Do they really sound that bad?

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

What do you think of cassettes?

Most people write them off as an inferior form of media, remembering the days of warbled sound, too much hiss or your tape being eaten by your Walkman or boombox.

But are all of these memories accurate? Was the format really that bad?

I love collecting vinyl records but I grew up with cassettes. Born in 1978, I came into the world just before the official release of the CD format in 1982. When I was young, I would take a portable cassette deck outside to the swing…

Unfortunately, she doesn’t have a computer.

The Private Library

Fran Lebowitz doesn’t own a computer, a typewriter or a cell phone. She doesn’t shop online, email or use social media.

She does, however, own an expensive apartment in New York City and has amassed a collection of over 10,000 books.

These things, among others, is what I learned while watching Martin Scorsese’s profile of Fran on Netflix called, Pretend It’s A City.

I’ve been an avid reader on Medium since inception and I’ve started to notice a formula for writers who make money on this platform. Most articles start with a “How To…” or a “Top Five Ways To…”…

Buying cheap vinyl records from thrift stores is another great way to find new music. As suggested by Isaiah McCall below, listening to music in a different genre can be…

Courtesy of

Yesterday was a busy news day given the second impeachment of Donald Trump, something that’s never happened to a United States President before. The news came in around 4pm our time and I pretty much couldn’t focus on anything else but the news.

But that wasn’t the only big news if you are a fan of the NBA. James Harden was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets where he joins Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to form a new Big 3.

I was a Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls fan growing up but fell out of watching…

Buying vinyl records during a pandemic saved me.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

I loved the below article by John DeVore, describing his love of listening to albums again. I have a large collection of vinyl records and they kept me sane during 2020.

I finally reorganized my records by alphabet instead of genre. I updated my collection on Discogs and listed the ones I no longer listen to on my Discogs store for others to buy. I bought a collection of 2,000 records and have been reselling them to bring in extra money to buy even more records. …

I’ve surrounded myself with too many vinyl records to listen to.

I enjoyed the below article from Jessica Stillman about creating an anti-library with too many books to read, particularly this quote, “By providing a constant reminder of all the things he didn’t know, Eco’s library kept him intellectually hungry and perpetually curious.”

My perpetual curiosity is fueled by listening to vinyl records that I’ve never heard before. I’m curious about the artists, the musical style, how it was recorded and the musicians who played on it.

I am closing in on owning up to 2,000 albums and running out…

Photo by Kasuma from Pexels

James Clear posted the following quote today:

There are nearly endless opportunities to improve each day and finding them largely boils down to being curious.

People who are better in the end are usually curious in the beginning.”

I think of myself of as a curious person. I like to figure out how things work. I try to research something that is broken to see if I can fix it myself. I read books about subjects such as high end audio to better learn about how to build a hifi system. I’m curious about the records I find in thrift…

Jeff Tweedy and dealing with my social media addiction…

I’m currently reading Jeff Tweedy’s book, How To Write One Song, and came across this wonderful section,

“…most of my time spent creating is not actively in pursuit of writing the greatest song in the world. I’m more focused on just being very satisfied with the idea that I’m not hurting anybody. It’s a process, and whatever happens, that’s great. I come out of my creative state at some point to look through what I’ve created and find enough pieces that make me think, ‘That’s really good. I should share that.’…

A story about buying speakers way too big for my tiny listening room.

When I first started out in vintage audio, I knew I needed to upgraded my speakers. I began researching vintage speakers and one pair kept popping up as legendary, the JBL L-100 speakers. I was thrown off by the price, often over $800 a pair, and mentioned to a friend that I wanted JBLs but they were too expensive. He suggested I look for Pioneer HPM-100 speakers instead. They were designed by the same person who made them for JBL but the Pioneers were an improvement from…

When I was high school, I decided to listen to jazz. This was in the mid-90’s when grunge and alternative were all the rage and I had spent plenty of time listening to both. There isn’t a shining moment for my decision to listen to jazz. I didn’t grow up with an older brother or sister who told me to expand my musical palette nor was I exposed to anyone with a large knowledge of music in general. …

Aaron Hartley

Vinyl Record Collector and Reseller. Audio Gear Enthusiast. Music Nerd. Father of Twins. Cubs Fan.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store