Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The longest albums of all time

It used to be that the length of an album used to be limited to the capacity of some kind of physical format. A vinyl album could be filled with about 22 minutes of music per side for a total of 44 minutes. The maximum capacity of a CD is just shy of 80 minutes. A cassette? The biggest capacity is 120 minutes. But now that we have the cloud, an album can be as long as you can make it. So how long is that?

The American experimental band Bull of Heaven has 2014 record called 310: ΩΣPx0(2^18×5^18)p*k*k*k. I have no idea how it works, but to play the whole thing through would take 3.343 quindecillion years. That’s a number followed by 48 zeroes, equal to about half the number of protons in the universe.

Put another way, that’s about 2.5 x 10^38 the age of the universe. Please enjoy.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38523 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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