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The Recording Angel (Pitchfork on streaming)

This quote from the Pitchfork essay on streaming is just essential:

“The record listener is a child of the supermarket,” wrote Evan Eisenberg in 1987’s The Recording Angel, the ur-text on the social and philosophical implications of turning music into consumable things. For Eisenberg, music fandom is inextricable from shopping, and “self-expression is almost entirely a matter of selecting among packages that someone else designs.” He adds: “That kind of freedom can be tyrannical.” Music’s ongoing digitization into libraries of songs numbering in the tens of millions requires the consistent development of technological solutions to this tyranny of choice, to alleviate the minor-but-pervasive stress of simply deciding what to listen to amongst infinite options. Increasingly over the last couple decades, this work is being done by algorithms.

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