A few pictures from my last visit to the V&A in September.

Why is group listening suddenly becoming so big?

If you’re on the internet and interested in music then it’s difficult to miss things like turntable.fm and the other group listening services that have sprung up.

When I’ve looked at these I keep getting the feeling that they’re missing something. That in some ways the service has been designed to approximate the act of physical group listening into a digital environment, but something is missing. Perhaps what is missing from these attempts is the not possible to re-create in a digital world, or perhaps it isn’t possible to re-create the experience I remember as group listening.

The last point is important to me. Any form of digital group listening experience coloured by our own memory of what that experience means. For me it is rooted in teenage experiences of listening to vinyl and cassettes with friends. For someone growing up now the act of group listening may be first experienced in a digital environment and therefore we come at it from two very different perspectives.

So for me whilst things like turntable.fm may not work, for others they may be the ideal. I have to live with that.