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Understanding New Media

Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition


Robert K. Logan

Marshall McLuhan made many predictions in his seminal 1964 publication, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man. Among them were his predictions that the Internet would become a «global village,» making us more interconnected than television; the closing of the gap between consumers and producers; the elimination of space and time as barriers to communication; and the melting of national borders. He is also famously remembered for coining the expression «the medium is the message.» These predictions form the genesis of this updated volume by Robert K. Logan, a friend and colleague who worked with McLuhan. In this second edition of Understanding New Media Logan expertly updates McLuhan’s Understanding Media to analyze the «new media» McLuhan foreshadowed and yet was never able to analyze or experience. The book is designed to reach a new generation of readers as well as appealing to scholars and students who are familiar with Understanding Media.
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Chapter 28. The Phonograph and New Modes of Recorded Music


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Content and extension: The content of recorded audio, whether by a phonograph record, tape recording, CD, MP3 player such as an iPod, tablet, smartphone, or streaming is music and the spoken word and hence it extends the ear.

Cascade: The cascade is from live music or conversation to the recording medium (vinyl record, tape, CD, MP3 or iPod, tablet, radio, and streaming) to the player to the ear.

LOM: Recorded music enhances listening to music, obsolesces the home performance of music, retrieves past performances, and reverses into a storage medium for all digital data. ← 229 | 230 →

28.1  Impact of “New Media” on the Phonograph, the Tape Recorder, and Recorded Music Through MP3 Players, Tablets, Smartphones, and Streaming

The phonograph and the tape recorder have been largely replaced by the CD, MP3 players, tablets, smartphones, and streaming. The vinyl phonograph record, which has largely become obsolete, survives as an art object. No longer manufactured for a mass market, it is still sought out by collectors who claim that the analog sound of the phonograph record is more realistic and warmer than the sound of the CD and other digital media.

The largest impact on recorded music has been the decline in revenue earned by the industry. In the USA, recorded music revenue due almost totally to CD sales peaked in 1999 at approximately $20...

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