I'm 32 years old. That means I missed reel-to-reel. I never owned an 8-track. But I remember vinyl. In this modern world of MP3s and iPods, there's something romantic about records.
It's the ritual that I miss. I remember flipping through my dad's albums until the immense cover art of one drew me in. I remember unsheathing the thing like a precious gem, touching only the edges. I'd place it on the Technics, press a button, and it would begin turning. I'd gently run the dust brush over it. It was deep red and soft like velvet. Then I'd move the needle, every so slowly, into place. If you did it right, it made no sound at all - you just heard the music start. If you did it wrong, a loud bonk would come out of the speakers, and a stern look would come from my dad.
I was only 10 and I knew these things were older than me. They deserved respect. Reverence.
Surprise 1: As lovely as the new gadget is, it still has the same annoying problem as every other iPod and Walkman ever: headphones. They stick in your ears, catch in your coat, and tangle up miserably. Until they make an iPod with wireless headphones (and oh how I cannot wait for this), it'll remain a problem. But Apple's at least fixed one related annoyance.
On the Cartoon Network there's a brilliant show called Harvey Birdman that recycles old Hanna-Barbera characters into a modern courtroom setting. One of the wilder side characters is Reducto, a little green man with a passion for all things small (voiced by none other than Daily Show's Stephen Colbert). Reducto is known for obsessing over tiny things, shrinking objects and people with his shrink ray, and using phrases like "perfectly tiny" and "wonderfully miniscule" and "magnificently dainty."
Why am I babbling on about a bit part on an obscure show? Because I'm the proud owner of an iPod nano, and this is an iPod Reducto would love. In fact, I'm convinced that it's going to turn perfectly sane people into raving Reductos.
His and Hers iPod nanos. (Mine's the black one, natch.)
With the iPod love-fest that's been afoot in the mainstream media for the last year, the backlash was inevitable. It's just too bad it's taken root in a paper I usually respect.
Bleeding-heart Bay Area rag, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, has a cover story this week on our beloved iPod: What-why-where Pod. The story is critical of Apple and the iPod for not being sexy like Mick or rock 'n' roll enough (what-ever).
Usually I enjoy a good rant, but the article is just plain wrong in several places. For example: The iPod does not require the internet to work, only to download music and CD titles, both of which are optional.
But the allegation that's the most annoying is that there are no independent artists in the Music Store. Hogwash! I've personally produced two CDs of spoken word storytelling that, thanks to independent music pioneer CD Baby, are now available on iTMS (here and here, if you're curious).
Next time, do your homework, Guardian. Or just stick to bitching about PG&E.
Apple showed its classic 1984 Macintosh ad today at MacWorld San Francisco, but with a twist: they digitally grafted an iPod on to the runner. The result is strangely disturbing, both because they're revising their own history, and also because, well, isn't infiltrating a militaristic compound with a huge mallet while listening to music kinda dangerous?
Here's a post I've been meaning to make for a while. A new site finally inspired me to write it down. If you've got an iPod, it may be of interest. If not, well, you can just read it to see what a nerd I am.
When I first got my iPod, all was well, but I soon filled up all 10 gigs. I didn't want to manually manage which songs got put on the iPod (whatta pain!) and I didn't want to get a bigger one (well, I wanted to, sure, but c'mon), so I came up with a Smart Playlist to put only the best and most current music on my iPod. Here's how.
First create a new smart playlist. I called mine "For iPod" cause I'm not that clever. The idea here is to make a playlist that includes the music you most want on your iPod. Mine says:
My Rating - is greater than - **
Date Added - is in the last - 2 months
Date Modified - is in the last - 2 months
Last Played - is in the last - 2 months
This includes any song I've rated 2 stars or more and any song I've added or played in the last two months. Depending on my iTunes usage, this winds up being 6 or 7 gigs. Your recipe my vary.
Then connect your iPod. Click the iPod icon at the bottom of iTunes to get the iPod Preferences window. Instead of the default top option, select the second one: "Automatically update selected playlists only."
Then check the "For iPod" Smart Playlist you just made. Feel free to select any other playlists too, if you always want them on your iPod.
Bottom Line: Now my iTunes library can be considerably larger than the size of my iPod, but the latest and greatest will always be with me! Bonus: Since the total amount of stuff on my iPod is less than the total 10 gigs, I can still use it as a hard drive to shuttle other stuff around.
This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page shows thoughts about iPod, including:
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
4 February 2006
iPod nano’s Pleasant Surprises
16 September 2005
The iPod nano: So perfectly tiny
8 September 2005
Love in the year 2005
8 September 2005
Let the iPod backlash begin!
5 February 2004
Apple's Revisionist History
6 January 2004
Geeky: iPod Composting
9 October 2003
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Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »
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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 4 February 2006
iPod nano’s Pleasant Surprises 16 September 2005
The iPod nano: So perfectly tiny 8 September 2005
Love in the year 2005 8 September 2005
Let the iPod backlash begin! 5 February 2004