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Farewell, iTunes

Technology is constantly moving forward but do you ever get nostalgic about it?

06 Jun 2019 by Andrew McClean

I keep getting spooked when I get an advert on my smartphone for something I had been talking about at work or with friends.

At the moment, it’s tents. I’m off to Glastonbury later this month and I can’t contain my excitement so I’m telling everyone, including you (see you down the front for Kylie). I get grown up suggestions too like ones from banks after debating the pros and cons of switching accounts…I promise.

My point is that our phones are listening to us when they’re not being used and it’s all a bit too much like the Terminator and Skynet.

Software updates are a daily occurrence on our smartphones and computers, changing the way technology operates and how we interact with it.

Sometimes, we even get a bit bleary-eyed over old tech. From vinyl to tape, and then the Discman to the mini-disc (remember that short-lived device?).

For my generation, it was Apple’s iTunes and iPod that revolutionised the way we bought and listened to music.

The ability to be able to purchase any song, download it and be listening to it within minutes alongside your entire music library that now lived in your pocket was any music fan’s dream. Gone were the days that I had to carry a CD wallet around on my paper-round while balancing my CD Walkman to ensure it didn’t jump or scratch.

This week, Apple announced that it would be closing iTunes after 18 years. Initially, I was outraged that they would kill off a part of my teenage years so callously, but then I realised I haven’t properly used iTunes for years.

I used to spend hours curating my digital collection of music, uploading CDs, correcting song titles and finding the right album artwork when Apple got it wrong. But streaming music via services like Spotify has managed to replace something that already seemed so convenient. 

iTunes will take on a new form to something that I assume will accommodate modern music listening habits. Whether this is the second coming of the service, is to be seen.

In preparation for OT’s July AI edition, I spoke to Kjell Nolke from Nolke Opticians and Leon Paull from OrCam about how the MyEye 2 device has provided a new option for patients living with low vision.

Mr Nolke explained that he believes access to ground-breaking technology is a must for his patients as it makes their lives easier.

“Technology is evolving for visual disability and it’s nice that patients have that facility locally,” he shared.
International business development and sales manager at OrCam, Mr Paull described how MyEye changed following feedback from “hundreds of visually impaired people.”

He shared: “One of the key pieces of feedback that we received was that users did not want a cable running around them. That feedback got injected into the process and we miniaturised the whole thing into a smart wearable camera, without the cable, sitting on the head unit.”

Adapting to change and the effect technology is having on optical practices will be explored further in OT’s July issue. In the meantime, email OT about how technology has made a difference to your patients and the way that you practice. Or, share your thoughts on the AOP's Community Forums

Image credit: Getty/FTiare

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