If you’ve been coming around here for a while, you know I am a music lover (there are 88 posts under the category, music).  I have often said that we live in a marvelous time to be music lovers.  My old-fashioned stereo now lives in my office, ready to play any of the hundreds of CDs and small collection of LPs that I kept when we moved to Utah (I sold most my record collection before moving, keeping mostly the classical recordings).  Amazon Alexa sits on the shelf in the office and at my bedside, ready to play music on request.   Digital media allows me to carry my entire music collection (some ripped from CDs or from vinyl) with me whether on my cell phone or on my portable high-resolution player that delivers near audiophile sound.   Streaming media and the ubiquitous availability of wi-fi gives me access to practically any song by any artist anywhere through resources like Prime Music, Spotify and Sirius XM.  Wherever I am I can listen on high quality portable speakers, my Bose noise cancelling headphones, Bluetooth earbuds or high-resolution wired earbuds.  In my car, I can access Pandora, Sirius XM or play my music from my phone via Bluetooth.   It is pretty remarkable when you consider what I had in my teenage years, like my not-so-portable radio at the top of the page.

If I am in the mood for live performances … as I often am … I can hop over to YouTube and find performances by virtually any performer from the biggest stars to some local group I saw in concert, often with exceptional fidelity.   I can see live performances by performers that are no longer alive from virtually any genre.   Played on our large screen TV with audio played through the sound bar or my headphones, it is almost like being there.   Perhaps the best part is that If I login to YouTube using my Google ID, I will find a playlist of my favorites and suggestions of other performances by my favorite (or similar) artists and add them to my menu.  It works pretty well … after all it is owned by Google, a company that is a master at tracking our preferences and serving up what their algorithms say we want to see.  I have found a performers and music I’d never have found otherwise, sort of like it used to be when I wandered the music aisles at Borders, listening to new CDs on their listening stations.

After seeing Jennifer Hudson in the film, Aretha, I might go looking for Aretha’s performance of Respect and have YouTube suggest this remarkable duet with Stevie Wonder, singing Until You Come Back to Me.

Or I might search for other live performances by Jennifer Hudson and be led to this performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah by Tori Kelly (who I’ve never heard of) and Jennifer Hudson.  Pretty amazing.

A live performance of Jennifer singing Aretha’s hit Daydreaming may lead me to a remarkable performance of the same song by Diane Birch at Daryl’s House.   So, when it comes to music, I guess you could say YouTube is MyTube.   That’s not so much the case when it comes to my other interests, like politics, science and spirituality.  Their algorithms seem to have different objectives when it comes to these topics.  We’ll talk about that on another day. 

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