Trying To Get To You

Monday, October 23, 2006

The "Perfection" Of The iPod

There's an absolutely essential piece in Salon today. It's a review of a new book by Steven Levy called, "The Perfect Thing." It's a book about the history of the iPod and it's effect that it's had on, well, everything. Manjoo addresses many of the issues of music consumption and attention deficit disorder that the iPod has raised in his review. From the Salon piece:

"I suspect a more widespread issue, though, has to do with the way the iPod seems to work against listening to new music, which has become my chief complaint about the machine. Like many others in the so-called iPod generation, years of surfing the Web have reduced my attention span to not much more time than the length of a typical YouTube clip; consequently, my iPod, stocked with 4,124 songs, routinely turns me into a hyperactive freak show. If you have an iPod, I'm sure you know what I mean. You put on something that you've been wanting to listen to all day. Lucinda Williams' "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" album, say. But you're three-quarters of the way through the first track, and even though you're really digging it, something about the scratchiness of Williams' voice reminds of something else entirely -- the Carter Family. And, hey, don't you have a copy of "Wildwood Flower" on here? Why, yes, you do. So you switch. But of course, putting on the Carter Family is going to remind you of Johnny Cash. And you have the feeling that you must, just this minute, play Cash's version of "In My Life" now. So you switch again. But you're a minute into Johnny and you start to wonder about the Beatles' original version of the track...

This is my every day music predicament. Ah, the modern world...

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