09 January 2013

A Turntable Story

The two young gentlemen at the appliance store were cordial, courteous and helpful. The conversation went something like this.

“Good morning Sir!”

“Good morning!” I replied. “I’m looking for a turntable. The Pioneer web site said this store is a distributor.”

Blank stare.

“Let me get you the guy in charge of the Pioneer section, Sir!” I followed him inside and started to look at the appliances on display. Before long, the first young man found the Pioneer man.


But my word, all I wanted was a turntable that connects to a PC so I can finally convert the songs in my dust-covered collection of LPs into mp3s. This way I can spare myself the hassle of searching for and downloading songs.
“Yes Sir!” He asked me, all eyebrows and eager to make an early morning sale.

“I’m looking for a turntable?”

That blank stare again.

Some people can be remarkably cruel without even trying! The blank stares had this unwelcome effect of suddenly making me feel ancient.

I finally realised that neither of the two gentlemen really knew what I was talking about. “It’s this thing you play records on?” I said, trying to be helpful. I stopped short of saying that it goes round and round like a carousel.

How do you explain to an African pygmy who has never been out of the bush how a microchip works?

Not getting anywhere, I repeated what I said to the first gentleman – that the Pioneer web site listed their store as a distributor.

The second gentleman’s eyes lit up at my mention of the name Pioneer. “Why don’t you try the Blade store, Sir? They have Pioneer products there!”

“And where is that?”

“Just downstairs, sir! To the left when you get off the stairs,” he said helpfully.

So I went after thanking the two gentlemen.

I had no difficulty finding Blade. There were electronic products on sale, yes; and some were, indeed, of the Pioneer brand.

But it was a car accessory store…

Rest assured the two gentlemen at the appliance store are still alive and blissfully ignorant of the merry dance they sent me on.

But my word, all I wanted was a turntable that connects to a PC so I can finally convert the songs in my dust-covered collection of LPs into mp3s. This way I can spare myself the hassle of searching for and downloading songs.

By the way, for the benefit of the mp3 generation, LP = long playing. It’s this round thin disc made of vinyl upon which songs used to be recorded. You play them where else unless you’re the slow type but on the turntable.

I almost bought from Amazon, was horrified that the shipping costs as much as the product itself and tried to make arrangements to have it shipped to my niece who is currently in the States.

But that would have taken long…

Fortunately, somebody who saw my post on Facebook about my encounter at the appliance store suggested that I try this local store. I called up the store at Robinson’s Place and what do you know – the store had two stocks left.

So I bought one.

I have already converted a few songs from my Seals & Croft Greatest Hits collection and with software can even enhance the songs into better quality that any of the lame mp3s that I regularly download from the Internet.

Utility. That is how Economics majors refer to satisfaction derived from a purchase. Knock-on-wood – because the store where I bought the turntable from is not where you go for things that last – but so far my utility level for the purchase is pretty high.

I get a kick just dusting my precious LPs: 3 Led Zeps – Led Zep! – Chicago and Eagles collections, Bryan Adams’ first album, Carly Simon’s Greatest Hits, Bon Jovi’s platinum album ‘Slippery When Wet’ and so many more!

To all my LPs I say, “Arise zombies! You have been brought back to life!”











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