Some years ago my daughter, who was nine at the time, asked what the big black circly things in the cardboard envelopes were so I began explaining what vinyl records are all about…
“Ok, the big ones are LPs, or albums, they have about the same number of songs as a CD”. She can just about get grips with the almost obsolete concept of a CD.
“But they have songs on both sides, so you had to turn them over to hear the other half of the record.” “Why?” she mused. “Well, they’re played with a pointy needle and there’s one groove on each side.”
“So this is an LP too?”.
“Ahh, no, that’s a twelve inch single; they have a long version of one song on the first side and maybe one or two songs on the other side.”
“So that one song lasts as long as six songs on the LP?”
“Well, no, because the LP goes round slower than the twelve inch single – 33 times a minute for the LP and 45 times a minute for the single”
“How does the machine know what speed to go at?”
“You have to tell it by moving a switch?”
“So this little one, what’s this?”
“That’s a seven inch single?”
“What’s an inch?”
“Never mind right now, it’s not important, that one just has one song on each side. Unless it’s an EP and that has more songs but plays at the same speed as an LP…”
“So my iPod has the same music as 400 of those little black circles?”
Lesson learned here, never try to explain the complex nonsense of yesterday’s normality. Especially to a nine year old. They don’t need to understand it and when they try, they quickly realize that some things have definitely improved.