Running the numbers: Longplayer on CD, Vinyl, Cassette boxsets.

Longplayer is a piece of music that will run for 1000 years without repetition. It started on 31/12/1999, so has now been running for 15.6 years as we write.

You can listen to live streaming off the web, or now via iPhone or iPad app , but in case you are the person who must have everything, we thought we'd work out the numbers on the Longplayer Box Set for you:

Longplayer will run for 1000 years. Or...

365,250 Days - based on 365.25 days per year (0.25 accounts for leap years) over the 1000 year run time. Or...

8,766,000 Hours - (that's Earth hours pre-metrification based on 24 per day for anyone reading this from far off in the future) .

An Audio CD is 74 minutes max, a Vinyl LP record is generally 45 minutes across both sides (some are known to have run longer but quality is sacrificed) and a good quality audio tape cassette might run to 100 minutes at the most.

Thus we can work out that to own the complete work of Longplayer, this would equate to 7,107,568 CDs, 11,688,000 LPs or 5,259,600 audio tapes.

From a quick look at Amazon's current average selling prices for the respective media, we'll reference these as, £10 for a CD, £15 for an LP (these are very much back in fashion), and £5 for audio cassette (which we think will be next in line for revival in approx. 2020).

If you'd like the full set; from a production run, you'd be looking at costs ranging from a mere £26,298,000(26.3 Million pounds) for tape through to £71,075,680 for CD to £1,753,200,000 for the LP (one point seven five billion pounds).

The numbers here are slightly moot as, on the one hand, limited edition pressings would have higher production costs and are generally seen as more desirable; on the other hand, with the task of producing the set, an efficient production line could be established to allow the set to be created for you and delivered over the generations. Thus on balance we think the original figures are reasonable working estimates. Don't forget to add Postage and Packaging on the cost.

We'd ask Jed From Post/Pop Records to produce the tape. If you don't know them, Post/Pop specialise in tape and are responsible for a large proportion of the artists in the UK cassette music chart at any one time (if you want a number one selling music tape they are the people to go to).

Recent times have seen the world's super rich indulging in super yachts, fast cars and so forth, but an investment in the Longplayer box set might be seen as one of the ultimate investments in the arts. If you are one of the roughly 1,700 billionaires in the world then Longplayer may be just the understated cultural investment you are looking for. It is also quite relaxing to listen to :-)

For the rest of us, this makes the cost of a Spotify subscription look very reasonable, although Longplayer is streamed for free over the internet (the feed runs over Onega's TBWNet), or can be visited and enjoyed live at the Lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Whichever way you access Longplayer, we hope you enjoy it, and that your descendants enjoy hearing the final notes on Tuesday 31st Dec 2999, which will be broadcast intergalactically via all major sub-etha channels.

Header Photo thanks & credit to Stephen Hill