When we launched this site back in August, I said that the technology would afford the convergence of all media to one hand-held device. And we decided that we would use that technology to deliver our content to you. Not only the convergence of the audio and video, but the convergence of ideas and artistic sensibilities. Like the true definition of salon; a gathering place for people to share, listen and view literature, art, music, film, even politics.
It was no accident that I turned my phrase -- "CONVERGE is the Word' -- into our site's manifesto. Thus, It was only a matter time -- in the world of computer technology, only a few months -- before iTunes would jump from iTunes to Podcasting to Vidcasting and then converge them all together.
Steve Jobs and Apple have taken the technology to the next level with iPods. Soon Dick Tracy's wristwatch will be here and you won't need anything more than a hybrid phone/palm pilot/iPod strapped to your wrist. Wifi technology will allow the user to grab content on the go, 24/7, anywhere on the globe.
I must confess that watching a movie or television show on a tiny screen isn't very appealing to me, for someone else it may be cool. I'd rather use my computer or TV screen. But for water cooler chatter and impressing your friends at a party, it's pretty slick. Taking audio content on the road is one thing, as it affords the listener the ability to multitask, but I'm not convinced that vidcasting will work the same way. Maybe if you need to see a golf or tennis pro execute the proper swing you could watch a few seconds of a vidcast to correct your incorrect swing. Or catch the final seconds of a championship sporting event while attending the opera, your friend's wedding, or your in-laws dinner party. That would be hip. But locking in on any long stretch of entertainment that begs for the big screen is a tough sell on a rectangle screen that is only 2" x 1-1/2" inches. I think music videos and very short programs have value. (Check out our DEVO interview/concert footage and our super short vidcast interview with artist Ron English. And Richard's putting together a new on-line series. The first episode stars Susie Essman.)
Let's face it, the real appeal of using this vidcast technology will be the ability to deliver programming via iTunes to your computer screen on demand. Your favorite cult TV show stored in some dusty vault can be dusted off and repackaged for this digital delivery system. And we the consumer will be afforded even more options than we already have on television. I can't wait to watch old episodes of Rat Patrol or Then Came Bronson at my leisure on my home computer.
But I believe it's only a matter of time before all of this entertainment-driven nanochip technology will be available and embedded in humans by cosmetic/technical surgeons. It will be some hybrid convergence a la William Gibson's Neuromancer meets Spielberg's A.I. where flesh accepts the nanochip. We will be able to watch content projected to only our eyes! Or, at the very least, handheld devices that project 3-D holographic content a la Star Wars?
Regardless of where the technology converges, CultureCatch will be here to offer you our spin on smart culture content.
Converge is the Word!
Mr. Wright is the former editor-in-chief of Creem and Prince's New Power Generation magazines as well as a writer of films, fiction, and music. He is also a singer/songwriter who has released 3 solo CDs and a member of the folk-rock quartet GIANTfingers. And before all of this he was an agent at the William Morris Agency!