There were three moments when I remembered looking at something in my hand realizing that it was going to change my life.
The first time was on my sixth birthday when my grandmother gave me a tiny transistor radio. I was still awfully young but I somehow knew that I could now control not only what I listened to–no more Mom and Dad’s radio station!–but also when and where. I took that thing with me everywhere and fell asleep with it playing on my pillow.
The second time was in 1999 when I was given a prototype of a device called an RCA Lyra. It was an early digital music player, capable of holding up to a whole hour’s worth of music. No matter how hard I shook it, the music would not skip. That seemed incredible.
The third when was when I searched for and found an obscure song on my iPhone while I was sitting with the dog outside of a Starbucks. I had just installed the now long-gone Rdio app and was still very skeptical about this whole new thing called streaming. The idea that you just paid for access and not own the music? Rubbish! At least it was until that morning when it all came into focus.
We’ve come such a long way when to comes to making music portable, especially in the 21st century. What was once science fiction is now a reality. Taking music with us wherever we go–hell, we can even swim with it!–we forget how long it took us to get here. And we’ve taken the necessary technology for granted, too.
This is the history of portable music, part 2.
Songs heard on this episode:
- Depeche Mode, Personal Jesus
- New Order, True Faith
- Suzanne Vega, Tom’s Diner
- Spiller, Groovejet
- Propellerheads, Take California
- Linkin Park, In the End
As usual, Eric Wilhite has this playlist for us.
Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio.
The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:
- 102.1 The Edge/Toronto – Sunday night at 7
- Live 88-5/Ottawa
- 107.5 Dave-FM/Kitchener
- The Drive/Kingston
- Power 97/Winnipeg
- Sonic 102.9/Edmonton
- The Zone/Victoria
- The Fox/Vancouver
- Surge 105/Halifax
- WAPS/WKTL The Summit/Arkon, Canton, Cleveland, Youngstown
We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor, Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s, and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.