Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Tradeoff of Advanced Technology, vs. Content*


I have been a collector of DVD's since they came out.
A very specific kind of DVD, NOT MOVIES -- but,...LIVE concerts DVD's. Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Crosby Stills and Nash...to Jimi Hendrix, to 25 other bands--..my weakness is LIVE CONCERT DVD's.

I own literally hundreds of them. I'm a sucker for LIVE music.

When I go to a a record store, I look for rare imports of DVD's. On EBAY, I look for rare concert DVD's.

Something happened this past week, that hit me like a freight train.

I bought the most amazing DVD I have ever purchased. I've bought many lame DVD's, so I was due)

It is called "L.A.Blues", by the Rolling Stones...(I'll provide the link at the end of this post, in case you are interested.)

It's a concert from July 11, 1975 at the LA Forum.

It is a 3 camera production of the GREATEST Rock N' Roll Band, on a GREAT NIGHT, captured on film. It's 26 songs and visuals of simply amazing content. (pro-shot)

Keith, Mick and Charley, in their early 30's....with, Ron Wood, who JUST joined the band, prior to this tour.

The content is THE BEST of all my Stones DVD's I own, including all of their official releases..BY FAR. I can't stop watching it.

So, I'm on the couch, watching it last night, (volume up) and my loving wife says, "This is horrible, the picture quality is horrific, making it unwatchable, and the sound is pathetic, you like this?"

And, it hit me.

She is right, the way it was filmed in 1975 - and the fact that it is a BOOTLEG, has meant that the quality is poor, at best.

But, you know what - it has the GREATEST content I have ever witnessed on a DVD.

Does Technology own the content of the future?

Will future generations ONLY EVER get a chance to see, and witness things recorded in "High Definition" or HD quality - or some other futuristic format?

Will incredible content, NEVER GET SEEN, because it was recorded BEFORE TECHNOLOGY advances?

With IPODS....Home Theaters....and, new gadgets coming out, will anyone want to hear my AUDIENCE COPIES of bootlegs from the Grateful Dead? (Meaning, someone who recorded a DEAD show, with a microphone and was NOT plugged into the soundboard...)
Will, technology render them useless, and nothing more than garbage, to future generations, even though the content is TOPS?

Will old content NEVER GET A CHANCE, to become someone in the future's, favorite musical choice?


Those Grateful Dead Audience tapes that I own, have energy and feeling...that no SoundBoard recording, can ever capture.

This 1975 Rolling Stones DVD, with incredible footage, and mind blowing performances by the members of the Rolling Stones....will NEVER get the respect it deserves, because it is grainy, poor quality -- and a C+ in terms of audio...

But, to me it's priceless. It's worth it's weight in gold.

Here is the AMAZON link for the product, although I just noticed it's not for sale anymore..(read another buyers comments in the comments section of the link.) If you are interested, contact me, either in comments or whatever, and I'll provide the seller's email address) -- here is the AMAZON LINK For The Rolling Stones LA BLUES.

Content is king...no matter the quality....and that's my motto.

I've figured out that technology, with all it's advances, is still SECOND to me. I'll take grainy recordings, poor audio, and old time formats, to stay in my life - to provide a link - to HIGH QUALITY.

But, I'm afraid content may be losing out to technology.

Time for some 8 Track's Cartridges, to make a personal reappearance...

Content #1, Technology #2.

14 Comments:

Blogger Andy said...

This is the Amazon comment - from the LA Blues DVD.

In case you made it this far..here is what another buyer had to say.

*********************************
BEST STONES DVD/MOVIE CONCERT THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN, March 7, 2006
Reviewer: Bruce T. Remy Jr. "BTRJR007" (USA) - See all my reviews

when i ordered this item i was expecting the worst...fan shot etc etc. i thought the sound and picture quality was going to be unacceptable but i took the risk anyway because i am such a huge stones fan....let me tellyou this is the best stones concert i have ever seen on dvd....picture this....the stones on tour 1975...in their prime 30 years ago....not yet a corporate band....billy preston playing with them...ron woods first tour....bill wyman still in the band....keith probably still on dope and he has a full head of hair..and mick never looked better. this blows away any of the dvds of the voodoo lounge and bridges tours or even the gimme shelter and ladies and geltleman movies. the sound quality is excellent and most of the picture quality is excellent (lighting off in a couple of places). anyway, i don't see how this is a fan shot film beacause there a multiple angle shots, upclose and faraway shots.*****this is a must have for any stones fan******

2:05 PM  
Blogger mswinwood said...

recently, an article in forbes discussed the "obsoleting" of what we think is forever-captured data (and yes, content) due to advances in technology and the failure to keep storage up-to-date.

i.e. how many computers are available these days that have floppy drives . . . and what about those 5.5 and 8.5 disks that have really valuable stuff on them from only 10 years ago . . . gone. unaccessible.

so, while old fasioned paper and ink can last 100's of years, the stuff we create and store in various electronic formats -- which we think is safe and ours to fetch whenever we want -- will be lost forever simply because we won't be able to get at it anymore. -- our assumptions are kind of funny if not so pathetic.

i too have probably 2,000 grateful dead cassettes, many of the aud, some of them priceless, amost all unreplaceable . . . while it is the sbd's that get moved onto dat and then cd and now dvd . . . and soon too, as interest wanes to a halt 20 years from now, those will fall behind as well.

how soon will it be before we can't even buy a decent cassette player/recorder anymore . . . or they'll be such oddities that they'll be too expensive to repair or replace when need comes?

i do not have many "concerts" on vhs or dvd, but my favorite one is a grainy b&w vhs of gdead at duke in 1973 . . . sound is ok, picture sucks, but the energy just pours through from opener to encore. it always makes me smile as i once again am emersed in that special rootin-tootin gdead happiness.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hell, with regards to amateur-ish production, I think podcasting has proven that slick isn't a prerequisite any longer, right?

Regarding the technology question:

I think that if nothing else, the last year has proven that content will find its way into people's consumption, regardless of the technology. I think there are some scares out there that go along these themes:

*What if Microsoft dries up and blows away? Can we get at our .docs?

*What if .jpg , .mp3, etc go away? Ditto.

I think there will always be ways to get the content out and into another format. We still listen to ancient wax recordings in mp3, right?

-Chris of [chrisbrogan.com]

2:48 PM  
Blogger Ty Tribble said...

You are so right. I would much rather listen to good music that is full of static than crystal clear stereo of bad music.

Good post.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Rami Kayyali said...

I used to be a huge collector of cassettes. And yes, I admit it, most of them were copied from friends who copied them from friends who copied a copy of the originals; you can imagine how bad the sound was.

I remember how I used to "master" tapes from "original" copies! How my friends used to hang out at my place because I was one of the few who had a double-speed duplicator.

We used to reorder the songs when we get bored from the original, and it took us hours to complete a single tape. The quality literally sucked, and tapes always sounded stitched, clicks and pops everywhere, but you know what?! We loved it!

Ahh, I miss my walkman.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Mauricio Angulo S. said...

Well, bootleg editions not only mean bad, lousy material as the media companies wolud like us costumers to believe. THey also mean fresh, new, unedited, uncensored material from things we like. All the hi-def content around is also plaged by DRM, rootkits region-compatibilties issues and many more that if in the future only commercial material will survive, then the future will have a mutilated and incomplete version of our times.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Servant of Chaos said...

It is cool the way that musicians are using the technology to get their low-fi, raw, acoustic and alternative versions out there. You still have to have GREAT content -- but the technology can help spread the love further than ever before.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seller's e-mail address?

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Tom O'Leary said...

I SUPPOSE THAT CONTENT is degraded with every re-formatting shift. I'm sure that those who witnessed that Stones concert live in 1975 would argue that the DVD that you procured doesn't do the show justice.

Technology might improve the technical quality of a poorly recorded sound/image, but it brings it further and further away from the original each time. That's why I would prefer a bootleg original of a Grateful Dead show than a re-mastered copy.

I don't fear that we will actually lose much content though. As several commenters have suggested, old content is regularly lifted onto new platforms. The entire Bible was recently re-formatted into SMS text messaging format in Australia. But surely, with each reformat, some of the nuances are lost. Not different from a game of Chinese whispers - things normally get lost in translation - and that is true even when translating content into various technological platforms.

CONTENT is certainly KING.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Eric N. said...

Now I can't say I particularly like Rolling Stones or the Greatful Dead, but I think what people like and love is relative. My "Nirvana" is your gdead... When I hear bootlegs of live productions, I agree that it hits you. Hard. And sometimes you just need a few notes to bring you back 10, 20, or more years.

However, what you said about the changing mediums, and the obsolescence of these mediums as companies go out of business, and people move on to new formats, or file encodings, or technology ... I think it's the people who really care about this stuff, that take the time, and pass on their collections, either by choice, or in passing to the next generation who will save the music you love.

It's like when I rummage through good-will for wax-records. It's cool hip to do it. But maybe casettes will make a comeback when people put them up for donation, or to clear out space, or pass on. And that will rekindle a new wave of older music inspiring new music, and mashups, and mixups, and throw backs, and samplings, and people going back and finding more music.

But how do we keep the copies alive? What if there was a Wayback Machine for Music, a way back machine, or organization that strictly catalogued and stored copies of music with the intent to constantly upgrade their storage facilities to bigger, newer machines, and new formats -- mixed with people, like the commenter who has 200 tapes of gdead, who keeps them safe, or upgrades them themselves.

We'd all really have to work together.

Eric - [ericnakagawa.com]

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you about new tech replacing content. I still can't get into the HD thing, shoot, most movies are mediocre anyway why do we need 'ultimate clarity'. I like good stories. I also love live music dvd's and I can't find this Stones dvd anywhere. Can anyone help me find it?

Thanks

11:28 AM  
Blogger John said...

So when is the last time you watched a Busby Berkely musical?

9:18 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

I'm in South Africa (though I cand playu any area DVD's) I'd love to buy a copy of LA Blues - cheap. Can you help?

Cheers - Rob

See I'm for real I have my own web
www.returntomagic.co.za Please email me from there..thanks. I
was a teenager in the 60's in UK! So was a Stones fan then...

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Pheobe said...

I found a great deal of helpful information in this post!

12:05 PM  

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