29 Oct Game 2 x iPhone 4 x MLB
Please don’t think me old, but I grew up in a suburb of New York City, listening to Vin Scully call Brooklyn Dodger games on a radio the size of a bread box, powered by vacuum tubes. The experience was formative in the sense that it left me with the belief baseball games are best seen on the radio, in singer Terry Cashman‘s evocative phrase.
Tonight at 10, I set out from Sydney, Nova Scotia, for the 75 km. drive to my home on a remote stretch of Cape Breton’s Bras d’Or Lakes. Before pulling out of the parking lot, I plugged my iPhone 4 into a Griffin FM transmitter the size of a Bic lighter, opened the phone’s Major League Baseball app, and clicked a tab marked “listen.”
For the next hour, I heard San Francisco radio station KNBR’s Dave Flemming, Mike Krukow, and Duane Kuiper call the middle innings of Game Two of the 2010 World Series with a fidelity more than equal to the old tube radio behemoth. The game played over my car stereo, via the iPhone’s connection to a series of cell towers, the MLB app, and the miniature FM transmitter. Only once did the feed die, when the phone dropped Telus Mobility’s 3G signal for less than 60 seconds in a notorious radio, TV, and cell phone dark zone on the back side of Boularderie Island,.
For the rest of the drive, the game — a splendid pitcher’s duel until the bottom of the eighth — came through admirably, and the iPhone’s display screen kept pace with instant updates to the information-rich scoreboard pictured in the screenshot at left.
No wider point here, except that we live in an era of breathtaking technology, and the 4.8-ounce iPhone is a staggering technological achievement.