the ipod.

i recently read a book entitled, the cult of ipod, written by leander kahney, who is a reporter for the wired publication.
i love this book.
i love the layout.
i love the graphics.
i love the text.
i love the presentation.
i love the material presented in sound bite format.
needless to say, i enjoyed the read.

the book describes how ipod has changed the way music is listened, viewed, et cetera.

i found the book to be enlightening as it opened my eyes to a culture of ipod users. even though i own an ipod, i realized that i use it in utilitarian fashion as i download my playlists for my spin class or just to listen to select tunes and/or podcasts as i workout. so three times a week max. i realized i could and should use it for so much more. i should take advantage of the technology that i have paid for.
320px-IPod_Line2
one, for instance is the shuffle function. never thought about using it because i usually prefer to listen to music in order…or that is how i am used to listening to music. i have never been much of a “mixed tape” type, even though i enjoy listening to others people have made…it is usually not me who makes them. but, when compiling a playlist for my spin class, that is precisely what i do. i arrange music depending on a certain mood, a certain feel, a certain sequence of rhythms or beats or movements the music elicits. i noticed that my sentiments changed as i read the section on random shuffle…what began as suspect turned into experimentation…especially after this testimonial:

there is something thrilling about setting the player on shuffle and letting it decide what to play next….often crashing through barriers of style in ways that change how i listen….on the ipod, music is freed from all fatuous self-definitions and delusions of significance….instead, music is music.
~alex ross (a writer for new yorker), as quoted in the above mentioned book, page23.

and the shuffle does change how you listen, in much the same way as a mixed tape created by another for your enjoyment or even a playlist for a spin class…except that all human ingenuity and manipulation are extracted. it is a giving up of control.
sometimes even giving up too much control.
like the time i mistakenly shuffled my playlist for the following morning’s 6am spin class yet not noticing it until i was on the 2nd song in my workout…truly letting the music dictate my teaching.

and it is a sense of freedom all at once. the freedom comes as music is allowed to do what it is intended: to be, to feel, to elicit such in us.
as said by thomas carlyle,

music is well said to be the speech of angels.
~as quoted in the cult of ipod, page1.

the silhouette figures in the ads make us think this–that the music we are listening to on our ipods is somehow outside ourselves and in some ways transposed upon us.
DSCN8960
just what else do these silhouettes communicate?

the ads use silhouette figures to highlight the white earbuds, but have the added benefit of making the dancers anonymous–they are everyman and everywoman.
~kahney, the cult of ipod, page63.

nothing is risky or cutting-edge in these ads…
plain
and simple,
transcendent
and identifiable.
DSCN8988 DSCN8987
and identify i do. every time i see one of these ads, i think to myself, “that’s me.”
and that’s you, i’m sure.

2 thoughts on “the ipod.

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