Wednesday, February 17, 2021

It isn't 1982 anymore: Cutting the cable cord and digitizing your music

Live long enough and you're going to see all sorts of advances in technology.

Actually, with the pace at which things advance these days, you don't even have to live all that long to see revolutionary changes.

The most noticeable shifts in my 51 years seem to have come in the way we consume various forms of entertainment.

Think back to the mid-70s when I started watching TV and listening to music. The TV was a big (and I mean BIG) old console model that sat in the living room and did not budge for a decade or more until one or more internal components blew out beyond repair.

Changing channels involved twisting a plastic dial. If the weather was bad, your reception could be iffy.

As for music, I began listening on record and 8-track players, and later graduated to a Sony Walkman, which my brother secured for me when he was in the Air Force and stationed in South Korea. Cassettes! Portable! Lightweight! In 1988 I moved up to CDs, which were mind blowing at the time.

Now consider the way these things work in 2021.

A couple of weeks ago, we finally cut the cable cord and signed up for a streaming service (AT&T TV). I can now access far more channels on far more devices that are far more portable than the heavy Zenith unit on which I grew up.

I can just as easily watch TV on my mobile phone or iPad as I can on an actual TV.

On the music front, it's all digitized and stored on that same mobile phone (or iPad). No actual material media to worry about.

And it sounds great. I know audiophiles prefer vinyl, but I'm just fine with the quality of the sound being pumped through my AirPods.

Those AirPods are wireless, by the way.

Maybe I'm just easily impressed, but it's all so amazing to this Gen Xer.

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