A good question: What’s the tech that comes after streaming?
[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]
Imagine what it must have been like at the turn of the 20th century when a family first welcomed a phonograph or a gramophone into their home. For the first time in human history, music by the biggest performers in the world was available to you on-demand. Rather than have to travel to a great opera house somewhere, you were able to summon stars like Enrico Caruso to sing in your home just for you at any time of the day or night. It was magic.
And more was to come. After the First World War, radio appeared, bringing not just music into your home, but news and a wide variety of entertainment from around the planet. It couldn’t possibly get any better than this, right?
But technology continued to deliver wonders. In June 1948, we got the 33 1/3 RPM long-playing album, which allowed the home listener to enjoy up to 22 minutes of uninterrupted music by the best in the world. FM radio, with its high-fidelity signal, started to catch on in the 1950s, followed by the craze for high-end audio equipment for the home. That was followed in short order by the 8-track and cassette (personal music on the go, including the car!), which were superseded by the compact disc, high-tech plastic circles that promised perfect sound forever. At that point, we were sure we’d achieved the highest possible level of quality and convenience when it came to came to consuming music.