In addition to song reviews and playlists, Fingertips also features intermittent longer essays, typically tackling issues relevant to the evolving digital music scene. Essays will emerge whenever the muse strikes.

Essays to date:

The measure of all things
(Surviving as a qualitative enterprise in a quantitative world) 13 Apr 22

Defending the MP3
(Making the case for an unloved medium) 12 Feb 21

Yeah, but is it art?
(The crucial, overlooked difference between the human- and the computer-generated) 10 Mar 20

Another day in product placement hell
(On-screen gun violence begets off-screen gun violence here in the U.S., because product placement works.) 18 Nov 19

Your attention please
(The attention economy and the human condition) 26 Aug 19

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Literally, the end. Because then there’s an ice wall
(Even musicians, alas, are not immune to being know-nothing internet nitwits) 11 Apr 19

Rescuing classic rock (with bonus playlist)
(Can we undo the damage done by classic rock radio?) 7 Jun 18

Bursting bubbles: the problem with playlists
(Homogenized playlists and their discontents) 2 May 18

Everything wrong with the web, journalism, and music on the internet, in one convenient article
(Junk web content strikes again) 14 Dec 17

Music Delivery and the Empathy Vacuum
(On piracy, empathy, streaming, and autocracy) 8 Feb 17

Full of Schmidt
(Just put all of us into a big blender and spew out data and we’ll be a-okay) 16 Sep 15

In Defense of Quality
(There is nothing innovative about pandering for a profit) 9 Jan 15

Web Comments: Can We Cut the Crap Already?
(It doesn’t have to be like this. Seriously) 7 Oct 14

U2 and the Irony of “Permission Rage” 18 Sep 14
(How dare U2 give me free music that I didn’t have to steal!)

The Narcissism of Free
(Let’s think more clearly about what free music really indicates) 12 Jun 14

The Subtle Sorrow of Social Media
(What do friendship and social media have in common? Maybe not much) 25 Mar 14

This next group of four essays were published once upon a time by Linn, a British maker of high-end audio systems, back when they had a blog devoted to general topics related to the listening experience. They are no longer on the Linn site but when possible I’ve found permanent links via the Wayback Machine:

> Share, Don’t Broadcast [published on the Linn music blog]
(Real sharing is not about 24/7 broadcasting) 12 Mar 14

> Is There Any Hope For Eclectic Listening? [published on the Linn music blog]
(Your musical taste is more interesting and powerful than the internet wants to believe) 11 Nov 13

> The Power of Repeated Listening [published on the Linn music blog]
(Sometimes it takes a bit of time to know what you like) 10 Jul 13

> In Defense of Music [published on the Linn music blog]
(Remembering that the power of music is independent of technology) 29 Aug 12

Are Social Media Values Human Values?
(Some concrete reasons to mistrust social media enterprises) 30 May 12

Everything Looks Like a Nail: The “Social Music” Fallacy
(Is music really “made to be shared”?) 7 Nov 11

It’s Called Viral For a Reason
(On the dubious achievement of “going viral”) 31 Oct 11

Does Genuine Curation Stand a Chance?
(Curating is great, but the web typically defeats it) 14 Oct 11

Forecast: Cloudy
(The underrated importance of music buyers) 16 Sept 11

The Fate of Music in the Age of No Effort
(Convenience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be) 2 June 11

The Tyranny of Novelty
(We encourage the novel over the good, sadly enough) 8 Apr 11

Spamalot (Or, New Adventures in BitTorrentland)
(Indie band invents the spam album; hilarity ensues) 24 Mar 11

Portishead, Twitter, and Resisting Digital Ideology
(Do we all want to be ideologues? Really?) 14 Jan 11

Free Is Not The End
(Why technology-induced chaos is meant to be tamed) 13 Sept 10


The following essays were posted on an older version of the Fingertips web site and are no longer available:

The Free Music Mirage
(Why some music but not all music will be free) 3 May 10

Playlist Nation: The Unbearable Lightness of Sharing
(Online playlist sharing is an exercise in collective expressive futility) 22 Mar 10

Farewell to the Casual Music Fan
(Why catering to so-called “true fans” could backfire on rock’n’roll) 9 Nov 09

Music is Not Like Water
(Exposing the idiocy of many of today’s “future of music” ideas) 29 Apr 09

Got to Do What You Should
(A Free and Legal MP3 Manifesto) 26 Jan 09

The Sound of a Brand New World
(What to make of Radiohead’s In Rainbows pay-as-you-will experiment) 10 Jan 08

The Future (or Not) of the Album
(How the CD, not the internet, slayed the album) 2 Aug 07

The Secret…Okay, a Different One
(Examining the reality of bad opinions) 24 Mar 07

(Why critics hating Coldplay reflects worse on them than the band) 16 Jul 05

14 Arguments for the Elimination of Pop Music Critics
(Self-explanatory) 10 Feb 05

(Getting a handle on 50+ years of rock’n’roll) 16 Mar 04

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