AC Douglas has launched another of his amusing attacks on the iPod, in the process criticizing certain unnamed bloggers who post playlists of MP3 tracks. To clarify, the playlists on this blog are simply of newly arrived or newly relevant CDs that I've been listening to; sometimes I add on DVDs and books. Steve Smith — congratulations! mazeltov! etc. — explains the playlist genre here. As of last year he did not own an iPod, much less proudly trumpet it. My attitude remains this: all recordings are fakes, and CDs happen to be more convincing fakes than MP3s.
By the way, Jeremy Schlosberg has written a persuasive essay linking the decline of the CD among pop listeners — classical listeners show no inclination to abandon it — not to the Internet but to the CD's hour-plus running time. Few artists, he says, can come up with seventy-five minutes of first-rate material in any given year. Plus, there's something psychologically right about a forty-minute listening session. "Albums really do have an appropriate length. With the benefit, again, of historical hindsight, it's clear that a vinyl LP-length album tends to work as a listening experience in a way that a CD-length album does not."
— William Byrd, Second Service & Consort Anthems, Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, and Fretwork (Harmonia Mundi), see esp. "Why do I use my paper, ink & pen?"
— Beata Moon, Piano Sonata, Guernica, etc., composer at piano (Naxos)
— Elgar, Symphony No. 1, Solti conducting London Philharmonic (Decca)
— Elgar, Piano Quintet, Violin Ensemble, Nash Ensemble (Hyperion)