The Twenty-first Century

How’s this for living in the future:

At home, using the built-in camera on my portable dual-core computer1 to scan and look up every CD I own from an online database of product information.

Oh, I downloaded the program I’m using2 to scan the CDs and purchased it without ever having to touch any physical product.

Once I figured out that the program could help me list and sell those CDs to any buyer around the world3, I sent a thank-you to its creator, and got a nearly-instantaneous response, despite us not knowing anything about each other prior to that, using a free communications service4 and a free program5 that makes use of the communication services’ public Application Programming Interface (API).

While scanning CDs, I’m picking songs to listen to via my cell phone6. I can see every song in the library, with artist and album information, and album cover art. I can queue up songs for later, or have the songs played immediately. I can search the library for artist, album or song title, which is handy because there’s almost 5000 songs in there. The songs are played from another computer the size of a stack of 5-6 CD jewel cases7, which is plugged in to my stereo and displays artist, song, album information, along with a graphic display of the album cover and some nifty visual effects8, on my TV. And I don’t even have to have line of sight to the computer or the stereo to do this; it makes use of my wireless network, so I can do it from the other room.

1 A MacBook Pro 15″ dual-core with iSight (and many more features).
2 Delicious Library 2, a wonderfully-designed program that seems to exemplify the Apple approach to doing one thing, beautifully.
3 Amazon Marketplace.
4 Obviously, I’m talking about Twitter, the public short message site.
5 The still-in-beta Nambu.
6 Duh, if you haven’t been paying attention, I’m talking about my iPhone.
7 An Intel-chipped Apple Mac mini.
8 Another Apple product – iTunes.