BBC 6 Minute English | OLD TECHNOLOGY | English Subtitle

source: Daily Listening    2016年9月9日
Did you ever own a Walkman or a record player? Is there still a market for DVD rental stores? Alice and Neil discuss old tech and why the US Pentagon still uses floppy disks.

0:00 Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English.
0:02 I'm Alice…
0:03 And I'm Neil.
0:04 We’re talking about old technology today, Neil.
0:06 Did you use to have any old tech, you know, a Walkman, back in the 1990s?
0:11 Before music went digital?
0:12 No.
0:13 I didn't have a Walkman…
0:14 But I do have a record player.
0:16 I know you like flared trousers, but I didn't realize you were that retro.
0:21 A record player, for those of you who don’t know, is a box with a turntable – or turning
0:26 plate that you put your vinyl records on to play them.
0:30 And retro means going back to styles and fashions from the past.
0:33 Well, I love my record player.
0:36 I have a large collection of vinyl records, as well as cassette tapes that I inherited
0:40 from my parents…
0:42 Vinyl is the plastic that records are made from.
0:45 And cassette tapes came after records – which are these small plastic cases with audiotape
0:51 on reels inside them.
0:53 Well, I don't understand your fondness for out-dated stuff, Neil.
0:57 Don't be so quick to dismiss old tech, Alice.
0:59 There's been a resurgence – or new rise in – record sales recently – here in the
1:04 UK, and in the US.
1:05 Some DJs have gone back to using them, and new record stores have opened to meet the
1:10 demand for vinyl.
1:12 Really?
1:13 Yes, really.
1:14 In fact, I have a question for you, Alice: How many records were sold in the UK in 2014?
1:20 Was it… a) 10,000?
1:22 b) 100,000?
1:24 Or c) 1 million?
1:27 Well, I think it’s b) 100,000.
1:32 We'll find out if you're right or wrong later in the show.
1:34 For myself, I just think vinyl sounds nicer than digital – has a warmer quality.
1:40 That sounds a bit technical, Neil!
1:42 Don't you think this retro trend has more to do with nostalgia for the past?
1:46 Nostalgia means thinking about the past with a mixture of warm feelings and sadness.
1:51 Well, yes, I think people who grew up with the old technology probably are nostalgic
1:56 about it.
1:57 Let's listen to music journalist Jacqueline Springer talking about cassette tapes and
2:02 what they mean to her.
2:04 They were audio love letters.
2:07 They were ways in which you started to carve out your own identity so you know when Dan
2:12 or I have interviewed people we talk about… we talk to musicians about their impressions
2:18 and, you know, and their influences, and invariably it was siblings or parents.
2:21 And you would raid those vinyl albums and you would self-select.
2:27 Jacqueline Springer there.
2:28 So she calls cassette tapes 'audio love letters' – because people often compiled – or put
2:33 together – their own collection of songs on tapes and gave them to the boy or girl
2:38 they liked.
2:39 Jacqueline says they recorded songs from their parents' record collections onto tape.
2:44 And it seems that this process helped create their musical and social identity.
2:48 Yes.
2:49 I identified with The Rolling Stones, The Clash, and The Sex Pistols when I was a teen.
2:54 How about your musical identity, Alice?
2:56 Well, I was in love with all the boy bands from the 1990s – NSync, Westlife, Backstreet
3:02 Boys, Take That.
3:04 Unbelievable.
3:05 I can see I need to make you some decent tapes of music from the 90s, Alice.
3:09 I didn’t say I still like boy bands, Neil.
3:12 I'm not nostalgic for my lost teenage years – unlike you.
3:16 Old tech is everywhere.
3:17 Did you know that the US nuclear weapons force still uses a computer system dating back to
3:22 the 1970s with 8-inch floppy disks?
3:26 Floppy disks?
3:27 You mean those flexible plastic computer disks used for storing data magnetically.
3:31 Well, I can't believe the guys in The Pentagon are nostalgic about floppy disks.
3:37 Well, a Pentagon spokesperson said it would be extremely expensive to update the system
3:41 and it still works.
3:43 They plan to do it by 2020 and save a lot of space for sure.
3:47 You would need more than 130,000 8-inch floppy disks to store 32GB of information.
3:54 Wow!
3:55 This is the equivalent of an average memory stick!
3:57 Yes.
3:58 But there are more people out there keen on old tech.
4:01 How do you think a DVD rental stores survives in this era of online movie streaming?
4:06 Let’s listen to Tara Judah, co-director of UK rental store 20th Century Flicks and
4:12 find out.
4:15 We've survived because of the experience of coming into this store.
4:19 Um…
4:20 It's a very human experience.
4:22 It's human interaction.
4:23 People come here because they want to talk to somebody who's really knowledgeable about
4:27 film.
4:28 They want to have a recommendation or a conversation about the films they just watch.
4:32 You know, they really want to discuss those things.
4:37 So it's back to the idea of human contact – we like compiling lists of music and sharing
4:41 them with our friends and loved ones.
4:44 Sharing a playlist through iTunes or Spotify isn't quite the same, though.
4:48 We like talking people about the films we watch.
4:51 You can always talk to me, Neil.
4:53 Now how about giving me the answer to today's quiz question?
4:57 I asked: How many records were sold in the UK in 2014?
5:01 Was it… a) 10,000 b) 100,000?
5:04 Or c) 1 million?
5:06 I said b) 100,000.
5:09 And, Alice, you were in fact totally wrong!
5:15 The answer is c).
5:17 Vinyl is booming – in 2014, sales passed 1million albums in the UK for the first time
5:23 since 1996.
5:25 The format has been steadily increasing, thanks in part to the popularity of guitar bands,
5:30 traditionally associated with records.
5:34 Now let's hear words we learned today.
5:36 They are: record player
5:39 turntable retro
5:42 vinyl cassette tapes
5:46 resurgence nostalgia
5:49 compiled floppy disk
5:53 Well, that's the end of today's 6 Minute English.
5:56 Don't forget to join us again soon!