During my lifetime—63 years—music has changed its wrappings many times as technology got more and more sophisticated. During the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, most people listened to their music through record players and radios. Music was codified in plastic discs which rotated at 33 1/3 RPMs (revolutions per minute).
Sound was produced by placing an electrified needle through the grooves of the discs called records. The quality of the sound was gorgeous. You had the options to listen to monophonic, stereophonic and quadraphonic sounds. Quite cool. All was analog information. Then came the digital revolution and the analog world went haywire. The zeros and the ones took their place and they’re still here, and will be here for a long time I guess.
After the vinyl records, the music industry wrapped their music in a magnetic tape inside a plastic box. It was called a music cassette or cartridge. Even cars came equipped with cassettes and cartridges players. You could buy recorded cassettes or you could record them yourself. It was a very popular music medium during its time.
More knowledge was applied to music wrappings and the cassettes were replaced with compact disks commonly knows as CDs. It was an instantaneous hit all over the world. Shortly after, men with white robes inside electronic labs, came up with the digital video display, also known as DVDs and the music wrapping was changed once more. Even as we speak, DVDs are widely used, even though there is a transition going on to another wrapping known as Blu-ray or BD.
Blu-ray (not Blue-ray) also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD), is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of the world’s leading consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers (including Apple, Dell, Hitachi, HP, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson).
The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data. The format offers more than five times the storage capacity of traditional DVDs and can hold up to 25GB on a single-layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc. This extra capacity combined with the use of advanced video and audio codecs will offer consumers an unprecedented HD experience.
After BDs what will come next? I have no idea, but I do know that knowledge is presently being applied to change the music wrappings once more. Perhaps the new music and/or video formats are already in the pipeline. It’s very possible that Steve Jobs could be listening to an Apple prototype product right now at Cupertino, CA while he plans his next strategic launch. Will it be the iSound gadget?
I had a large collection of long play records, also called LPs for short. Most of them were given away or trashed; however I still have thirty-seven of those oldies in my closet. Last week, my wife removed some of the dusted accumulated on top of the carton jackets and asked what should we do with them? After thinking for a while, I decided to keep them. It could very well be that technology will return to vinyl records in a back-to-the-future scheme.
We don’t have a stereo system anymore, so we can’t listen to our vinyl records. We can only look at them and remember the Good Ole Days as they say. Yesterday I took several pictures of them to share with you today. Maybe it’ll strike a chord or two of your memory brain cells. Here we go.
Oh, I forgot to say that another trend in the wrapping of music history, is the downloading of music from the Internet to your hard disk, iPod, iPhone, iTouch, MP3s, iPad and what have you. The latest fashion is to have music with no wrappings at all.
Music downloaded through iTunes is digital music wrapped in binary units called bits and bytes. Knowledge has carried us to a new dimension where reality is no longer visible. Welcome to the future where physical objects are disappearing into the Twilight Zone of digital codes. The ones and zeros have taken over our physical world. Good Day.