Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Generations of Music Technology

Daddy was very much into music and had a sound system built into our house when he and Mama first designed it. There were speakers in every room. The main radio and stereo system was in the den. Along with that was a huge drawer full of LP's of various genre of music including Big Band, Jazz, Country, and Pop. He always had something playing. And, I can hear Mama now saying, "Bill, can you turn that thing down." Sometimes, I think he kept the volume high until she complained just to see how long it took.

I can remember getting my first "Record Player" when I was 7 or 8 years old. Santa brought it. It was the old portable suitcase type with a blue stripe top and solid blue bottom. Then I was able to play whatever I wanted to in my own room.

Somehow, except for the one in our car, we skipped the 8 Track generation and went straight into cassettes. I can remember friends coming over and seeing Daddy's cassette player with the attached speakers that had this terrific sound. Then he would "pop" the tape out and show them the compact cassette. And, you could record your own music. This opened up a whole new world for him. We had more mixed tapes than you can imagine.

And soon, I got my very own cassette player. Life was good.

36 years later when everyone else in the world was getting an iPod, I decided I needed a Zune. (Obviously, I  no longer had my Dad, the musical gadget guru, around any more to guide me along the path of state of the art sound devices.)

As it started to get harder to find music I wanted from the "Zune Store" and rumors ran a muck that the device was doomed, I realized the error of my decision. I was surprised, at that point, I did not get a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past (or my father) reminding me that my family had a reputation to uphold when it came to musical player technology and Microsoft was the Betamax of the current war.

In trying to stave off such a ghostly visit, I jumped generations and ordered an iPad when Jobs introduced them. Within 3 days of its release, I was the proud owner of an iPad - the device that would change the world. Take that, Ghost of Christmas Future. Certainly, I had redeemed myself.

So, now that I am on my 3rd iPad, I feel my Daddy would be proud. And, my play list of songs is around 2000, thank you very much. But, I still pine for that first record player and those 45's and LP's Yes, it is nice to have a device that will do everything but tie your shoes. 

However, I miss putting a record on, hearing the first silent rounds of the needle before it engages in the song, and lying back and reading the album notes while listening to the music. Only to be brought back to consciousness when you realize that the needle is just going round and round and the song is through. 

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