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Talking ’bout my not-quite-digital generation

I’ve come to the conclusion that our generation suffers from a digital media curse.

Our parents lived in reasonable contentment with film cameras, vinyl records and TV which they didn’t dream of being able to record.

Our children are living pretty much in the straight-to-digital age: music comes in MP3s, video is digital and recordable and cameras need nothing more than power to work. All of this is indexed and played in a single media player. Worst case, they might need to rip a CD. Into the drive it goes, a single button is pushed…and it’s done. Track titles automatically determined, album artwork attached, the works.

But we live a decidedly hybrid and imperfect existence. Our affection for the contents of our vinyl collection prevents us throwing it out, while buying it again on MP3 is expensive and sometimes not possible. We embark on an ambitious project to convert, requiring much fiddling with cables, editing software to chop up the tracks, mostly manual entry of track titles and so it goes on. After a few albums have taken weeks to complete, we realise it’s never really going to happen. We spend time with shoeboxes full of photos and a scanner, and sometimes with negatives and various expensive conversion gadgets, only to realise that beyond a few special shots we are going to be stuck in this hybrid world for good.

Welcome to the curse of the A to D generation.

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