All this 'return to analogue' stuff..

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by Hollis, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. Hollis

    Hollis Bloody furious

    This was a relatively interesting radio show on analogue v digital culture. "The persistance of analogue"..

    BBC Radio 4 - The Persistence of Analogue

    Some interesting points made about the 'tangibility' of analogue, and the argument at the end, that it's just another reaction to 'the machine'.. dating back to the 19th century, and the Arts & Craft movement etc.

    Personally, while i use kindle for practicality, I think I prefer the book. And while I use spotify, going out buying a CD (yes, digital I know) still seemed to attach more 'meaning' than simply adding an album to my spotiy librairy.

    They also made interesting points about the rise of music festivals coinciding with digital/internet culture. Also got me thinking about the current running boom being an 'analgue' activity..

    Ho hum.
    Maggot likes this.
  2. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Calorimeter man.

    Hipsters innit. :p
    moochedit, NoXion and Hollis like this.
  3. Hollis

    Hollis Bloody furious

    Well it could be! But I'm wondering if there's anything else going on.. other than the desire for an element of the sub-30s to 'look cool'.
  4. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Calorimeter man.

    There's rather a lot of woo in the world - Neil Young doesn't like digital .. and it has to be said that for quite a long time really good digital was difficult to come by - CD is a crude format - placing massive demands on filters etc - and super audio CD is still pie in the sky.

    So an enthusiast could extract extra detail from a moderately expensive turntable ... it's always been about what failings in the sound you could live with.
    I'm rather fond of valves for amplifiers - on the basis that all amplifiers clip, but valves have built in soft limiting.
    Kaka Tim and lefteri like this.
  5. Hollis

    Hollis Bloody furious

    In photography, there's apparently an app you can get which mimics a traditional 'analogue' camera - with sound effects of clicking, winding on a shot, and a choice of delayed times for getting your photos.
    marty21, cupid_stunt and gentlegreen like this.
  6. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt Dyslexic King Cnut ... the Great.

    Apparently Radio Caroline has picked-up a lot more listeners since getting their AM licence for East Anglian last year, even if I had a listenable signal on 648AM here, I would stick with the crystal clear stereo online sound, but each to their own.

    We put up with music radio on AM back in the day, because there was little on FM, and no DAB or online options, but seriously in 2018?

  7. Griff

    Griff Hardly posting anymore

    I've recently got into watches with real mechanisms rather than the quartz ones I've had in the past. There's something very nice about that sweeping rather than ticking second hand. :)

    Bought a hand wound one the other month and after being used to quartz never stopping and even the automatics going all the time, having your watch just stop is a bit of a culture shock. :D

    Find myself on the Chrono24 site looking at obscure German and Swiss watches now. :D
    Hollis, miss direct and gentlegreen like this.
  8. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    This is an area I have a lot of interest in but you can over-think it. Reading paper books doesn’t have to be a revolt against modernity, it can just be because having evaluated the choices you prefer to read paper books. One of the primary markets for Instax cameras (the Fuji instant film ones) is teenagers, who have basically never known a world without phone cameras - they aren’t being nostalgic, they just like the way these things work. And so on.

    I shoot a lot of film but it’s because I like how manual film cameras handle, I hate the distractions of menus and options, I like the way film behaves and the pictures I get out of it, and I like to darkroom print. I also have digital cameras and they have advantages too. It’s not a deep thing to want to get away from gadgets sometimes.
    Hollis, paolo, 8ball and 5 others like this.
  9. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Calorimeter man.

    Even wearing a watch is getting more uncommon.
    I can remember my schoolfriend getting an LED watch - it may have been a Sinclair Black watch - he also had a Sinclair reverse Polish logic scientific calculator.

    I'm strictly analogue - albeit a cheap Timex with duff Indiglo ...
    I still hanker after a French speaking watch with a good accent - though in theory I should be talking to my phone by now to ask it the time but I can't make it work properly.
    moochedit likes this.
  10. Celyn

    Celyn Well-Known Member

    And an app for a Grunswick strike? :D
    Kaka Tim and newbie like this.
  11. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    It's hard to get emotionally attached to a digital file so analogue stuff will always have a place in our lives.
  12. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    There’s a great Noah Baumbach film about this - While We’re Young.
  13. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Calorimeter man.

    Perhaps I'll make myself a single-handed watch when I hit 60 ... perversely, I was musing on the hand taking a year or more to go 360 degrees ...

    I still harbour a wish for a lichen-based watch...

  14. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I had a very nice self winding analogue watch, it wound when I moved, except that after perhaps 8 years it stopped.

    I was still moving - but obviously not enough anymore.

    Now I have a cheapo Casio Digital :-(
    gentlegreen likes this.
  15. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    So watches are another example. You can find it convenient to use a watch to tell the time rather than look at your phone without it having deep sociopolitical meaning - I mean it is definitely easier to look at your wrist than pull out your phone if you need to know the time often, it doesn't use up the battery so is convenient for travel, and watches are more weatherproof than phones too. Maybe the fact that watches are less popular than before is just down to most people not needing to know the time very often, and now having a portable device that includes a clock. *shrugs*

    I appreciate that this is what pundits get paid for, I'm not bitter, just we need to be reasonable about it all.
    cupid_stunt likes this.
  16. Chemical needs

    Chemical needs stirring

    I think vinyl places more demand on filters: RIAA Filtering. And SACD is definitely a thing. Don't know how much of a thing it is but it's definitely a thing.
  17. MickiQ

    MickiQ Well-Known Member

    I don't own a digital watch, always preferred an analogue one, but a good watch is as much a piece of jewellery as a functional device, I have an excellent one that I was given for 25 years service not long before I was made redundant in 2015. I only wear it for a night out though don't wear it at home or when working there are so many clocks everywhere these days.
  18. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank If it's alive, don't lick it.

    I think if there's a case for an older version of something being objectively better in terms of functionality, energy efficiency, resource use, and aesthetics then we should be merciless about abandoning the new thing. Aesthetics is obviously a tricky one because it's subjective, and with the other factors maybe people won't want to sacrifice functionality for efficiency, but there must be clear examples of shit things that everyone uses even though an objectively better old version exists.

    Capitalism of course does not allow either the individual or society as a whole to make these decisions. You can maybe pay over the odds for 'vintage' stuff but you can't make anyone keep producing something forever just because it was perfect to start with. If, for example, ebooks take off to such an extent that printing on dead trees is no longer cost effective then all you'll be able to get will be old books, or new ones at a premium price because what used to be the norm is now a special, niche product. At no point will a group have experts have sat round a table and decided based on sensible criteria which is better, it will all be about market forces.

    Another thing to think about is mediation and control. My worst fears about Ipods were confirmed when everyone got that fucking U2 album whether they wanted it or not. If something is intangible, and it can be altered by someone or something else without your consent, then it's not really yours. And when stuff like music has no physical form it loses value, it loses emotional impact. CDs were solid nuggets of treasure to me when I was a teenager, I wonder what kids have to hold hold onto these days. As for playing music through a 5mm speaker grille on a fucking phone, well there's a clear step backwards.
    Ralph Llama likes this.
  19. likesfish

    likesfish an angry pretend soldier shooting at seagulls

    had some student at work claiming he couldnt see the point of a watch!
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  20. MickiQ

    MickiQ Well-Known Member

    What? Of course it does, people keep buying CD's the manufacturers will keep making them, people stop buying CD's they will stop making them, that's how market forces work. That's why vinyl is making a comeback because people are buying them more and more. There are loads of things that should never be subject to market forces but music formats aren't one of them.
  21. Wilf

    Wilf Dances like a Christian

    This really. I have a bit of a hairshirt/anticonsumerist thing about not needing every wave of technology or edition of phones, IT etc. However I have to admit that any preference I might have for music in album form is simply a nostalgia, growing up as a teenager and, most of all, the sleeve art. In reality I don't actually own any vinyl or give a toss as to whether it sounds better and am quite happy to, ahem, 'acquire' downloads.
    moochedit and MickiQ like this.
  22. Mrs D

    Mrs D . Banned

    Wouldn’t you prefer the Committee for Music Formats to have made these decisions? I wonder how SpookyFrank would have felt if the experts on the committee had decided mini discs were the perfect compromise between all formats and therefore were mandated as the only permissible format. I wonder what the punishment for producing unauthorised formats would be?
    MickiQ likes this.
  23. 8115

    8115 Jeremy Beremy.

    No expert would ever decide minidiscs were a perfect format. I remember minidiscs.

    They were like a worst compromise (we don't have that concept but that's what minidiscs were).

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    Mini discs were brilliant at the time. The only digital format you could record on to was DAT at about 2500 quids for a decent deck, or 700 for a totally shit DAT Walkman that could barely do anything. Making a CDR cost about 100 quids a time. A top of the range optical minidisc deck cost 250 quid and changed everything.
    I used minidisc to master songs I had recorded on multi track and made compilations for my minidisc Walkman to listen to on commutes. There was no other way to do that at the time.
    The ATRAC compression can be noticeable on some music played on very high end kit, but it never really bothered me enough to give up on the convenience and low price.
    Dr. Furface, SpookyFrank and danski like this.
  25. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Calorimeter man.

    After drowning my Goodmans MP3-playing CD player in the passenger footwell of my leaky car, I came very close to buying a portable Minidisc ... in comparison, spending £81.98 for my first (tiny) Creative MP3 player in 2005 seemed very expensive for what it was, but it did me for years and I have those tracks saved somewhere ...

    I worked it out to be 160MBytes in comparison to 700MBytes for CD and if i remember correctly, the compression format seemed it might have the edge over MP3 for low data rates ..
  26. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Self-winding watches have to be serviced every 3-5 yrs, to remove old lubrication, and apply new, mostly.

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    The compression is indeed better than standard MP3. Really nothing to worry about. The format was already dead by 2005 though.
    Still got my rack one in the front room . . . On top of my DAT machine. I got me all the formats.
  28. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I still have a MiniDisc somewhere from a while back when I went through a "field recording" phase, and the best/cheapest option was a portable minidisc recorder and a mic. Actually getting the recordings off was a pain, though, as you had to play them back through the mic socket in realtime on a Mac because Sony's shitty software was Windows-only.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    Ralph Llama likes this.
  29. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Oh, ok, perhaps I will ask about that. It is a Swatch Irony Automatic, I had it quite a long time.
  30. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank If it's alive, don't lick it.

    I didn't say there should be a committee for anything, only that when the market decides that x thing is going to be replaced by y thing, that isn't happening based on what's objectively better but on factors like profit margin and marketability. Capitalism likes to replace perfectly good stuff because it's easier to sell exciting new stuff than boring old stuff. That doesn't mean that the new stuff is always better, it's just how the system works.

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