Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Way of the Dodo
I was packing some stuff when I came upon this ancient artifact. Chances are if you don't know what it is, you are of the MTV generation that never knew that MTV actually played music thus Music Television. Well if you're still baffled, it is a casette tape.
See before you had MP3 files, you had a thing called an 8 track. This was like a casette tape except that it was larger and you couldn't rewind or forward. Once you put in the Beatle's Revolver album, if you wanted to hear Yellow Submarine, you'd have to listen to Eleanor Rigby first. Things weren't so rushed then.
The casette tape was next. It could play songs and hold data on the tape but it had the added benefit of being able to record songs that you wanted! Could you imagine that. This made for creative rendition of songs. People would make "mix tapes" of love songs and give them to their love of their life. I know what you are thinking: People used to actually be romantic at one point??? Yes folks it used to happen. The tape also allowed you to record stuff on top of other songs but the more you did it, the worse the sound quality became. The downside included having the tape get tangled. At that point, you either did one of two things: 1- Become a technician and use your surgeon like hands to fix the tape or fling the tape into a wall cursing God,asking him to improve the technology.
The CD came next and it blew people's mind because now you would store more music in a smaller space and the sound was digital folks. The CD blew away the vinyl record. The CD was a record that was in a hurry and was a perfectionist. It was compact and it felt modern. It was metallic.
The next obvious step was making stuff smallers so the nerds got together and said, "what if we break down sound and just release the sound into bits?" This way you don't need a messenger;just the message which is sound. Thus the MP3 file was born and a guy created a site called Napster and the world was changed once again.
Technology is always moving forward to the next thing. I belive that in the future, you will just think of stuff and it will manifest. Call me Rod Serling. When I found this tape, I realized that I couldn't even find a player for it. My tape had become obsolete. It had gone in the way of the dodo, the dinosaur, and the typewriter. Just like the kindle is replacing books, self checkouts are replacing workers, the internet replaced encyclopedias(I'm ok with that one), and video killed the radio star.It's the way of progress.
Just this last few weeks an IBM computer beat the best Jeopardy champions. Don't be surprised when the host of Jeopardy is replaced by a souless machine that operates on "Xs" and "Os".