Back to the future and then a round-trip ticket to today with stops in nearly gone technologyville…

What once, took two weeks to get perfect, now takes less than two hours. I can unbox and setup a tablet regardless of OS, in less than two hours. I can setup any chrome book in less than 10 minutes. But the thing that I realized yesterday? I have four portable music players. One XM, two iPod Classics, and a Pono. I haven’t played music from one of them for more than 6 months. I do have three really nice docks for iPods and a really nice dock for the XM radio. I do play the XM radio on occasion as it is the only XM Radio I have upstairs other than the Sonos.

Did tablets effectively kill the portable music player? I’ve lived through the various iterations of portable music players. I had a portable radio and a portable cassette player. I never carried a portable CD player they were too large. I had a car media player for awhile and I’ve been an XM subscriber for more than 10 years. But now, I can do everything on my tablet. I don’t need to carry an extra music player because the tablet carries everything.

It wasn’t a transition I noticed. Perhaps I am oblivious but well actually that is true I am oblivious often. I tend towards early adoption and fade out of use when things become popular. I did carry (and LOVE) a Zune for many years. I only switched to an iPod when MS killed the Zune. But now I wonder. As tablets get more and more storage and functionality, effectively have they killed the music player?

Actually when you break it down a number of things did in the music player. When I am home, the Sonos system is the go to audio source. Its integrated with the various other devices that we use often (Blu-Ray, TV, Fire TV, Xbox One) and it also offers a radio function. I can group all the speakers in the house and play music throughout the house. 10 speakers alive with the same music. So I guess Sonos contributed to the death of the music player.

XM contributed to the dust on my MP3 library. I spent hours converting the CD’s I own into MP3 files. Now, I hardly ever listen to them. The last MP3 I listened to was my Fred and Ed Podcast just to make sure the file recorded properly before posting it.

I wonder how much longer music players will exist. Or will they return to Niche market status at some point? I know that between streamed music and Sirius/XM I don’t listen to those stored files as much. I have a stack of CD’s I haven’t put back into my CD Jukebox because I haven’t turned that on in over  a year. I have a stack of CD’s to rip but, well not sure that is going to happen in the near term.

Audible books are still something I enjoy, but I stream those when I am in the car – so even that has moved away from being a file. I wonder when the audio player will be gone? I know I will be the last person with one. I still have a mini-disc player.


Futurist and Lamenter