Having been a tetraplegic for more than 50 years, l'm always on the lookout for gadgets or new pieces of kit to make my life easier; especially as the ageing process takes its toll
However, I often find that most of it turns out to be useless and a waste of time, especially if it's not designed by, or in consultation with, disabled people. Recently though, I came across a new piece of kit not designed specifically for disabled people, but which is proving extremely useful.
Over the years, my wife and I have collected more than 400 CDs between us and it has become increasingly difficult to keep tabs on them all. Commonly we find that we want to play a particular CD song or artist, only to find that we've left it upstairs or in the car. Often by the time we find it the mood has passed and as we get older it becomes increasingly difficult, so often we don't bother and just play what we can easily find or whatever is in our music system at the time.
The Cocktail Xl0 allows you to find any CD, song or artist in seconds and it can be controlled either by using an easy- to-operate remote control or through your iPad or Smartphone. When we first got it we were a bit daunted at the prospect of downloading over 400 CDs, as each one takes about four minutes (you do the maths) so we decided to download between 15 and 20 a day. Hey presto, it wasn't daunting at all and all our CDs were soon in the machine.
Once they are downloaded you can organise them in anyway you like, by artist, song or CD in exactly the same way as you can music on your iPod or computer. It can also be connected to the internet and it will download the cover art, which then appears in the display window along side the track and CD information. lt will play your music through your own speakers or system and can be linked to a whole range of internet devices. You can also tune into as many internet radio stations as you wish.
Recently, I was showing the Cocktail X10 off to a friend who mentioned a specific Australian radio station she used to listen to as a child, and literally within a minute I was playing it to her. From reading the technical blurb that comes with it, I'm sure that it does many other things, but for technophobes like us we are just happy that we can now have access our whole music collection. And if you have difficulty setting it up, the back-up and support they provide is second to none.
We are rediscovering music that we didn't know we still had and have even come across a few CDs we don't even remember buying, showing that the ageing process isn't just about physical deterioration. So if you have an unwieldy and inaccessible music collection, it's well worth checking out the cocktail X10.
Mike Oliver C6/7
...anywhere in your home, at any time (even hands-free)
You will have just read Mike Oliver's article about the Cocktail Audio X10. lt is a music server that stores all your CDs, allowing you to access all your CD music via an App on your iPhone, Android, PC or Mac.The App enables you to choose music by various listing options, including track, artist and album listings.
If you have a particularly large library of CDs, l think this App could be a great investment. Ideal for disabled people, you can play anything in your music collection without leaving your wheelchair.
Now the technology experts out there will know that such devices have been around for quite a few years now and there are various options on the market, even including one t hat will store your DVDs/movies in the same fashion.
So let's just take this one stage further and imagine that not only can we play any music from our CD library instantly but we can simply play any music recorded in our lifetime or even before. So how do we do this? Subscribe to a music service like Spotify, Google Play Music or Napster and that's exactly what you will get. Any music you