Once upon a time, music snobs were creatures of analog. Their library of records and bootleg cassette tapes was the physical proof of their euphonious expertise. But in an age of mp3s, file-sharing and disappearing record shops, how does a connoisseur prove their devotion? Instagramming?

hipster cat music snob

It has an allure, those endless shelves of black vinyl and their massive album murals. You think of a record store, or you think of John Cusack’s apartment in High Fidelity. There’s the sense of completeness to a collection and with it an intrinsic curiosity and wonder, that if you had the time to comb such a trove you might find that one, perfect piece of music — like Borges searching for the word of God in the library of Babylon.

But record stores are dying, as we’ve heard for years, just as bookstores are dying, and newspapers… All going the way of cobblers and lamplighters. It’s not hard to understand why. When you think about it, at any given moment you’re surrounded by more music than a record store could possibly contain. In your phone, in the iPods of joggers on the street, and booming from Spotify and Pandora playlists conjured from thin air, not by magic but the next best thing: free WiFi.

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