Yesterday on Spotify, I found a playlist of the the German pre-MTV Top 40 TV Show “Formel 1”. I easily copied the songs to my own playlist and now “have” them for as long as I pay $10 a month. I can take them with me (and another 20 million songs, local storage permitting) to our wedding in Jamaica – no Wifi needed.
30 years ago when the said show ran, we would put our compact cassette recorders in front of the mono speaker of the TV set and quietly pressed the play-and-record buttons. Album art? You xeroxed the vinyl cover if you had a fancy photo copier featuring scaling. Then, you refined it using your own fine art skills. On the inside, there was the list of songs which – if you were cool enough to pull it off – contained a secret message for the recipient (“The Beatles – PS I love you” anyone?). Most tapes went through many rounds of overwriting when the person who gave it to you was long forgotten. Until the day when your car cassette player ate them all together, when it was time to upgrade to recordable CDs.