Sunday, October 30, 2005

Junior high journalism

I can explain...really! Click on my ID to hear me out:

this is an audio post - click to play

In Stereo
By Ian McGibboney

Music is getting better and better. Today, there are many choices in not only the music, but also in the ways you can play it. The CD (compact disc) and the cassette are the most popular mediums today, but it was the phonograph record invented 105 years ago that started recording.

In the late nineteenth century, Thomas Edison had been working on a device which would record sound. He perservered, and in 1877, Edison (with his colleagues to help him, since he was deaf) tested the primitive phonograph. It was a metal apparatus, operated by a crank, built by his mechanic, John Kruesi. This "record" was actually a white cylinder made of wax. Edison put it to work, singing "Mary Had A Little Lamb." (Whether or not he could actually sing, we will never know, for that record no longer exists.) He then played it back using the same process. It worked, and that's when the first analog medium came to be. Over time, records changed to become flat black discs with four speeds and sizes.

Then came the invention of audio tapes. The BASF Company of Germany created "cassettes," a small plastic reel-driven tape in a plastic shell, in 1932-1935. It was marketed in 1950 by Recording Associates of New York City, and caught on fast. The user could record his own voice with just a microphone and a tape recorder.

Another development in music, "multitrack recording," was invented by noted singer Les Paul in 1954. Called an "8-track tape," the user could select one of four "programs" to play, each containing a few selections. Like the cassette, the user could record on an 8-track cartridge.

Another big advance in technology came in 1978 when Philips, a leading electronics manufacturer, announced that they had come up with the first digital medium. Digital means that the sound is truned into "number pulses" which are read by a laser, distortion free. The CD (compact disc) was perfected in 1982 and marketed a short time later. Over time, CD quality has skyrocketed while the price has gone down.

The recording industry has definitely advanced since its introduction 105 years ago, and it will continue to rock.

Until next time, keep the beat!

2 comments:

Jester said...

Ian, has anyone ever told you how unbelievably narcissistic you are? ALL of the pics on your site are of you, and now we have to listen to your voice too?? What gives, man??

Ian McGibboney said...

Jester, that isn't me flying in the air in the photo above this post, is it? The truth is, I use my face a lot because it's always at my disposal. When you have limited resources, you use what you have (also, as long as I design images, I'd prefer them to be composed of material I know I am not stealing). In this case, the ID is relevant to the post. My other facial graphics advertise myself and my work, so I don't see that as any more narcissistic than any other pundit or writer who does the same thing.

If you want to see real narcissism, look at people such as Dick Cheney, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin or Michael Jackson. Not only are their faces everywhere, but they're so damn serious about making themselves look good. If anything, my images make me look like a goofier Jon Stewart. Would a true narcissist do such a thing?

Besides, despite how posts may run sometimes, this is hardly a personal blog. You don't know dick about me from reading this. If I were truly narcissistic, I'd feel it necessary to tell you what I had for lunch or what I did today or maybe how I'm feeling about something. But you know what? I'm not that conceited as to think you would care about such things.

But you DO care. Why? Because you came, saw, listened and commented. Gotcha.