Photos by Tony Cordoza Take a good look at the Yamaha MusicCAST system: it just might be a glimpse into the future of home audio entertainment. The MCX-1000 server (above), essentially a CD recorder on steroids crossed with a digital music server, provides two main improvements over traditional playback devices.
Personal hovercraft. Jet-propelled backpacks. Robots that automatically prepare your meals and clean up afterwards. And everyone's favorite - weekend junkets to the orbting Hilton space station. Back in the optimistic 1950s, technology writers were confident that by the 21st century, such things would be a part of daily life.
Point the finger almost anywhere you want. After all, there's plenty of blame to go around. Cable companies didn't really support it. TV manufacturers charged extra for it. The people who designed it left out a few things. And the federal government - it started the whole mess.
This is not your father's stereo - or your iPod. The Bose Lifestyle 38 combines elements of both and adds its own share of functionality and flexibility. The Lifestyle series has been a Bose mainstay for years, offering DVD playback with 5.1-channel surround sound in an attractive, easy-to-use package.
The iPhone 4S was released last week. Of course, people were camping out at Apple stores to buy it. Of course, Apple sold a zillion of them in the first five minutes. Of course, you already have one, and you're probably reading this blog on it.
Let's be honest: No one really cares about treble response. What's that all about anyway? "Air" or something? Give me a break. Frankly, if you are a real music lover or movie buff, you've been listening at loud levels for plenty long enough to fry your ears' high-frequency response anyway. Good riddance. And what's the deal with midrange?
Ah, the remote control. The gizmo that gets no respect. Lost under the sofa cushions, berated when its batteries are dead, made into a chew toy by the dog, cursed at for having too many buttons, cursed at for having too few. And now the poor thing seems destined to become yet another fine piece of technological roadkill.
Back in the day, as you drove off the dealer's lot, you turned on the radio. And that radio stayed on, all the time, for the life of the vehicle. Whether or not you were actually listening to it, the sound of the radio was as reassuringly present as the purr of the motor. That is changing.