Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
The ubiquitous iPod
January 29th, 2005

Green iPod, originally uploaded by John Larkin.

My wife, Shao Ping, spotted this advert in a magazine the other day. The iPod looks rather tawdry and lacks the simplicity and purity of the original design.

iPods have become so ubiquitous. Local Honda dealers offer an iPod if you buy a particular vehicle. Even our local butcher has a deal where you can win an iPod. It is an interesting match… get a juicy red beef steak and an iPod mini to boot.

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald today echoes these sentiments to some extent. Eddie Perfect, a Melbourne-based composer, actor and comedian, writes “However, my disappointment at not getting an iPod has since turned into cynicism. I now have an “issue” with the lovable iPod. It seems to me that as the technology to store more music on ever-smaller devices grows, the diversity and range of music available to us is shrinking. The irony of technology is that we now have musical audio space equivalent to all the shelving in the New York State Library, yet we have the cultural capacity to fill it only with Ralph magazines.”

Perfect, goes on to say that “if you picked up someone else’s iPod, you’d discover the painful truth: people are scarily the same, and growing more alike. I’m sure all of us would like to believe we’re individuals, but the music marketing machine ensures that most of the kids on the street don’t listen outside the box. It would be foolish to underestimate the extent to which the major recorded music corporations dictate and control our tastes.” So we are enamoured by the technology but the music is still coming off second best. Money needs to be spent on encouraging diversity and originality in music.

It seems the “i” in iPod no longer relates to Internet, information technology or the like. The “i” in iPod now relates to that vain, mindless sensibility that broadcasts, “Look at me, I have an iPod”.

On a different, yet related wavelength, I have had these completely irrational thoughts regarding iPod ownership of late. I see some individuals with iPods and I think to myself, what a waste. What will they listen to? Will they get maximum use out of the device? It is probably just jealousy masked as snobbery to be honest. I secured the original 1st generation 5 gig iPod three years ago. Still works and is chock a block with songs that could last 2.8 days non stop. Surely that makes me cooler than an iPod-mini toting teenager?

One Response to “The ubiquitous iPod”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    don’t look at me… :P i don’t even own a walkman/discman, much less listen to mobile music…