Actually, on record stores:I used to do a lot of record shopping, but that stopped being possible in Victoria several years ago. When I was in Berlin last summer, I had the chance to go record shopping, and I discovered an amazing thing. Turn out I had not been listening to music, not properly, for the last five years. In a record store, with nothing between me and the needle, with no chance to distract myself, I had to take the damn time to hear things. This was relevatory. The amount of care I put into that purchase was much, much higher than any recent grab from Beatport or Bleep. Not because of format issues, but because of listening and focus issues.
I think it’s possible to listen to music this way online, but it’s much harder. Beatport times out after two minutes, Bleep works in 30 second chunks, Boomkat has BEEEEPS regularly. Randall Munroe, of XKCD fame, spoke to this a bit in this post , and there are apps like Freedom that turn off your internet connection. I just went through the Resident Advisor reviews RSS feed, paying as much attention as I could…and I still got lost, briefly, chatting with a friend. Focus is hard on the interwebs. The best way to really turn your ears on to music is to go to a record store, sit and listen for an hour or three, and then choose your tracks.