What is your attention span? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Mr Peabody
09-11-2007, 03:10 PM
Since CD's hold more music most albums are longer in length and can add bonus tracks. I don't know if it's the length or my attention span grows shorter but I find I can rarely listen to an entire CD anymore. Some of my old favorites I still can. At night it could be I get too relaxed. I just wondered about other of you music fans listening habit.

Finch Platte
09-11-2007, 03:31 PM
Well, it seems to me...

What was the question again?


09-11-2007, 08:46 PM
I think that the CD has allowed the artist to include many songs that might not otherwise have made an album back in the days of vinyl. Sometimes its a good thing, but most of the time its not. I myself feel that 45-55 minutes is a good length for an album. Many bands go over 70 now-a-days and it waters down the effort. Spock's Beard is a band that comes to mind - their last few albums seem so lack luster and spotty, but if you edit them down to 45 minutes or so, they're better (I think a lot of prog is this way). Sure, there are bands that are capable of putting out good 60-70 minute plus albums, but most bands/artists would be better off letting someone else edit the CD lengths.

Its not an attention deficit issue, its a creativity deficit issue.

09-11-2007, 08:50 PM
I would always rather have 7 superb tracks as opposed to 12 tracks with 7 good songs and 5 filler tracks. It's annoying to see artists feel like they need to 'fill' an album with an average of 12-14 tracks at 60m in length.

09-11-2007, 09:28 PM
I am a big fan of live albums and sometimes they can get away with it,but 90% of studio albums i agree way to long.


Lance B
09-11-2007, 10:59 PM
Well, it seems to me...

What was the question again?


LOL. You stole my thunder.

09-12-2007, 12:16 AM
Kinda like...


09-12-2007, 04:27 AM
I only completely listen to them if I really like all the tracks, if not, I skip the fillers...

09-12-2007, 05:37 AM
I would always rather have 7 superb tracks as opposed to 12 tracks with 7 good songs and 5 filler tracks. It's annoying to see artists feel like they need to 'fill' an album with an average of 12-14 tracks at 60m in length.

How do you decide which are the 7 great tracks? If we looked at a 12 track CD, your fave 7 and my fave 7 might be completely different, so I can see why a band might want to fill more space and try to attract some different people with a wider range of songs.

I don't know how many interviews I've heard over the years where a band is suprised that a particular song on their album, that they thought was mediocre, became a hit with their fans. How many of these songs might have been left off the disk because the band thought they were filler? Although, I agree that an artist shouldn't fill a CD just because they can. They should believe in the artistic merit of their work.

The problem with the song vs. filler argument is that, like everything musical, it's too subjective. Your filler might be my favourite song.

I guess the bottom line for me is what 3-LB said so well...Its not an attention deficit issue, its a creativity deficit issue. Whether a CD is 30 minutes or 70 minutes, if it's solid through and through, I'll listen to it all.

09-12-2007, 06:26 AM
Huh? What was I saying?

Oh, you wanted to know if... uh, what?

Ever stop to think and........

Oh, forget to start again?

09-12-2007, 06:29 AM
I have the attention span, I rarely have the free time. Travelling and mowing my lawn seem to be the only times I can find 70 minutes or more uninterrupted.

I agree with FA - I'd rather have the filler on the off-chance there's a gem in there than have 45 minutes of music and hope all of it's good... Lots of times the band's favorite tunes are different from their fans picks.
The best example I can think of in recent years maybe is Pearl Jam's "Lost Dogs" CD. That consisted of a lot of B-sides an tunes that just weren't fit for their studio albums, yet it became very popular and despite being a 2 CD album is one of their better works, against all odds.

IMO, album quality is more a function of the number of good songs. It's not so much the filler I hate, it's the absence of quantity of quality. If I buy an album with 4 awesome, mind blowing songs and 8 filler tunes, I'm pretty happy. These days you're lucky to find that. 1 good song and 11 filler tracks is more typical...

I can think of no genre of music that doesn't have its share of "filler". Really though, most albums I have contain 1 or 2 solid tracks, several mediocre, half-decent stuff that "die hard fans" will appreciate, and otherwise only satisfy in the context of the entire album, and then maybe 3 or 4 tracks that I frequently avoid.

It all comes down to personal preference. Every band has certain characteristics that appeal to different people. Filler to you might not be filler to me. For example, I for one happen to really enjoy the last 2 Spock's Beard albums in their enitrety, and hear less of the things that annoyed in their previous works. 3LB's tastes, while equally valid, lead him in another direction...that's fine. Cutting more than maybe a song or two would reduce my satisfaction some. But at least 3LB can hit the skip button - if the tunes weren't on the CD I'd be missing out.

It's about choice - today the CD enables us to skip the filler if we dont' want it. Nobody's forcing you to listen to the stuff that doesn't meet your personal preferences. I'm all for the using the extra space up!

Mr Peabody
09-12-2007, 08:14 AM
Shoooo, it's good to know I'm still alright, or at least as close as I was before I thought I had developed a phobia. Well said 3LB. FA brings up a good point as well. Wasn't it Maggie Mae that accidently ended up on Rod Stewart's album? Your right though, there are more than one story typical of a B side or a song just thrown on that ended up being a hit. Maybe I will just have to quit being so tolerant and hit the skip when I feel the enjoyment fading. I do try to listen to every song on a new album at least once all the way unless I feel there is just no way it could have any redeeming factor.

09-12-2007, 12:27 PM
I think FA is right, its all subjective. In the days of CD with progam function, as well as CD burners, it may well be a moot point. I can edit down a double CD album like Melloncollie and The Infinite Sadness by Smashing Pumpkins to one CD, but my edit is going to be way different than some college dude's edit.

In fact, I often make edited versions of albums just so I don't have to hit the skip button. And I still make comps as well, where the 80 minute capacity of a CD comes in handy.

Mr Peabody
09-12-2007, 01:16 PM
For that very reason, I sure am thinking about some day maybe getting one of those music servers to use as a transport. I could put my favorite songs off CD and vinyl on there. I hesitate some because I wonder how accurate the playback would be and also how complex it would be to use. So far I have not found a computer program that I like to deal with and those servers look almost as complicated. I deal with WMA for my mp3 player out of necessity.