So we have for some time been watching that treasure of personal music ownership being removed not only from the hands of the consumer but also from the performer. The industry pundits are convinced that our entertainment future is in the cloud, led by the convenience and accessibility of virtual music and video.

Between Streaming services a la Spotify and Deezer for music, and Netflix and YouTube for video, we the great unwashed hoi poloi of consumers are no longer expected to own the physical media. We are apparently in our future to be entirely reliant on the cloud and the broadcast for all home entertainment.

Sonos the grand master of multi room audio, are very proud of their disintermediated product being the original ZP100, that is over five years old and with ongoing software revisions is still capable of working today ... Oh dear ... (a disintermediated consumer product is a box that is upgraded via software rather than hardware).

So the ZP100 Sonos is a box that is a celebrated survivor in an iGen world that sees consumer product life cycles of two years as being the norm of longevity ... this is customary in contemporary digital consumer devices such as your new Asian flat panel TV with a two year lifespan or your telco device with less than a year of expected utility.

By contrast we have a steady stream of people coming in to our store who are updating their old record players usually by the simple expedient of replacing the belt and stylus. They are thus enabled to continue to enjoy their music that was often acquired in their early teenage years and then expanded with their personas … no software upgrades required … some of these collections were began fifty years ago.

In our shop we are also continually meeting people who are striving to improve the quality of replay of the streamed music with an ever burgeoning addition of HiFi prosthetics in an attempt to recover the brightness and intensity of what was once the everyday music experience. It’s been a good but volatile business in Digital To Analogue Converters, Streamers, Bridges, Networks, Blueteeth, Airplays, Intels, Zone Players etc, that people have been acquiring in order to attempt to conveniently disseminate their new media …

The difficulty inherent in the evolving digital dissemination of media was exemplified to me by a client who contacted us this week requiring an upgrade to a multi room system purchased in 2012 … the six zone tablet driven system was purveyed by a retail major with the fashionable mix of Apple and Yamaha that was promise to be convenient, simple, and accessible but has now become too buggy to use ... after three years ...

The system was professionally installed and had an accompanying custom user manual of no less than 82 pages … private aircraft have smaller manuals … if they had just got an amplifier with an on/off knob and a tape deck then they wouldn't even have had to be literate to know how to use it.

One other issue of the cloud is that we are no longer sure that the piece of media that we wish to play for a nominal fee is actually the same as the one we were looking to entertain ourselves with. I am very conscious as I search on Deezer and YouTube for the particular of my reprobate taste of music and video that I am not actually attaining the original version that I so crave after it having been implanted in me in the seventies and eighties. I have far more apparent choice but far less control it seems.

Meanwhile the musician business model for a reasonable return on their creativity and labours has also been undermined. Whilst the hypothetical opportunity of artists making and purveying music and bypassing the evil and apparently parasitic recording companies to sell direct to the end listener might have been briefly realised, in practice the likes of Apple, Spotify, and Deezer are a new feudalism for the artist guaranteeing them an increasingly low return for whenever their music is streamed digitally.

This is why owning your own music in an original analogue version is so important. Without that hard copy you will forever be fated to be replaying a ghost of the machine and the artists you love will wither on the vine and fade to grey ....