There is a wonderful metaphor we can use to understand the differences between generations: Music playback medium … the gramaphone, LP Records, 8-track, Cassette Tapes, CD, and now the MP3, digital. Each one “belongs” to a certain generation.
However the nice thing about this metaphor is that it shows how generational cycles occur. i.e. Vinyl records are now a big part of Xer/Millenial dance culture … no longer are they just in the realm of Boomer taste.
Typically, the medium could be “assigned” to a generation:
Gramaphone – Silent Generation
LP Records, Casettes – Boomer
CDs, MP3 – Xers … Millenial.
But the nature of the medium and the choice they have given us have changed. You could not record your own content onto an LP. Then came the Casette where you could begin recording your favourite content from your friends and radio stations. CDs came along as initialy static medium (the industry rejoiced .. .for a short while), and then became malleable. Now, MP3 players are virtually portable hard drives that give the user a whole bunch of choice regaridng what they listen to.
The usability also changes. Who would have thought “Scratching” (the art of reversing the playing direction of an LP to produce a )would become the “sound” of a generation. There is also a movement now that is turning the traditional wedding photo album on its head … iPods are becoming the new wedding photo albums. Who knows what is next?

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