Saturday, August 20, 2005

ipod love

The Washington Post this week ran two separate puff pieces about the iPod. The first article talked about the iPod as a "personal narrative" and a reflection of one's soul. Various iPodders culled from the population at large talk about how "personal" their musical choices are, and how the thousands of songs on their iPod remind them of things like their long-ago childhood -- you know, like, when "Friends" was still on TV?

The second was even sillier. People spend $2 billion a year buying accessories for their iPods. Now, I agree with buying a cable to connect your iPod to your stereo system -- if the bulk of your music collection is on that little hard-drive it would be nice to hear it thru real speakers instead of a couple of little earpieces. But making your infant look like an iPod? Or having photos made to look like iPod advertisements? One college chiquita said she was "bored" with her plain-white iPod, and so she bought a new pink case for it. So much for iPods being about the emotional attachment to music.

I'll pass on the whole iPod thing. The rhapsodizing about music and memories is just plain silly -- a generation getting the portability of a mechanical device confused with an emotional attachment to music that is probably as old as human history. Not news. Wow -- no generation before EVER felt a personal connection to music.

I am really put off by what it takes to be an iPod owner. First, I don't like to buy songs one by one -- I prefer albums. Listening to single tracks off of The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd) or the Gorillaz' Demon Days isn't as satisfying to me as hearing the way the album moves, the way different songs will return to certain musical and topical themes. Second, I don't want to have to search so hard to find individual songs to buy. Third, I don't like the idea of having to buy this, that and the other to allow you to play your music collection on decent speakers at home or in the car (CDs work pretty well). And finally, I wonder what will happen to those thousands of songs that you spent thousands of dollars to download once the iPod joins the Great Dead Media Graveyard in the Sky?