Progress Illustrated – Media Players

Prior to the year 2000 and except for a few early adopters of new technology, most peoples’ music collections could be found in stacks of CDs. Around the year 2000 many people began to store all of their CDs on their computer’s hard drive.

In 2003, the capacity of a hard drive was marketed by how much music it could store. The iPod became a phenomenon and moneymaker for Apple based on the sudden consumer demand to store their entire collection of music on a portable device about the size of a deck of cards.

This year, hard drives are being advertised by how much video they can store. This marketing has lately expanded to include how much high-definition video a device can store. New portable devices such as Sony’s HMP-A1 promise video playback in addition to music playback.

Around 2007, a device the size of a deck of cards will store several hours worth of HD video, your entire music collection, and, if the screen resolution is high enough, your entire library of books, magazines, and photographs. It will allow you to playback video, audio, text, and images on the device itself, or on televisions, stereos, monitors, car radios, printers, or any output device that can be connected to it.

Around 2010, the first device to record a 360-degree sphere of your life in full ultra-high definition and surround-sound detail, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of your life, will become available.

While you may not personally have any of these devices today, at some point you will, due to cost, convenience, or lack of availability of outmoded devices. All this change has and will happen in just the first decade of the 21st century. Can anyone still argue that progress is not accelerating?

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).