“Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive; look, up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s ….” We all remember this saying, don’t we? Well, never has this statement been truer than right now and believe me, it is more powerful than the locomotive. The internet has changed the world forever and there is no return. As the internet develops, the rules of ethics will eventually reign and the new order of both positive and negative information will become more personal than we can imagine. The responsibility for us to deliver accurate information will be put on the spot as journalists and the court of public opinion will be put on trial. It is important for this article to bring this up from the outset because as we move more into the future, we will also be as much the fact that we are what we eat as we are or may become what we read.
I live in the world of reality. Everyday I wake up and face my trade head on. I design musical systems that are like the instruments they reproduce. If I make the wrong move in a design, it could take the music that is being played in a direction that is not inline with the goals that I have for the development of the notes. I so dearly want to persevere. To me, this parallels the media and it’s responsibilities to deliver the truth. Entire industries and lifestyles are being shaped by the media. “The best seeds that are sewn reap the most.” This is the rule of the advertising world.
Now that we have received our warning of the importance of our involvement, we can talk about the plans that have been laid down since the time of the first computer. The line between the old and the new, in the world of information, has been made very clear. Our society is now moving at the pace of real-time. The youth are being brought up in a world of understanding their way around a website like those of us who are older were brought up in a world in which we understood our way around a newspaper or magazine. Another important aspect to look at is the fact that the world today is no longer a media dictatorship. The internet is and will become completely interactive. Many TV shows are already using this type format to involve their audience. Every show will soon have a real-time event option that will allow the fans of any media event to have the corresponding live chat as a part of any show. The day is approaching very quickly that you will instantly be able to talk to someone about anything you wish. You won’t have to become a typist like the way we do now. This interactive feature will be completely voice activated, if you so choose. This is already an off the self common product and there will be many more advanced formats made available in the next year. Oh yes people, we have indeed entered the 21st century.
I am just now finishing the last few days of the CES here in Las Vegas and have been talking to consumers about their needs and desires. One of the concerns that was made to me is the desire for reality for each of these people as they enter this new high tech world. In audiophile terms it is called “the fear of the digital age”. My feeling on this issue is clear as I have been closely involved in the technology of designing reality sound reproductive systems which I demonstrated at the CES. This involves the technology of tuning a reproducing audio and video system that is tunable to any source and any environment. These systems are designed to reproduce the highest level of sound reproduction possible, without the loss of information. As these systems move from hand adjustment to automated voice command controlled adjustment, the consumer will be able to accurately recreate any event they wish. This technology, combined with the search for the digital information issues that are slower (but faster than we think) working themselves out, will deliver not only a picture of reality but also a picture of personal taste and a setting that will make any event that is happening in the world seem as real as being there. The next article for HomeToys.com is entitled Artist Meets Engineer (The World of Tuning). In this article, I break down the relationship between the artist’s vision and the reality and ability of the engineer to make it tangible with current technology.
Seeing the future and how it will play out is one thing. We know we are going to achieve this in time because the performance proof is in the pudding as they say, but the way we present this to the marketplace is just as important. In every magazine and in every newspaper, you find a section that readers cannot live without. We call it the classifieds. The classifieds, combined with direct sales and the retail dealer, is the way we make our purchases. At one time, these worlds fought each other in our publications and market strategies. but I look at this in a whole different light. I believe in the coming together of the minds instead of the isolation of minds. Let me show you how this works. On my magazine, TuneLand, we call this “fair exchange”. “Fair exchange” is the reality that all things must have a system of coming and going and this system, if done correctly, can benefit all involved. In the marketplace for example, we have realized the need in America that we can keep the economy going by creating both throw away and long term products. This is a much more delicate process though to pull off as humans than we thought, because of the amount of waste we were creating on our planet. So we have begun facing these issues to provide for future generations. The audio and video marketplace (the marketplace I deal with mostly) is in the same predicament. New models must be reproduced to keep the manufacturers alive and the resale of these “last year’s models” must find a home or be trashed in order for this to take place. I won’t get into the issue of which is better, the old or the new, but to say that without this process the world will not move forward. There is also another need in the food chain of sales and that is the world of direct sales. Direct sales are a place where people can buy things at a reduced rate. This is a truism, but it also serves another purpose for people like me. Direct sales allow me to be directly involved with my customers’ needs.
My company, for example, is the most involved one-stop-shop for the ultimate high end tweak listener in the industry of which I am aware. We provide the customer with the ability to tune in the sound of his/her system through the method of tuning. In other words, any one of our customers can literally tune his or her system in to create whatever sound they wish. Without the internet, this is almost impossible to do, as you could imagine. If there was not the avenue available for direct sales and a place to do the advertising at a discounted rate, this would prove to be a tough hill to conquer. We have achieved success through the use of two venues on the internet to make our dreams of allowing the listener to, as we say, go all the way. One of these ways is have our own online magazine that allows people to interact with us directly so that we can get to know their personal needs and prescribe the best path for them to reach their goals. This interaction ultimately puts the extreme listener back into the driver’s seat to his sound performance destination. The other need that we have is to reach the public that we feel is going to be interested in our products and ideas. The internet provides us with both. I can’t imagine going back to the old days of telephone and monthly paperback periodicals that are read by a few people. HomeToys.com (your magazine) is a perfect example of reaching the world, as I have said before. Everyday, there are people who are able to enter your world through the avenue of surfing. The internet is the biggest informational breakthrough in the history of the world. The amount of information that gets shared is unbelievable.
If I can, for a moment, I will do a little promoting and then I will wrap this up for you. I would like to tell you about a company and a brilliant concept. The company’s name is Audiogon. I bring up their name knowing that there are similar companies in existence, both presently and in the future. But theirs is a story that needs to be told.
Audiogon started as an online classified outlet for used high end audio gear, but is turning into much more. In spending time with Steven Clay of Audiogon, you can see that the vision is much bigger than merely used audio equipment. Audiogon is like the daily coupon for audio/video hobbyists. I have had many conversations with Steven about the future role of Audiogon in regards to the big picture of the world marketplace and I am convinced that once the industry realizes how it is becoming part of a worldwide real-time event, that it will find that by partnering up with the other visionaries of the audio/video world that we will see the world’s newspaper become even more of a reality.
This last year I took more of an interest in seeing the different compartments of the audio and video industries come together as one and enter into the 21st century with a like-minded vision of giving the public a view of all the options that are available to them as consumers and hobbyists. In my talks with several of the leaders in this hobby, I encouraged them to realize the importance of the internet as the driving force behind their future success. I also stressed that because of the internet and the versatility of this medium, the industry can interlink or network themselves together in such a way so as to coexist and feed off of each other’s success instead of protecting their own barns. This is crucial to the success of any venture.
In closing, the map of the future of the internet and how industries will rise and fall will be based on our ability to adopt the ideals that made our knowledge sources follow the examples and templates that have been laid before us. The interaction of human beings can be an amazing and beautiful process to see in action. Our world is becoming one big neighborhood. From stones to books to newspapers to TV and now to the internet, we as people are showing our desire to understand each other. As we learn more about the power of this new era that has begun, we have the opportunity to grow closer in understanding of not only our world but the world around us. “To understand the uniqueness of another is to understand ourselves.” This is a quotation from my book, The Harmonics of Life. The planet has the biggest challenges that she has ever had, ahead of it and we as people have the biggest opportunity to meet these challenges together in harmony than we’ve ever had before. This will no doubt depend on how we decide to develop, understand, and use the internet — The World’s Newspaper.