When the Music Finds You

Posted on by Jeremy Daggett

M.G. Siegler:

There’s something different about hearing a song you love on the radio. It just sounds better.

I know that sounds absolutely crazy. And, in a way, it is. I mean, a song is a song. It should sound the same no matter how you hear it. Or maybe over radio it should actually sound worse given the relatively low fidelity of radio.

And yet, it sounds better. You simply cannot convince me otherwise. This has been on my mind this week following the launch of Apple Music.

It’s sort of like when a movie comes on TV. It’s one that you would have never picked to watch, but because it’s on TV you decide to watch it. You may even own the movie, but you choose the worse experience (i.e. ads) because it’s what was presented to you.

Last week’s Accidental Tech Podcast highlighted the negative side of radio, namely the inability to skip songs because it’s live. But now that the music industry has shifted to on-demand access to almost any song ever written, it’s nice sometimes to have something chosen for you. Something you can’t skip. It feels retro. That’s how M.G. closes his post:

In the age of hunting and pecking and searching for music amidst endless catalogs and repositories and libraries, there’s something great in this process being taken out of your hands; in not choosing what to listen to, but having the music find you. And in it being a song you want to hear, even though you maybe didn’t know you did at that moment.

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