Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Soundtrack of Your Life

Ah, the miracle that is the iPod. Or, really, any mp3 player that lets you carry a large amount of your music library with you without all those annoying CDs or tapes. More importantly, it allows you to more fully explore your library. I mean, you scroll through and think, yawn, I listen to this all the time, but, I'd forgotten about that. I was listening to music during lunch today (well, since I got the thing, I'm surgically attached to it), and I was scrolling around, no, I don't want to listen to pop, no, I've overlistened to the Leonard Cohen one, maybe...wait, what's this? Wish. Hmmm, wow. The Cure. I haven't listened to this in a long time. So I chose it and started to listen, and suddenly "Friday I'm in Love" came on. It's only the reason I bought the CD to begin with (I mean, the whole CD is pretty good, but nevertheless). And...I just love that song so much, and I had totally forgotten it even existed in this world. I feel like I rediscovered a piece of myself.

I also have learned to like albums that I bought and didn't like very much. I mean, some albums are beyond hope, it's possible that I'll never really come to like some albums. But others really have grown on me. Aqua's second album, Aquarius, which I think I like better than Aquarium (for Cartoon Heroes alone). LCD Soundsystem, something that got really great reviews when it came out, and I just didn't like it that much. But I listened to it several times all the way through, and, at some point, the switch flipped and I was like, "Oh. I get it. It really is good." I'll admit that I will give albums several chances, on the idea that I just might not be in the mood for whatever it is I might be listening to.

And then I discovered podcasts. First there was, of course, the Project Runway podcast, in which Tim Gunn gives a relatively unvarnished version of what happened on the show that week. He can be quite honest in his assessment of what is going on, and sometimes disagrees with the judges. Then I started listening to the Battlestar Galactica podcasts (...shut up). You're supposed to listen to them in conjuction with the show, but it would require watching the show twice (once without and once with). But it's definitely a cool idea, it's like he's doing DVD commentary for the original broadcast. It's fun to listen to because he acknowledges when they've made mistakes, where they took shortcuts, but he also gets really gleeful when they've gotten things right. It's a great glimpse into the creative and production process of the show. And then I found out that Ricky Gervais (the creator of the UK version of The Office and Extras, among others) has a podcast, and so I started listening to those. They're bascially a smarter version of a morning zoo type show (only once a week), because I think it's mostly Ricky Gervais and his writing partner Stephen Merchant making fun of their friend Karl Pilkington. But I find myself laughing outloud at it, which is not a good thing when you're walking down the street and people have no idea why you're giggling hysterically. Not maybe the most businesslike face to be putting forward.

Of course, the other cool thing about the iPod is the video capability. The screen is pretty small, about two square inches, but has great resolution. I've only downloaded two videos so far, but I can definitely see loading up before going on a trip. Of course, the battery doesn't last quite as long with the video (okay, it's a lot shorter), so you have to have a power source to recharge it (and the right charger, of course).

Of course, what I'm really enjoying is the opportunity to listen to a broad range of my music library without carrying a lot of crap around with me.


Blogger stalebREAD said...

So jealous, I have the shuffle and love it, though I do wish I had the ability to scroll through sometimes. Pretty soon, though, I think that we will just stop engaging other people socially and instead listen to music and watch TV while walkind down the street and IMing people if we feel like saying something. It will be a Brave New World. We've already begun the Big Brother snooping.

1:24 PM  
Blogger CultureMaven said...

I hope not. I mean, I do love the iPod, but I hope that I don't stop engaging with people around me. So cynical at such a young age, staleBread. Thanks, by the way, for throwing me into an existential crisis regarding the future of our country.

7:25 PM  

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