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每日跟讀#588: The Lure of Technologies Past

過去科技的吸引力

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English
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每日跟讀#588: The Lure of Technologies Past

For a glimpse of what teenagers are into these days, all you have to do is visit Abbot Kinney Boulevard in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles. On weekend nights, the half-mile shopping drag is packed with style-conscious kids who traipse past coffee shops, ice cream parlors and boutiques, often while taking selfies.

Yet one of the most popular destinations for these teenagers is a white, single-story building with big pink letters on the roof that spell "Vnyl." The store sells vinyl records, and the kids who gather there are often in awe.

若要一窺時下青少年最哈的事物,只消造訪洛杉磯威尼斯區的阿伯特金尼大道即可。每逢周末夜,這條半哩長的購物街擠滿了追求風尚的孩子,他們在閒逛經過咖啡店、冰淇淋店以及精品店的同時,經常也沒忘記玩玩自拍。

然而,這群青少年最愛去的地點之一,卻是屋頂上寫有大大粉紅色字母「Vnyl」的白色單層建築。這家商店販售黑膠唱片,聚集在那兒的孩子們常常懷著敬畏之意。

"I'd say half of the teens who hang out in my store have never seen a record player before," said Nick Alt, the founder of Vnyl. "They will walk up to the turntable, and they have no concept where to put the needle." But once they figure out that the needle goes into the outermost groove, those smartphone-toting teenagers are hooked.

As a reporter who has been covering technology for The New York Times for more than a decade,what I've come to realize is that while the new thing gets people excited, the old thing often doesn't go away. And if it does, it takes a very long time to meet its demise.

Vnyl創辦人尼克.歐特說:「我敢說在我店內閒逛的青少年,有一半從來沒有見過黑膠唱機。他們會走到唱盤前,不知道該把唱針往哪裡放。」但是,一旦他們發現唱針應該進入最外面的溝槽,這些帶著智慧手機的青少年可就著了迷。

身為採訪科技新聞已超過十年的紐約時報記者,我所了解到的是,儘管新的東西讓人們感到興奮,舊的東西往往卻不會就此消失。就算它真會消失,也要到很久以後才會銷聲匿跡。

Just look at film cameras. You would think they have been vanquished from the planet, but millions of people still use them. In 2012, more than 35 million rolls of camera film were sold, compared with 20 million the year before.

And while Polaroid has filed for bankruptcy (twice) in the age of digital cameras, the company is making a resurgence (again). One of Polaroid's largest growing demographics, surprisingly, is teenagers who want a tangible photo but also don't want to wait.

Other types of physical media have also held on.

且以膠卷相機為例,你會以為它們已在地球上被淘汰了,事實上卻有數以百萬計的人仍在使用。2012年賣出的相機底片數量超過3500萬卷,而再前一年也賣了2000萬卷。

雖然寶麗萊在數位相機時代(兩度)聲請破產保護,該公司卻正(二度)捲土重來 。令人驚訝的是,寶麗萊最大的成長中顧客群之一,竟是想要實體照片卻不想等待的青少年。

其他類型的實體媒介也同樣挺住了。

More than 571 million print books were sold in the United States in 2014. About 55 million newspapers still land on doorsteps every morning. As for those vinyl records, 13 million LPs were sold in 2014, the highest count in 25 years, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

So why does old tech survive and, in some cases, undergo a revival? For some consumers, it's about familiarity (e.g., newspapers and print books), while for others, it's about nostalgia (e.g., record players and film cameras).

美國在2014年賣出的印刷書籍超過5.71億本。每天早上仍有約5500萬份報紙送到訂戶門口。至於黑膠唱片,美國唱片業協會指出,2014年賣出1300萬張LP唱片,為25年來最高數量。

那麼試問,為什麼舊的科技產品會存活下來,在某些情況下甚至還再度流行?對一些消費者而言,這與孰悉感有關(如:報紙與印刷書籍),而對另一些人來說,則與懷舊有關(如:黑膠唱機與膠卷相機)。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/296624/web/

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