The possibilities for media consumption on the go continue to improve at a speed which is difficult to imagine at times, and this holiday weekend provided a vivid example. Do you remember playing mixes of songs on cassette tapes on car trips? Do you remember what it was like to anticipate a certain song order because that’s how the songs were recorded to your tape? Remember when we used to have to WAIT to purchase and listen to a specific song when we thought, “Gee, I’d like to buy that song?” Remember when you used to buy an entire album of songs, because individual songs just weren’t for sale? My kids don’t remember those things and will never know them. Our media landscape has shifted, and the tectonic shift has created “a new normal” for how we consume and purchase music.

On our way up to Kansas this weekend, I was thinking about the song, “Vienna Calling” by Falco. It’s an old song from the 80’s, and I think it came to mind because I’ve heard it recently on an 80’s channel I made a few years ago on Pandora and really enjoy. Riding with my family through Wichita, Kansas, (with my wife driving) I thought, “I’d really like to buy that song.” Since Wichita has good 3G cellular data coverage, there was no need to wait. From our car moving 75 miles per hour on the Interstate, a quick search on iTunes on my iPhone showed the song was available for 99 cents. I clicked to preview it and make sure it was the version I wanted. It was.

Preview Vienna Calling

Over AT&T’s 3G network over east Wichita, the 8 MB song downloaded to my iPhone in about two minutes.

Downloading Vienna Calling by Falco

Less than five minutes after I had the thought, “I really would like to own that song,” I’d spent 99 cents and was listening to the complete song on my phone, connected to our car stereo.

Vienna Calling by Falco

Since Apple has improved the mobile playlist management features available on the iPhone, I was also able to add the newly purchased song to an existing playlist I have. All without the need to sync my phone to my computer. Wow.

Vienna Calling in a Playlist

Not so long ago, in 2004 or 2005, I remember my wife and son using my new Palm Treo smartphone in the back of our van on a trip back to Texas from Kansas. We were driving on I-40 down that LONG stretch of road between Oklahoma City and Amarillo. I remember how amazed and enthused we were that it was possible then to conduct simple, primarily text-based searches on a smartphone from our car on an Interstate highway. It is mind boggling to realize how far we’ve come with wireless data connectivity in just six or seven years. Certainly these faster wireless data “clouds” have not yet arrived in many rural areas, but make no mistake… In most places they ARE coming. What will we do with our newly-encountered bandwidth?

For me this weekend, the answer was simple. “Falco on demand.”

It’s a very different world.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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