Millennials these days are so lucky. They can take their music anywhere with them on their smartphones and tablets. Music lovers in the 80s and 90s did not have it so easy. To listen to their favourite tracks, they endured the torture of resolving entangled cassette tapes, carry bulky Discman with them on the go and went through other crazy loads of inconveniences that would baffle millennials today. We have put together some of the scenarios that Millenials would never understand.
1. The horror when your cassette tape is all tangled up.
Coming home to find your baby brother or sister pulling out your tapes or opening the tape player to find a mess of tangled tape is probably the worse feeling ever.But of course, everyone knows the secret hack – all you have to do is to rewind the cassette tapes with a pen or pencil and voila! it will keep the tapes in place again.
2. The trouble you had to go through just to get a mix tape
For the first time ever, you could create your own mix tapes (aka.Your playlist). Jamboxes usually comes with two cassette decks. One is to pop in a blank tape while the other is for the already recorded tape. Simply hit “record” as you play your selected tune.
Alternatively, you could listen to the radio the entire day, and pray that the song would play it on air so that you can record it. However, there was a high chance you would be caught off guard and missed out on the beginning of the song.
3. Not-so-portable Discman
You can never take your discman while you jog. Firstly, it is too bulky to fit in your pocket. Secondly, the CD would skip repeatedly as you jog. Thankfully, as technology progressed, there was an anti-skip protection function that would prevent it. However, that function itself would drain your batteries. That leads me to the next point.
4. Rechargeable Batteries Was Your Holy Grail
Rechargeable batteries was a MUST HAVE for Avid music listeners. For those who likes listening to their Discman while sleeping, you know you are able to finish a whole box of batteries within a month.
5. Saving Money To Buy Empty CDs
Your regular after-school activities is probably heading to Popular bookstores to get a stack of empty CDs so that you can go back to create your own mix tape by burning CDs.For you Millennials out there, we don’t literally mean burning by setting it on fire. If you are clueless, burning a CD means to copy or write information onto a Compact Disc (CD)
6. The Amazing Mp3
Remember the first time you found out Mp3 format allows you to burn 100 over songs into a CD? That was probably one of the best things as a music lover. In the past, a CD could only contain up to 20 songs. No longer do you need to fill the entire bag with CDs during road trips or while travelling.
7. MP4 Players
When the first MP4 came out at the size of a thumb drive, everyone was intrigued. What was this sorcery? Can such a small device contain so many songs? Finally a device that fits into our pocket that allows us to jog and listen to music at the same time! What’s more, some of them comes in small screens, which allows you to watch videos!
8. Click Wheel
Apple fans! I don’t know about you, but this is my favourite invention from Apple. Millennials would probably never understand why. What was so amazing about this wheel, is that it uses a combination of both touch technology and traditional buttons. In those days, before touch screens technology came about, most of our devices uses keypads and buttons.
9. Creating your own ringtone
If you have a phone in the 90s, it is probably a Nokia phone. Nokia Phone was known for its function to create your own ringtone. The sound of your ringtone is basically your identity. Having your personalised ringtone was so popular that you can easily find pages of newspaper advertisements displaying songs you can download as your ringtone (at $1.99).
10. Finding out the Song’s title
Before Soundhound, there was absolutely no way to find out the song title that was playing on the radio, unless the DJ decides to say it when the song ends. There was an option though, where we could send a text to the radio station and they would send the title to us at a cost of $0.30 per sms.
11. The way to send your love is to dedicate a song on air.
Proclaiming your love on air was probably the most romantic thing then. You can dedicate song at any occasion… Anniversary, graduation (oh, graduation song is the most played song in Nov & Dec), to cheer someone up, or even during exams period.
12. Showing how cool you are, by displaying the song you are currently listening to on you msn status
One of the ways to impress your crush was to show him/her what cool songs you listen to. MSN had this special feature that connects your music player to their system so it will indicate whatever song that was playing from your music player. Honestly, I doubt anyone cared about what songs we were listening to, but we all thought it was cool wasn’t it?
13 . The excitement when you unopened the CD contents.
You’ll never know what to expect. Millennials would never know the excitement when you see the music booklet that comes with the CD. We would sing along to the tracks while reading the lyrics from the booklet.
Do share with us what other experiences you had!
About The Guest Blogger
Javen Ling, Founder of Alternate Tone Music School Singapore. Specialise in providing piano and guitar lessons. You can check out his school’s website here: www.alternatetone.com.