The 21st century is giving us numerous ways to listen to and control our music. Not only can we now distribute tunes around our homes with the touch of a button, but the wonder of metadata feedback actually lets us know what's playing as well.
While it might take a village to raise a child, it takes an army and lots of time to build an estate! Custom Theater and Audio (CTA) in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, where I work as lead system designer, was recently involved in all aspects of the A/V design and installation for Phil and Janet Pate's new home in North Myrtle Beach.
"Two hundred channels and nothing to watch!" How many times have you felt that way? Or maybe you've wanted to finish watching a DVD in another room but didn't have a second player. Or wished you could keep an eye on the kids outside without sitting in the sweltering heat. Or wanted to see the video display from your iPod docked in another room.
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.
The original Philips Pronto universal remote, introduced way back in 1998, offered a level of programmability and customization totally unheard of at its $399 price, and it instantly became a smash with installers and do-it-yourselfers alike. But over the years, love for the Pronto has waned as other companies created smartly designed models of their own.
When historians mark time, there are always pivotal technologies that clearly define watershed changes in how society functions: the printing press, the automobile, the airplane. And quite possibly, for future historians to consider, the iPod.