Thursday, April 02, 2009

Wake the children and call the neighbors...

I have ordered an mp3 player. And it's about time. Sometimes walking those meter routes can get pretty boring.

What I am about to say I have no way to prove, so you may freely accuse me of blowing smoke. But more than 20 years ago, I predicted the mp3 player. I didn't have the details all exact, but I got pretty close. Some co-workers and I were sitting around after work one night, eating pizza, quaffing a few and watching MTV, when we began discussing CDs. That was early in the game, and I didn't know much about computers at the time, but I understood that the compact disc was just digitally stored data that could be read by a computer, if it had the correct programming. What I basically said was that someday there would be an erasable and re-writable chip that would be able to hold the data for dozens, maybe hundreds--of songs, or any other kind of data you might care to write on it. You would be able to load all your favorite albums on the chip and plug it into a player small enough to wear like a wrist watch. When you got tired of those songs, you could just plug it into your computer, erase the memory and reload it with more songs.

My occasional visions of the future back in the mid-80s seemed to be fairly accurate, and some of them were terrifying. I also predicted to some friends that there would be rebellion and open warfare within the United States no later than 2015. As time went by, I became convinced that I was just flat wrong about that one, but as more time has gone by, I am becoming convinced that I was right. I will not be surprised to see it happen.

You probably think it will be started as a rebellion against collectivism, or socialism, or communism, or whatever you want to call it. It won't. It will be much simpler, and it's going to have individualists and (some) collectivists fighting on the same side against a common enemy.

And this is why.

I really hope I'm wrong on this one.


  1. Back in the 80's I envisioned a kiosk machine in the mall where you could choose from a menu of thousands of different songs, put in your money and the machine would burn the customer a CD with only the songs they paid for.

    Back then I didn't envision the internet but the concept is still the same with the Itunes store and such.

  2. I recently got an MP3 player too. I got one for participating in some blog thing at work. I have yet to put music on yet, but I reckon I'll get around to it at some poit.

  3. Hammer: you were closer that you thought. I remember back around the mid-90s there was an internet service where you could do that. You picked a list of songs, paid $15 or so, they burned the CD and mailed it to you. The mp3 and music downloading killed that business.

  4. Alan,

    Your comments about the many varied groups is what I told someone Monday.