Having spent a great deal of the past year or so looking at the history of this sort of thing, I've come to the conclusion that people normally hit upon these killer apps very quickly, Often before the technology itself is viable. Subscription services for broadcasting music to pubic places and alarm clocks that woke sleepers with music were being tried long before the tech existed to make either practical.
A couple of side notes on the first story. The evolution of synthesizers is a bit outside of the scope of our ongoing threads but if the subject interests you, definitely check out the history of the telharmonium. Also note the quote from Mark Twain. Twain was fascinated by the new technology of the era and we should probably devote some future posts to his take on the subject.
From Scientific American March 9, 1907
From Scientific American April 6, 1907
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