Changing notes

iPod speakers

I admit it — I’ve been dragging the technology chain. While many in my community are discussing which ebook reader to acquire (and oh, the temptation there!), I’ve only just entered the mp3 age. My first acquisition: an iPod Classic, black, 160Gb. That should hold the silence at bay! (But let us not forget, sometimes, silence is indeed golden.)

Why now? It was time, I figured. Time to stop carting CDs around the country, or relying on the paltry 100-song capacity of my voice recorder for emergency relief on aircraft. Time to overcome the jamming, jumping, slowly fritzing stacker in the boot of the car, and the bland if not annoying, repetitive, often facile radio. Time for something that offers the right music for the right moment, at the touch of a button.

But what to put on it? Everything! But no, let’s prioritise. Favourites, clearly; and now, alphabetically: Android Lust, yes; Bryan Adams, maybe not. Choices, choices… My, how our tastes have changed, and how, yet, we can’t quite let go of the old stuff, the formative stuff, the aural milestones on the musical journey to now.

It comes with a moment of mourning for artwork: from LP gatefolds to CDs and now to postage-stamp sized jpegs. Still pretty as the flick across the iPod screen, but not so much art as guidepost, now. The fanboy in me wants a cover to be signed; it wants liner notes. I know it’s all about the tunes, not the packaging, and my ear can’t really pick up the quality loss from file compression (though they say this AAC stuff is almost as good…), but still: can you sign my iPod mister?

And then there’s the accessories. A protective sleeve for the so-slim iPod, speakers for overnight on the road (aren’t these cute? small, light, bass boost, iPod recharging while you play: tick, tick, tick and tick).

You’d think this is the kind of stuff shop assistants would try to sell you when you were buying the original unit, but no: much more important to chat to your mate on the phone, reluctantly cradling him away on one shoulder for the time it takes to ring up the transaction, let alone show the customer some options. I don’t much need the value-adding at food counters, but when you’re buying tech, yeah, a little bit of effort would go a long way to helping the customer complete the set. But the dude saved me money because I found the gear I needed elsewhere and cheaper, so hey, cheers for that.

So now it’s back to the A-Z, that cycle of choose-burn-add-eject-artwork-choose, with one avaricious eye on the ebook readers: Kobo, BeBook, dare I say iPad…?

Benatar? Hell yes; but which? Or all? Choices, choices…