Whether it is an iPod, a Zune, a Zen, a cell phone or something else, more people are satisfying their music Jones via portables than anything else. You can debate the merits of different codecs and bitrates or the need to go lossless, but one thing links all listeners on-the-go: Headphones.
Certain things will automatically mark you as uncool. Walking down the street wearing a Michael Jackson "Beat It" jacket, for instance. Or admitting you voted for Sanjaya. And I certainly don't expect to wow the ladies with the fact that I belonged to my high-school chess club - all 4 years.
Back in elementary school, I loved reading those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. They'd begin like a normal book, but at the end of each page, you'd be faced with a decision that radically altered the story. "You discover a beautiful princess trapped in a dragon's lair. If you try and rescue the princess, turn to page ....
My friend Jon is a wiz with pretty much anything mechanical, and he has a Rain Man-like gift for motors. Whether it's a pool pump, a lawn tractor, or a car, Jon is the man to call. What amazes me is that he can often diagnose my motor problems over the phone with only the most basic description.
Some people immediately get that the iPad can become the controller for an automation system, allowing them to control not only their audio/video gear but also their lights, HVAC, security, and irrigation systems.
For all of the benefits the digital revolution has brought to music - like streaming, unprecedented portability, and the ease of sorting and managing large collections - some people see it as not only a travesty but also a threat. Granted, these are usually the same people who lament the supposed lack of any advancement in audio quality since the birth of vinyl. But do they have a point?
App is a word that was barely even part of the public lexicon a few years ago, but now has become such an entrenched part of it that even my mom — quite possibly the least technologically inclined person on the planet — drops the phrase, “There’s probably an app for that.”
Back in high school, I had to write an essay on "the more things change, the more they stay the same." (I'm sure the teacher enjoyed reading it about as much as I enjoyed writing it.) While that might hold true for many things, it couldn't be more off base when describing the constantly evolving world of technology.
The first "real" A/V component I ever bought was a subwoofer - a glorious 15-inch beast that made no attempt to hide what it really was: a big, black, utterly style-less cube. At the time, there weren't really any other options available, so adding a sub meant a big, black cube.