1. It’s unfair. I spent 16 years buying over-priced CDs and searching through bad neighborhoods, and worse, yuppie neighborhoods, for records. Now a 12-year old can get a similar collection by plugging a cord into a computer.
2. 8-hour albums. Through convention, albums are about 45 minutes. You listen to them. You engage with them. You listen to them again. Now, with the god-forsaken iPod and 40 gigabytes, you own so many tracks, (I won’t even mention the fact that you now buy songs one by one), that you lose respect for the album. It is now common practice for people to pop the iPod into the docking station, and just listen to music nonstop all the way through work. What happens when you listen to music all day, without affording it any concentration and or respect? You get EASY LISTENING! Yes, the iPod will bring us untold minions of Kenny Gs and Michael Boltons. (Okay, I really mean Britney Spears and Keane.)
3. What the crap do you have in your ear? Why does every iPod owner keep the lame-ass earbuds? Digital music can be high quality. Earbuds, however, can’t deliver quality. People just wear them to show they bought the brand name.
4. What about music stores? Okay so CDs are expensive, and music stores are often full of pompous jackasses. But music stores allow for a little social interaction and access to criticism.
5. Most importantly, iPods allow people who seem only moderately lame and clone-like to demonstrate that they are extremely lame and clone-like. This is the real trauma. I grab a friend’s iPod and scroll through it. 40 gigabytes. Enough to store 667 hours of music. But because people collect music through similar sources, or because they are soulless mutants, most iPods have similar play lists. Test my theory. Go ahead. Classical music: Shostakovich (probably performed by the Kronos Quartet) and the German composers. Jazz: Miles Davis. Then the obligatory 80s rock, two tracks by Nick Cave, four by Eminem. Then all the new “indie” bands, custom made for the medium because they blend into each other and their names fit nicely on the display screen. (All the “the” bands.)
The iPod is here to stay. I just hope consumers are only going through growing pains. Great music is still coming out and is more available than ever before. And good bands are getting attention, just not enough. I am comforted only by the lessons offered from the DVD. At the advent of that piece of technology, damned near everyone I knew was sitting in front of their TVs watching Jurassic Park. And still the cinema survived.
Next issue: Five Reasons Why I Hate Electricity
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