iRadio

I found myself this morning tuning into an American radio station, specifically WGBH out of Boston, Massachusetts.

It was an internet broadcast I have access to through iTunes. There are hundreds of others at my fingertips under every conceivable genre and, they sound good too, not like trying to pick up a radio signal from a distant location. They are as close as if I were playing a CD. The only limitation being the quality of the speakers attached to my computer.

I’m still getting used to the idea of managing and listening to music on the computer, but the advancement in technology is hard to argue with.

For example, I recently purchased Michael Jackson’s Number Ones CD (Michael’s kids probably need the money). I found it on the ASDA (like Wal-Mart) website and decided to buy the CD.

Naturally, the kids have become big fans and have used and abused the CD to the point that it is now scratched and skipping badly on several of the tunes. The good news is that when the CD arrived in the mail I quickly downloaded it to my computer. So, I’ve got a pristine copy of the whole album that I can use to record as many CDs as I want. Daughter Elisabeth has the same music on her iPod.

When Lisa and I bought our first decent stereo system in the early 90’s it had three components: a receiever/amplifier, a CD player and a dual cassette player (we’ve never owned a record player). At the time cassettes were quickly being replaced by CDs, but they were still in use and I wanted the dual system for making copies. It has since gone by the wayside.

Before coming to Scotland we tried to get rid of as many CDs as we could. Like Mike, many of them were scratched and weary. No one wanted them, so we brought them with us. However, not long after we hooked up my trusty CD player it quit working.

iPod in hand I could see the writing on the wall: our CD player will very soon be as obsolete as our tape deck. I can play my old CDs through my iPod using a nifty little cable that connects directly from the iPod to my old amplifier.

This past weekend I downloaded my first movie from iTunes and watched it on the computer. At 1.62G it was an amazing amount of data that took 45 minutes to download, but once in the computer it looked and sounded great. And, it didn’t have any of the bumps and skips we often find with DVDs. It was, like hearing music on the computer, a great improvement over DVD technology.

Again, the handwriting is on the wall: DVDs will soon be replaced by digital movies that download directly to your internet ready television.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to do some shopping to replace my old TV.

You can download iTunes free for your computer. Just go to http://www.apple.com and click on the iPod + iTunes tab, then look for the Download iTunes 8 button.

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