When Do You Hit the Eject Button?

We all know what we like, or at least have some idea of what we like. There will always be times when you read an article, or get swept up in the hype regarding an Album, TV Show or Video Game, or someone makes a recommendation and you feel compelled to follow that lead not knowing where it will take you. Sometimes it’s an easy answer, you either like it or you don’t. Those aren’t the pieces I’m talking about, I’m talking about those albums, shows and games that come loaded with a truck load of hype, but don’t immediately propel you in a particular direction. What I’m curious to find out, at which point do you hit the eject button? Do you give it an hour, week, month or even more? Or are you relatively decisive?

Those early moments are always chock full of the excitement that comes along with starting something new, but how long before that wears away? Personally, I always go into a new album/show/movie with an open mind, hoping to have that mind blowing experience and takes me back to being a kid at his first concert, or first movie (my mother took me to my first concert, and my dad took me to my first movie). As the layers of time and experience get heaped on, you can’t help but hold things up to the benchmark that you’ve developed and very rarely do things exceed that (I know it’s rare, but most recently Life of Pi gave me that same giddy feeling that I got as a kid seeing something like the Goonies for the first time).

Once you get past that initial excitement and really start to chew on your medium of choice, when do you reach for that eject button? What criteria is there? Personally, I try and spin a disc 3 times to get a good feel for the material, to ensure there wasn’t anything I missed, it’s sort of like solving a Rubick’s cube, are you able to solve the puzzle? Or do you toss the puzzle aside and move on to the next one? If after those three listens, a hook isn’t lodged in my ear, I generally move on completely to the next disc. Movies are different, as I’ve never left the theatre during a movie, I’ll tough it out, or have a nap, both are quite viable options, but I’ve yet to get up and leave, I’m there till the end. Games get something of a blend of those two philosophies, very rarely have I shelved something and never played it, there’s the occasional stinker, but most I’ll tough out until I complete it, I will never return to it, however if the game is good and I get to the end, I will sometimes go back in for a 2nd playthrough as I enjoyed the world/story so much and it warrants a second play (this is a mark of a good game IMO).

As I sit here writing, I realize that this isn’t a simple question as I know personally I have countless criteria back on the media I’m consuming, and can only imagine the criteria others employ during their consumption. This all stemmed from playing Dishonored, a game that came with a lot of high praise, but once I popped it in, I was thoroughly underwhelmed and struggled to get into the game and I recently had a similar experience in playing Assassin’s Creed 3, neither game was an entirely enjoyable experience, I pusheed through both, but was ready to move on pretty early in both games. I pushed through and persevered, but still wonder if I should have hit the eject button sooner.



but at some point you will come to a decision as to how you personally feel about it, whether you continue to listen/watch/play, or you turn it off and walk away. My question is how long do you give something before you render a decision?

About the author


A proud and over-caffeinated husband, father, runner and writer. I've written for the local weekly The Coast for over a decade and have since taken to creating and writing for HAFILAX for even longer. I hope you enjoy the musings of a guy who has loved music for the better part of 4 decades, and has an album of concert tickets to show for it.