Just having a bit of fun here. When thinking of MP3s and physical media (CDs, Tapes, Records, etc…) there are two analogies that can be made. Which one is better?
Physical media is current humanity and MP3s are humans that evolved into pure energy.
Physical media is human beings and MP3s are souls.
I’m leaning towards the second one myself.
I’m not sure either of these is very applicable. For human beings, the brain (cells, cerebral fluid, etc.) is the physical media, analogous to CD’s or tapes, the mind is the operating system, and memories are the stored data/information. Memories might be most closely analogous to the songs encoded by MP3’s, but I don’t think we have a name (or full understanding) of how the brain encodes memories, and that’s the aspect of a human being that’s most closely analogous to the MP3 format.
I agree with Machine Elf, neither if those are great comparisons . remember, MP3 files are qualitatively inferior (for audio reproduction) but superficially (hopefully) identicle with a smaller size.
If physical uncompressed media is the human body, then mp3 might be better described as a human skinned and multiple bits removed (sections of the intestine, stomach,.muscles, bones, etc), who then has the skin reattached.
Superficially identical, actually inferior, smaller mass.
Like the earlier responses I think your analogies make MP3s sound like a better thing than they actually are. They’re digital music, compressed 12x or so. They’re no good without a physical device to store them on, and to play them on.
If we wanted to compare CDs or vinyl albums to humans, I guess MP3s would be a good biographical mini-series that captures someone’s personality and abilities very well. “Pure energy” not so much.
My first thought was “neither”. How about “Physical media is human beings and MP3s are mannequins.”?
ETA: Ooh! Not mannequins. Sex dolls!
Vinyl is like an illuminated manuscript.
MP3s are like Readers Digest condensed books.
Well obviously I’m not taking myself seriously here, so I didn’t put deep though into this, but I’ll explain my reasoning.
People seem to be transitioning away from physical media and transitioning to MP3s, which are pure data. It reminded me of how some sci-fi writers talk about humans transitioning from physical bodies to pure energy*.
Physical media is what contains the music. MP3s are music. Kind of like how some religions have the body containing the soul. Oh, and MP3s float around the net like souls do in heaven.
But I do like the other analogies given.
Now I got that Information Society song in my head.