I can hear the future.
This morning I bought a Compact Disc player at Crazy Eddie down in Wayne. Iʼve been reading about Compact Disc players in the Science Times section of the Times, and in Omni, and get this — it uses LASERs to play music!
Dad had to go down to a quarry for some stuff, and he let me come along and stop at Crazy Eddie. While he was looking at stereo receivers, I bought a Unisef portable compact disc player for $119. I also got a disc full of music: Invisible Touch by Genesis.
The machine is like a small shoebox that hangs around your neck on a flat nylon strap. Top flips up so you can put silver music discs inside. Thereʼs a liquid crystal display and a bunch of buttons on the top, too. It all looks like an oversized Star Trek tricorder.
The buttons on top are:
On the left side is a switch to change the power source from batteries to power adapter, and three jacks — two for power, and one for audio line level output. Itʼs strange that thereʼs two for power. The end of the wall wart power adapter actually splits off into two different plugs, and you have to plug them both in for the machine to turn on.
The front has a headphone jack and a thumbwheel to control the volume.
And just so you donʼt forget that this machine plays music digitally, the word “digital” appears four times on the top.
The L.C.D. screen shows the song number that youʼre listening to, and it also counts how many minutes and seconds into the song you are. Thereʼs a forward button to go immediately to the next song! Itʼs so fast there isnʼt even the noise like a squashed chipmunk that my tape player makes when I fast forward to the next song. It also has a backwards button that restarts the song youʼre listening to now. The player makes chirping noises when moving from song to song. Maybe itʼs squashing crickets instead of rodents.
If you open the bottom, thereʼs a place to put ten AA batteries. I donʼt think Iʼll ever use that. Who can afford ten AA batteries? Iʼll just plug it into the wall.
Because itʼs LASERs making the music, the quality is supposed to be as good as can be. It sounds different from my Invisible Touch tape, but I canʼt really say how. Thereʼs no hiss between songs, I noticed that. But the music, itself, sounds different, too. More ringy. More hissy, but not tape hiss. A different kind. And there seems to be a lot more instruments than on the tape.
The Times says this is the future of music. Now I just have to find more music discs.