Wednesday, December 15, 2004

iPod, iSurfed, iLeft 

I washed the dishes tonight to a dozen Jeffrey Foucault outtakes, volume adjustment accomplished through the apron with a mere turn of the finger. It took me less than three minutes to explain all the controls to Darcie, who then spent the next half hour with the earbuds at her belly, playing bootlegged Bela Fleck for the fetus. "My students refuse to leave their iPods home when they go on their language exchange program" said a frustrated teaching peer at supper the other night.

I may be late to the table, but hot damn, this iPod thing is just what the noetic theorists promised us. Compact enough for pockets, vast enough to legitimately contain an aurophile's entire collection, the minimalist, intuitive interface: all underscore the proliferation, the cultural potency of this new little beast...but nothing prepared me for true love.

Coupled with the iTrip, it's a portable device that blurs the line between media, allowing content to transcend the limitations of individual technologies. I can listen through the car radio on the way to work, hit pause upon arriving, and, if I get the timing right, pick up the same song exactly where I left it the moment I walk into the office. I left the home radio on this morning, and Darcie said she knew I was pulling into the driveway because she heard my music.

Been importing tunes all day and yesterday (what are they going to do, fire me?), mostly from artist web sites. I've got a thing for covers, remixes, live tracks and unreleased rarities, so the legal side of the mp3web and I seem made for each other.

Along the way, I've discovered cheat sites full of pests and mp3 blogs fat with rescued obscurity -- a whole new world of digital audio. Even had a few happy accidents, most notably when a search for Barenaked Ladies bootlegs led me to the Banjo Newsletter, a vast repository of sparse banjo solos like this christmas classic. And how could you not love the Nintendo-esque, Mario Bros. charm of this 8-bit carol? Heck, at this rate, I'll be ready to take on the "first ten songs that come up on your iPod" meme by Christmas.

As I write this, I'm importing CDs like a madman, songs for five days in Florida plus the to-and-fro of air travel with a two-year-old. We'll be able to play tunes on the rental car radio, and I'll be able to space out to my favorite folk artists with a book on the porch each night after the girls go to bed, reading new books in the warm night air, far away from the perils of work, and the coming storms of a New England winter. And when I return, it'll be nice to try running to the weekly radio show without 80 pounds of CDs on my herniated back. Ain't technology grand?

posted by boyhowdy | 10:19 PM |

I have very high hopes of getting an iPod for Christmas. Ethan has one and I love it and I want a precious of my own.

If you're at all into African music, check out -- a fantastic African music blog w/ free mp3s every day. Also calabashmusic (not sure of the url, but google them) offers a free world music download every day. Yum.

My condolences on the crappy work news, btw.
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