Sad admission time. In my cellar is box after box of taped stuff off the radio. Mostly old radio comedies, from quite old stuff, like the Navy Lark, Round the Horne and ITMA (even Jimmy Clitheroe for goodness sake, but Ray’s a Laugh is not only the worst pun, but was also crap), through to middling-time stuff like Steptoe and Son, moving forward to the 90s and Angus Deayton in Radio Active, the Mark Steel Solution and Nick Revel.
There once was a point to this. It’s called driving. If you have a long or short journey, well you want to be entertained and much of the daytime shows just don’t do it. So I had my tapes and my ICE, archaic mostly because it was a cassette player, downgraded from the radio/CD combi that came as standard in the last two or three cars I’ve owned.
Back in January, I gave in. I was signing up for my new Ford (and gazillions of Nectar points) and couldn’t face the disbelieving questioning from the salesman about why I wanted a tape player rather then the standard CD. I put my monicker for the standard.
But it has worked out well, thanks to Radio 7, Radio Player and broadband. Now I’m replacing my moribund cassettes with CDs. All those shows that I spent so, so long committing to magnetic tape. And life is great. One, there is much greater variety, two it’s online and three ‘Listen Again’ let’s you record at leisure, not sitting there with a finger hovering over the record button.
The one downside is that if you’re tempted to use your PC while recording, you risk the occasional, loud ‘dee-duh’ as the ever so helpful system asks if you really want to do whatever it is you want to do, and that transfers to the CD.
What I fret about though is that, given the above, I’ll do all this and technology will move on. I’ll have a great collection of classics on CD-R and the next time I buy a car, it will be fitted with an MP3 player or some other format and I’ll be back to square one — a shed load of CDs and nothing to play them on.
The clock is ticking. How soon will it be before my CD collection is condemned to the cellar to join their kin, the cassettes, in gathering dust.