[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]
Imagine what it must have been like at the turn of the 20th century when a family first welcomed a phonograph or gramophone into their home. For the first time in human history, music from the world’s greatest artists was available on demand. Rather than having to go somewhere to a grand opera house, you were able to summon stars like Enrico Caruso to sing in your house just for you at any time of the day or night. It was magical.
And more was to come. After World War I, radio appeared, bringing not only music to your home, but also news and a wide variety of entertainment from all over the world. It couldn’t be better than this, could it?
But the technology has continued to work wonders. In June 1948, we got the long-lasting 33 1/3 RPM album, which allowed the listener at home to enjoy up to 22 minutes of uninterrupted music by the best in the world. FM radio, with its high fidelity signal, began to spread in the 1950s, followed by the craze for high-end home audio equipment. This was followed in no time by the 8-track and cassette (personal music on the go, including the car!), Which were replaced by the compact disc, high-tech plastic circles that promised perfect sound for always. At this point, we were confident that we had achieved the highest level of quality and convenience possible when it comes to music consumption.