What ‘portable Music’ Means In 2013

It’s easier than ever to find new music to like or love, but our mechanisms for collecting that music in a meaningful way haven’t kept pace with all of those discovery methods. I’ve been thinking about this a lot: How ‘The Holy Grail – Universal Song ID’ Could Improve Facebook We have amazing music discovery tools these days — the best, for sure, that humanity has ever had. Artist-based radio stations and the ability to “tag” songs playing around us , even on their own, would be amazing, but of course we have many, many more tools for finding music in the wide world of apps, and on the web. As of this morning, you can hear a crowdsourced playlist by tapping on a pretty picture , for crying out loud. I spent many years reviewing the first “portable digital music players” for consumers — everything from the first MP3 player to the iPod that eclipsed them all — but now I’m thinking about a different definition of “portable music,” now that music players have followed music from the physical into the purely digital domain (in that players are apps made out of ones and zeroes rather than actual hardware, the same way that songs are ones and zeroes now, rather than plastic discs or magnetic tape). Here’s a new definition of “portable” music that takes into account the world in which we now live: When I buy a song, I get to have that song on any device, or service, for the rest of my life. I should be able to buy that song forever, regardless of future formats, devices, services, music lockers, and so on. This seems only fair, if I’m going to spend a dollar or more on a single track. Forcing people to re-buy music worked as physical formats replaced one another every decade or two, but now, the transience of digital music files and the pace of all these changes discourage people from buying in the first place. You don’t buy something unless you’re going to feel like you own it. When I build an artist station or favorite an artist, anywhere, that needs to come with me too. It’s astounding how many times we have to tell all of these different apps which artists we’re into.

Music On The Street with KGON’s Iris Harrison

The last the downloads to my MP3 player were Chickenfoot Different Devil, David Bowies new album The Next Day, and Ian Hunters When Im President. What songs are most meaningful to you? For almost every event in my life that I can think of, theres a song that will take me right back to that moment. One that always makes me smile is the first time I heard [Derek and the Dominos’] Layla at a friends apartment in Berkley looking across the water at the Golden Gate Bridge. I wanted to hear it over and over and over. If you had to listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be and why? If I had to listen to one artist for the rest of my life I would be very pissed off. Theres so many favorite groups and songs that its almost impossible to pick just one. But for the sake of this question, Ill answer The Beatles. They have enough material and wonderful memories for me that I could listen to their songs forever. What do you think about the Portland music scene? The Portland music scene has changed in terms of the sheer volume of live acts that used to be in every nightclub and bar in the area to a select number that we have now. When I first arrived in Portland in 1976, you could go downtown or to the suburbs and find high-quality, polished acts, newbies, guys just getting out of their garage or basement and playing to an audience, and it was all so exciting. It also helped that I was very young and sleep wasnt as important as it is today. There were nights in town where KGON was promoting four different venues with bands and wed manage to see them all, driving around from Beaverton to northeast Portland to southeast to downtown. Those were very fun nights!