Streaming Music To Phones Is Officially The Oldest Trick In The Book
from the remind-me-again-what's-so-"smart"-about-your-smartphone? dept
Everyone has a friend who’s seen everything, done everything and grown bored of everything. They’re everywhere. And if you don’t have a friend like this, a quick visit to any forum or comment thread will provide you with one of these "friends," whether you wanted one or not.
You know the type:
[Show friend your brand-new copy of "President Yo La Tengo."] "Have you heard these guys? They’re out of New Jersey, I think. They just kicked out this album.
Friend: [Underenthusiastic shrug] "Yeah. They used to be pretty good until they sold out and released their debut. I used to design guitar picks for them until they went mainstream. Pffft."
You: [Disappointed sigh]: "Well, it’s an awesome album. But it may be their last great one, I guess… I’m starting to like it less already… thanks."
"Whoa. Have you seen this? Just caught a few minutes of a working print for something called ‘The Matrix’. Mindblowing!
Friend: [Noncomittal headnod] "This thing’s been circulating the web since it appeared untitled on a Geocities page. It looks alright but I’m wondering why they didn’t go with Nick Cage like the original production notes stated. I worked with Lana for a couple of years as a scriptrunner. Maybe I’ll watch it when it comes to Blu-ray. "
You: [Frustrated and confused glare]: "Blu-ray?" "Lana?"
"I just got a leaked beta of "Civilization V"!
Friend: "Well, I hope they fix the siege AI. Everything I see on the alpha build of ‘VII’ is still in need of nerfing."
You: [Unitelligble growl that rises quickly to a full roar as you strangle your ‘friend’ with his own tongue while screaming] "YOU DIDN’T SEE THAT ONE COMING, DID YOU!! THIS IS MY CLOSED-BETA [kidney punch] PRE-RELEASE [rib kick] LIMITED 7-INCH [eye gouge] BEATDOWN!!! [sleeper hold]
So, it is in the spirit of vindictive upmanship that I bring you this handy bit of pre-knowledge from Scientific American, via Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
The next time your friend mentions some brand new streaming service that brings music to whatever shiny piece of early-adoption he’s currently using as a cellphone, sniff haughtily and backhand him (or her, although this really seems to be a "him" quality) verbally with this:
"Streaming music to a phone? Yeah, that’s alright if that’s the sort of thing that still impresses you. I’ve been streaming music to my phone for 120 years."[Note: you do not need to be over the age of 120 to make this statement. It would be much more awesome if you were, but it shouldn’t make your bombshell any less devastating.]
The July 2, 1892, Scientific American Supplement reported on the use of a device called the theatrophone that had been in use for two years already in Paris. The basic idea was to be able to call into a theater and hear live music being played. One could either subscribe to receive the service in home or utilize one of the theatrophones set up in various locales such as hotels, restaurants, vestibules, and cafes throughout the city.
While said friend is still trying to wrap his "been-there-done-that" mind around a concept that includes places he’s never been and things he’s never done, add insult to injury by pointing out how advanced this system was:
The theatrophone had 3 cables, 2 used for the transmission of music and the other for an alarm set for 5 minutes, keeping track of the listener’s time and changing theaters at each interval. If a listener happened to catch the live performance as it was ending or during an intermission, he would be wired into a different location for the remainder of time paid for. If all theaters were in an intermission, then the listener would be treated to recorded piano music so his money was not wasted.
As your friend devolves into a blind panic as he searches for a pre-19th century rebuttal, drop this final piece of science onto his trend-setting ass:
At the time of the article, there were 100 theatrophones installed in Paris running on 11 different lines, as well as a number of private subscribers who paid a fixed amount for a certain number of listenings in the home.
Subscription service? Streaming? Multiple users? Home version? Been there. [BAM!] Done that. [BOO-YAH!]
[Make some sort of victorious karate chop/touchdown/"suck it loser" motion and stroll away from the blubbering wreck of a human being you’ve left behind. Casually toss a $180 faux-vintage Pong shirt at him to dry his eyes on and head to the nearest forum/comment thread to gloat.]