Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Hipsters Have Gone Too Far.

I love physical media as much as the next guy. Maybe a bit more. Or less. I don't know actually. Point being, I love collecting CDs, DVDs, and records. I think it's cool that even though we're in the era of digital media, physical formats are making a comeback. I find there's some extra fun and enjoyment that comes with laying down an old Minor Threat record and hearing the soft crackling before the music starts, and the act of having to get up and flip the record over before you can listen to the next half of the album. This kind of stuff, even though it started before my time and seems a bit disingenuous for someone my age to do, helps me enjoy my music a little bit more. It makes my music a real, tangible thing, and I love that.

I have hipsters to thank for this. I know, everyone hates hipsters, and I do too most of the time. But without hipsters bringing records back into the mainstream, I never would have started collecting. I didn't even know people still pressed records until a couple years ago, but I blame that on my own ignorance. Now though, hipsters have gone too far. Records and cassettes are fine and dandy, because most people who want to buy them have inherited old record players or cassette decks from their parents to play them with. If not, you can just mosey on down to your local thrift store or electronics shop and pick one up for real cheap.

But this. This is too much for me to handle.

No, that's not some rad 90's educational video game. That's music. Music on a god damned floppy disk. Why would anybody in their right minds collect music on a 3.5" floppy disk? I mean, I guess storage isn't an issue. The biggest 3.5" disks held like 200 to 250 MB. Just looking around, a 320 kbps version of Converge's newest album takes up less than 100 MB of space. But just having music on that medium seems to be so ridiculous, it has to be either a joke or a gimmick. It's not a gag, though. There are entire record labels dedicated to music on floppy disks. Nobody owns a computer that can play floppy disks anymore, you certainly can't buy a new one, and I don't think I've seen a computer that old show up in a thrift store ever. If you do for some reason have a computer old enough to play floppy disks that still works, you've also got to somehow explain to your friends that come over as to why you have a 1995 HP desktop sitting on the shelf on your living room.

It doesn't make sense to my why bands would want to record albums on floppy disks either. I understand that the medium is analog, which is nice, but records and cassettes are analog formats, too. Unless you press your album on multiple formats, only releasing your shit on a floppy seems to put your fans in kind of a shitty situation. What's the point of making music if you toss it onto formats that only a handful of your fans can actually listen to? Again, if it were a gimmick, I'd be cool with it. I probably wouldn't pick up an Agoraphobic Nosebleed 3.5" floppy (J. Randall would go straightedge before he did something as stupid as release music on a floppy for money) if they pumped them out for shits and giggles anyways, but I'd be more accepting of the medium if it were just a joke.

Maybe 3.5" floppy disks are the future. Maybe I'm just a grumpy fuck. What do you guys think of this? Are floppy disks cool? Is it a medium you would buy your music on? Do you want to hang those hipsters by their own cashmere scarfs? Let me know, I'm genuinely interested to hear what different people think of this trend.

At least people aren't releasing music on VHS tapes or anything.



  1. "I mean, I guess storage isn't an issue. The biggest 3.5" disks held like 200 to 250 MB"

    huh? a standard 3.5" floppy disk holds under 1.5Mb. 200/250Mb would be something like a ZIP disk

    1. I honestly just wikipedia'd floppy disks and found that the biggest storage for a 3.5" disk was 240MB. If a standard disk holds under 1.5 MB, then that's just another problem with recording to floppy: you can only fit a handful of songs on them at most.

  2. I love floppies. I can't get enough floppy. I think floppies are making a comeback. FLOPPY FOR THE FUTURE!

  3. That is absolutely bonkers. I agree with you that vinyl making a comeback is cool, and it's fun to see new albums coming out in that media. But the floppy disks are nuts. Who on earth still has a computer WITH SPEAKERS that can play this stuff? And how good would the quality be on those speakers?