Where’s the Music Gone?

I noticed something odd recently. In general, I’m a big fan of music. It’s about the only art form that I consistently enjoy other than literature. I used to listen to music constantly whenever I was at home as background noise. I’m addicted to video game soundtracks. I have an entire set of channels of music videos to have on in the background while doing other things. I’ve copied my entire CD collection to a USB drive to listen to at work. In general, I’ve had music on pretty much constantly whenever I’m doing pretty much anything.

Except lately.

Lately, I haven’t listened to music much at all. I noticed that I hadn’t listened to any music — all of my CDs are on a USB drive because my CD player broke — for months. I then listened to music for about an hour just because I was reminded that I should. I also noticed that I hadn’t watched that video channel for months and then put it on for a couple of sessions just because I was reminded that I hadn’t, and haven’t done it since. At work, because of my watching Voyager and then wanted to re-watch the SF Debris videos on it I haven’t been listening to music and instead have been watching — or, rather, mostly listening — to his videos. I played the Suikoden III intro a couple of times when I wanted to drown out background noise and didn’t want to start another video. But I hadn’t been listening to music that much at work for months previously anyway. About the only time I still listen to music is while driving, and that pretty much ends up being either Duran Duran’s Greatest Hits or The Cars’ Greatest Hits, where I listen to one of them for months before switching to the other one.

So why am I not listening to music as much anymore? Well, as pointed out above, I’ve substituted video in for that, mostly to give me something to watch when I look up from whatever I’m doing or need to take a short break to wait for something. Music doesn’t work that way. It’s great at — and, to be honest, generally better at — drowning out background noise, but that’s all it does. If I’m reading or playing a game or waiting for a compile all that it’s doing is drowning out the background noise. It doesn’t do anything to keep me occupied or entertained in slow periods. Sure, it also doesn’t distract me from what I’m doing either — this is one reason why videos aren’t as good when I’m merging code, as they distract me from doing that at times while music keeps me for being bored out of my skull without distracting me — but for the most part I can do things while having at least TV shows on in the background (the SF Debris videos are more distracting but do work for the most part).

To be honest, this has been happening more and more over the past few years. It’s just been pretty dramatic lately. And is something I noted because, again, I used to listen to music all the time, and now rarely do it if I’m not driving somewhere. It’s just … odd.

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