The other day my sister, nephew, and I were touring around LA by subway. We decided to go check out Amoeba records which is one of the largest record/cd stores left in the USA. I'd been before but it's been years.
Something that happened within the last year, I got rid of all my stuff and started traveling. As such I only have a phone and a laptop computer. My laptop doesn't have a CD drive. So, I have NO WAY TO RIP CDs. I can't use a CD even if I wanted to. That means getting a CD is completely useless to me. I went to some concert in the last year and bought the band's CD but I had to get someone else to rip it for me. I've got to imagine many people are in the same boat at this point.
Whatever, I still went to check out Amoeba records. Sure, as an old fart, there's still something nostalgic about looking around, seeing all the CDs and records and flipping through a few. Seeing the covers.
But..., then it starts to dawn on me. What the F is the point? Why would I pick this over browsing online? There's thens of thousands of CDs and Records at Amoeba but I can't listen to any of them. I have no idea how to find one I like. I look up some old favor artists but they haven't released anything new in years. Unlike the internet there's no way to search for "if you liked XYZ you might also like DEF". I can't pick and choose. CDs at Amoeba still cost $10 to $18 even though I might only like 1 song on the entire CD.
I eventually went up the DVD section. That used to be fun too back in the day. But now with youtube, netflix, amazon, hulu, and bittorrent it's more of the same. Way over priced. $17 to $40 for a DVD/Blu−ray. No way to preview it or see the trailer before I look. No way to find out recommendations based on what I like. And, for me, just like CDs, no way to watch. I don't own a DVD player or a Blu−ray player at the moment.
I don't begrudge other old farts and fans their nostalgia but dang, a record store in 2014 just seems like about the most entirely useless place.