I was thinking when I bought it, others sound as good to me now as they did when I bought them 40 years ago. Some I forgot I even had and its fun listening to them. Plus I do take note to what my teen girls listen to but not surprisingly, I don't like most of it.

    As far as purchasing, if I find something I really like, I will buy the CD. My age is showing as I prefer the physical product.

    So bottom line, I don't buy as much as I used to but the internet makes it easy to try before you buy.

  11. #11
    The eons are closing
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    I shouldn't by now but I am still surprised sometimes how similar Cozy and I view matters.

    GOMA! lol

    In any event, my age and experience and habits of youth is similar to Cozy's.

    That is up until the last 7 years or so. I found i was buying more than i could possibly listen to anymore. I did the same with other obsessions like comics

    So now i have changed my approach. I have narrowed my list of trusted reviewers, i reduced my purchases, etc. so that listening is more optimised.

    Will i miss stuff i may like? Absolutely. But i missed Kyuss breaking somehow in 92 and i was all over music then. And they are now a Top 10 band for me all time.

    So hopefully the things that truly move me will come to me in my new approach. But i better serve my love of music by changing my approach.

    And in some ways though under 50, i echo the Geezer's approach generally as 70s AM Gold has been given me a lot of joy lately. Crocodile Rock baby!

    - Thomas
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  12. #12
    After being into prog in my 10-20 years, I spent my 20's (in the 90's) sort of moving away from progressive rock and into electronica and mostly female singer songwriters, etc. By my mid-30's and my band reformed, my appetite for new music slowed down. I know full well that my band relies on people being voracious collectors of progressive rock but I can probably count on 1-2 hands how many prog bands I'm actively "into". If anything I'm sort of rediscovering stuff from the 70's and 80's these days.

  13. #13
    The on-the-go has changed habits. I have always had a long car ride to and from work so I usually get two hours of music listening a day. MP3 players (both when cars took CDs and now with iPOD USB) have allowed me to take my entire collection with me. I shuffle. Almost never do I listen to an album in full. Even when I buy new music (usually 20-30 per year) it just goes into shuffle and I am thrilled when / if it comes up.

    Now at work, with streaming, most of the last 8 years of purchases are from Amazon and I can just listen through Amazon music. At home I have all the rooms connected to an iPod that on the weekends plays from early morning through mid-day (if we are around the house).

    Music is the background to my drive, work, and home. I rarely sit down and really think about what I am listening to.

    I used to be that guy that would devour the liner notes and back of the album cover, but those days are long gone.

  14. #14
    Member Jay.Dee's Avatar
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    Internet has not changed my listening habits, it only opened new avenues of discovering and purchasing music on CD. Before (say, up to 15 years ago) I would pick a copy of music mag to scan reviews and mail order ads to learn which new entries could be of interest. Now I am following threads on music forums, online stores' news(letters) and favourite labels' websites to single out potential purchases, which I (note down to) verify on YouTube, Bandcamp or similar.

    Bottom line: I buy and listen to much more than before, but the majority of time is spent on listening the albums/recordings back-to-back, as I have always preferred it.

    The only thing is that there is way more interesting (and diverse) music available now than ever before, true abundance of riches, and that makes picking next purchases quite difficult, even with the much higher throughput. Some ready-to-push orders at various artists/labels/stores may sit pending for many, many months, only because there's always something else attracting my attention, and there is only a limited amount of time (and money) I can spend on music.

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    This is interesting subject matter! Good Morning on a Thursday and here's my spin...

    For reference I am pushing 59 years and have been a very active listener for about 50 of those years. I rode the initial shift from vinyl (yeah, I would spend serious time with the sleeves and the information there) and to this day, although a bit harder to read, still like to absorb myself in the cd packaging information.

    History suggests that I enjoyed music listening the MOST when I engaged in a dedicated evening listening session(s). Oh ~ the excitement of receiving an order of fresh music purchase! I still get excited but the sessions occur less frequently! Thanks to this sight, friends recommendations, internet finds/referrals, etc I keep a running 'list' where I just jot down things to 'check out'. NOW, usually over my morning meal, I generally youtube and listen further the things I write down. If I find that my interest remains or is piqued, I then will add something physically new to my collection. My willingness to take as many 'chances' has lessened considerably. Still, I want to be able to close my eyes, and to pick at random from my collection and feel that I will get serious joy from the listen.

    I would agree with fellow posters... there is just WAY too much anymore! I have come to terms with the fact that 'I will NEVER get to it all'. Do I need to?? Nah!


    Carry On

    Chris Buckley
    Last edited by winkersnufs; 05-30-2019 at 10:22 AM.

  16. #16
    I’ve become a bit jaded unfortunately. There is so much available that I spend more time sifting than listening closely. I’m always eager to jump to the next item of possible interest on the list without wholly ingesting the current one. The paradox of it is that I’ve heard so much music in my life that I feel little sense of musical discovery now.

    Age factors in this behavior, at least for me (I’m 60). I feel the sand sliding through the hourglass and worry that if I invest too much time in any one listening binge, I’ll be one step closer to the end. When you are in your twenties or thirties, time feels infinite and you can safely indulge listening interests.

    I indulge full cds before bed and in the car, often as ambience, but use electronic media only for headphones and always to hear familiar single old fav tracks, not even playlists.

  17. #17
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    The iPod changed everything for me. All my music in one tiny device? My 160G iPod goes everywhere with me.

    Aside from mobile listening I still prefer vinyl so that hasn't changed since the 70's!!!
    Prog's Not Dead

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    The iPod changed everything for me. All my music in one tiny device? My 160G iPod goes everywhere with me.

    Aside from mobile listening I still prefer vinyl so that hasn't changed since the 70's!!!
    I have 5 of them. One for home, one for my car, one for my wife's car, one for work, and one for my wife's classroom. Home and my car get updated immediately when I buy new music, but the other 3 tend to get updated twice a year.

  19. #19
    Member Jay.Dee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    I feel the sand sliding through the hourglass and worry that if I invest too much time in any one listening binge, I’ll be one step closer to the end. When you are in your twenties or thirties, time feels infinite and you can safely indulge listening interests.
    Well, in my twenties and thirties that perception of infiniteness made me indulge in many other forms of entertainment, but these days I may be only worried that I invest too little time in listening binges. Even though I invest A LOT!

    However, I do not have kids and most of my old pals are a pale shadow of their former selves, only willing to talk about their more and more bizarre social and political choices, so apart from travelling music has little competition for my free time.
    Last edited by Jay.Dee; 05-30-2019 at 05:50 PM.

  20. #20
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    There may be a lot of music out there but I have become bored by Prog. Now 56, as I teenager I discovered all the big names which I still love and have always pursued new Prog music until a few years ago. I have now reached the point where I feel I have heard it all before, if I hear another band trying to impersonate Yes or Genesis I think my brain will explode. There are only a handful of acts whose new albums I will buy now either because I like the particular sound that band makes or because it feels like something new or different.

  21. #21
    Interestingly, I embraced the technology more or less back in the early 2000's (I just turned 50, so I was still relatively young and still had magical experiences with new albums and bands back then). Ripped stuff to the computer so I could listen to my collection on shuffle, took my MP3 player whenever I was out walking (walked to work for about 7 years) also on shuffle play. Would buy half a dozen albums a month (always on CD, still got to have the liner notes and packaging). In the past 5 years or so though, I've cut down my buying considerably. Now I might buy 8 or 10 albums a year, give or take a few. I also got tired of shuffle, and now only listen to full albums. I still do most of my listening in the car and walking (or at home cleaning and doing the dishes), so for me the days of sitting down and just listening while looking through the booklet ended quite some time ago. Just don't really have time or opportunity to do that anymore. The thing I like most about having everything digital, is that I can revisit stuff in my collection that only got a couple of plays, or that I listened to a lot for a couple months then put on the shelf and never pulled out again. So I've been rediscovering what I already have for the past few years as well, and find that much of it still sounds great to me.

    I realized several years ago that I can't possibly hear all that interests me, so I try to focus on bands I really like and keep new discoveries to a minimum. Seems a little regressive to me and reminds me of my 20's, when I would only listen to a handful of bands..........you all know the ones I'm talking about, the "big" names of prog, all from the 70's (this was in the 90's, when I discovered most of that stuff). However, I doubt there is enough time left in my life to totally absorb what I already own, let alone all that is out there that could interest me, so I'm trying to get back to the focus I used to have on absorbing any new purchases fully. When I do get something new these days, I give it at least a dozen plays (unless it doesn't click after 2 or 3 spins) before moving on.

  22. #22
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Since I crashed my car a little more than a year ago, and opted not to replace it, I've had far more time to listen to music on public transportation. And since I don't have to pay attention to the road anymore, I can immerse myself more deeply.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  23. #23
    Profondo Giallo Crystal Plumage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boilk View Post
    Do you still listen to new releases dozens and dozens of times, and get deeply immersed in the album,
    This.
    I get to know the music though the internet. Reading the reviews and listening to tracks/ camples and then deciding if I should buy it.
    I play my music at home. Don't have a cell phone or mp3 player and my headphone for my discman(yay!) is broken at the moment.
    Last edited by Crystal Plumage; 05-30-2019 at 04:20 PM.
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  24. #24
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I have over 2500 CDs and I typically only play 10 or 20 percent of them. Part of the problem is half of them, or more, are unorganized. I gravitate to music, or variants of, that I listened to as a teen. Genesis, Yes, Crimson, yada yada. Some new bands, sure, but mostly symphonic. I like other music than prog though. Jazz fusion is a favourite or classic 70s rock. The ABB is one of my all time favourite bands. Got to see then 4 times.

  25. #25
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    I keep up the best I can. I have way more music than I ever did, so don't play anything as often as I once did. I remember listening to at least a side of Tales every day for several months. Could be true of 70s Genesis. Now that doesn't happen. My tastes have changed though. I prefer more complex, or more beautiful, emotional music, or a combination best of all. I broke out a neo album I liked 15 years ago, and a more modern symph-type album, and found for whatever reason I didn't really relate to either. But certain artists I like as much as I ever did. I'm 61 now so hope with age, I never lose my passion and affinity for the music I love best. I know my writing hasn't slowed, so hopefully neither will my listening.

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