Skip to main content

Why isn't wireless music taking off?

I am totally baffled by the British public.

I did consider leaving that as my entire post. It has a certain succinctness to it - but perhaps it's a little obscure without more detail. What I don't understand is why wireless music isn't more popular. These days you can buy a neat little box to go with your stereo. A couple of mystical passes and a wireless network, and this little box will let your stereo play every single track you've got squirrelled away on your PC - in my case the equivalent of around 300 CDs. You can pick and choose as you like from your collection, or use a playlist for (say) randomly selected Christmas music or music for dinner parties.

It's easy, painless - and you just won't want to go back to CDs once you've done it. Yet rather than taking off, these devices seem, if anything, to be scarcer now than they were a year ago. Pinnacle which sold the device I use (the one in the picture) is pulling out of the market. You can find a dozen or so devices on Amazon, but there are really only a couple of brands. And instead of becoming cheaper - we should be seeing sub £50 devices by now - they are, if anything, dearer.

I have a suspicion of an answer to my own question. Whenever I propose a piece on wireless technology to the various lifestyle magazines I write for, they always say 'Ooh, it's a bit leading edge, isn't it?' or 'Much too techie hardcore for us.' Yet my wife hates trailing cables and surely can't be alone in loving the wireless connection. And lots of people have wireless internet in the home these days.

One other problem is that most of the manufacturers that are out there have been stupidly proprietary. They each have their own bit of server software to run on the computer to feed the music to their boxes. Pinnacle was much more sensible about this - they used software that comes with the PC, so you don't have to install anything... but then it's Pinnacle that are giving up.

It's so depressing. It works! It's brilliant! Do it. Now.

Comments

  1. I dunno Brian - it might be a case of just-another-gizmo-I'll-look-at-if-I-have-time. But might you contrast the relative failure of such wireless streaming devices with the success of mp3 players and their docking stations, and the fact that it's probably easier to link your iPod directly to your hi-fi if you wanted?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sure that's part of it, Henry (the iPod thingy).

    The trouble is, a stereo is room based where an iPod is personal based. So if I plug my iPhone into an iPod dock to play music, I'm going to stop people in that room being able to listen to music every time I go out of it...

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're quite right, you're fighting against Luddites all the time.

    Items such as this (http://www.gadgetvenue.com/outlet-wall-concept-06164922/)are particularly attractive to such people.

    Change is never easy for anyone - I'm sure you could write a very entertaining piece on all the science there is that's never been adopted as widely as it ought to have been.

    Brainstorm coming up

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maybe it's because it doesn't look like much. I saw an ipod speaker assembly in the apple shop and really wanted one - but to me this looks like a cheap alarm clock.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There could be a prejudice against spending money on extra pieces of equipment thar don't appear to do anything, such as make noises.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope