25 May 2009

From shutter sounds to attitudes towards music listening

Photography and audio/video recording are usually prohibited at a concert in order to protect the intellectual property rights, but sometimes using a camera without flash may be allowed in stage events. Obvious, it is because the flash may cause disturbance to the performers. However, in my opinion, the bloody vexing shutter sounds should be forbidden as well; it causes annoyance, too.

I was invited to a student's composition concert yesterday (aye, another graduation concert). I was very much peeved by the incessant blasted shutter click sound and almost believed at one point that it was some sort of aural effect intentionally made for the concert.

Before the introduction of digital cameras, considering the cost of films and photo developing, an amateur or layperson would release the shutter with great caution.

In contrast, due to the increasing availability of digital cameras and improving storage capacity of memory cards, one may take as many shots as desired without worrying about film usage. If the image is not good enough or is taken by mistake, simply delete it and you lose nothing.

I suppose this may explain why the guy with a digital single-lens reflex camera kept pressing the shutter button with no interruption at my student's composition concert. I find a similar attitude toward music listening.

Before the arrival of the various digital formats of sound and duplication devices, people would play and listen to an album over and over, even though the record or cassette was purchased by mistake. People showed more respect to music because recordings were not as ubiquitous as they are nowadays.

On the contrary, as it is so easy to obtain a copy of an audio file from a friend or download one from the Internet, people just can't be bothered to listen to a piece once more if they are not caught by that musical work at first sight. They download it, then remove it from the playlist and finally delete it permanently.

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