I’m sure everyone probably thinks this, but I genuinely believe that I’ve grown up at an ideal time, since I’m old enough to remember, for example, listening to cassette tapes on a Sony Walkman, but young and cool enough (shut it) to appreciate the wonder of Spotify.
That’s just one item that appears on my list of five things I love about modern technology. Join me below or die (inside, at least).
As is often the case, my unique brand of rambling is presented in no particular order, other than the order in what stuff done popped into me 'ead.
The Amazon Kindle app - syncing
Having studied computing and UI and stuff at university, little things often bother me about design and what have you, but the Amazon Kindle app gets one thing so deliciously perfect, I’m almost smiling just thinking about it.
I speak of the syncing between devices. Put your Kindle down and later open the same eBook on, say, your iPhone or iPad, and the app displays a message to the effect of: “Hey guy, looks like you’ve been reading ahead on a different device. Sync to the furthest page?” YES. You beautiful son of a gun.
IMDb - 'Who is that?'
You’ve all no doubt encountered the scenario: you’re watching something on TV, be it a film or a TV series, and you think to yourself: ‘I recognise that person. Where the FUDGE do I recognise that person from? What have they been in? GAH!’ It’s like a tingle at the front of your brain, and there’s only one way to scratch it.
In days gone by you’d have to, like, remember for yourself, or at least take a mental note to ask someone else, but in the 21st century we simply fire the name of what we’re watching into IMDb (the Internet Movie Database), find the actor or actress in question, and scroll through their filmography.
Brains; who needs them?
Shazam - unidentified music on adverts
Kinda similar to the IMDb scenario, but this one’s slightly worse since you probably never knew the answer to begin with.
I’m referring to the music used in adverts. In ye olden days, your best hope was that the single would be released to coincide with the television exposure, but now a quick tap of the Shazam app has all the answers. Insane.
Incidentally, I’m reminded of the time the first few seconds of a Babylon Zoo track (“Spaceman”) were used in an advert, and everyone rushed out to buy the single based on the intro alone. Turns out the rest of the song was utter mince, but Jas Mann & Co had already claimed the UK Number One spot. Amazing.
To be fair, Wikipedia tells me “Spaceman” held the Number One spot for five weeks, so maybe it wasn’t all bad.
Spotify - better than cassette tapes
I fondly recall simpler times, when it was necessary to choose what you wanted to listen to before you left the house. See each album was confined to one single cassette tape, a tape that possibly had a little extra space at the end for some bonus tracks of your choosing.
If you were really lucky, you might've been able to cram two albums onto a 90-minute tape, though one of the tracks would've inevitably straddled the change between Side A and Side B. Sickening.
As if having thousands of mp3s on a single device wasn’t enough of a technological advance, Spotify (and similar services, to be fair) now offers All The Music for £10 per month (or free with adverts and restricted functionality).
Seriously, punk kids don’t know how good they have it.
Netflix - too much choice
Again, Netflix is just one example in its burgeoning field (specifically the streaming of movies and TV shows), but the days of having either “council TV” (Channels 1-5) or Sky (millions of channels but stupidly expensive) are long gone.
Now a man, and indeed woman, can enjoy a frankly crippling amount of televisual choice for just £5.99 per month.
The way things are going, it's almost pointless having a DVD collection any more, with almost everything stored for you up in the cloud. Glorious.