MP3’s: The Convergence Story

The benefits for music lovers, from convergence in electronic devices, may not be as large and universal as may appear at first sound! Headphones tend to isolate us, though music has major social benefits. Friends can multiply your enjoyment of shared music. Enmity can dilute through the soothing effects of music. The culture of attending live performances, whether at a popular concert in the open air, or in a historic chamber of opera, cannot be replaced by any MP3 player! Serious students of music need to listen together, so that they can appreciate the nuances of various pieces better. Martial music will serve little purpose if individual soldiers hear it in isolation. We are not accustomed to singing or listening to national songs on our own.

Dancing, and using music to enhance social events are examples of some other simple joys that electronic convergence does not address. Do you carry a device which increases your isolation? Have you spent less time ever since you bought that latest device? Do you sometimes feel hurt when others prefer whatever is between their head sets to your company? You are not alone!

Convergence is a marvel of electronic engineering and ingenuity. Cell phones were the stuff of science fiction just a couple of decades ago. The MP3 is a wonderful invention, which has changed the business of recording and publishing business for ever. The video upgrade is a delight! Internet browsers for cell phones mean that you need waste no time any more. Even the simple feature of FM radio reception on a cell phone, means that you need no longer carry a separate receiver set to stay in touch with your city news. The amount of music and videos which you can access for small fees, or even free, on the Internet, is simply astounding. Our preceding generations must have spent fortunes and lifetimes in assembling collections of music, which are miniscule compared to what is now available with a few clicks of a mouse or on a shuffle!

Where do we go from here? The answer must be to strike a harmonious balance between music to which we listen with headphones, and the sessions we enjoy as forms of social interaction. The recorded music business has life after the Internet, and we still need conventional speakers and amplifiers to enjoy quality music at home or when entertaining. Use your MP3 cum cell phone cum radio cum camera cum whatever else to improve your music pleasure, but let it not make a recluse out of you!