I Am No Longer An iPod User

Within days of Steve Jobs’ announcement of a whole raft of new Apple products including the new iPod Shuffle (more on this shortly), I can announce that I am no longer an iPod user.

This has less to do with my reservations about iPods in general (see blog passim), and more to do with the fact that my father knocked my bag off a chair and smashed my iPod while I was visiting over the holidays. Although it only fell a few feet in a padded bag, the iPod broke the fall of my burly laptop (which thankfully survived the fall).

The LCD now only displays an abstract liquid crystal pattern, and there is a neat round dent in the metal casing (not dissimilar to how a bullet hole might look), where the full force of my falling laptop was transmitted to the iPod via an earbud headphone. Activating the device now results only in a sickening grinding noise from the hard drive, and a melancholy feeling that yet another expensive item of consumer electronic equipment has come to a premature demise in my possession.

So, unless my credit card company agrees to pay out under the product protection insurance (unlikely, since I claimed after the 90 day period had elapsed), I’m going back to Minidisc for the forseeable future.

Now, back to the iPod Shuffle, and the ever-growing Cult of Mac… Firstly, I have a lingering unease with the whole “shuffle” concept, whereby music is played in a random order. I didn’t mention it in my original iPod rant, and I confess that I’ve used the shuffle feature more than once on both my iPod and on my laptop with iTunes, but I always feel it’s kind of a cop-out that lessens the value of the music somehow; the fact that I can’t even be bothered to decide what to listen to highlights the increasingly ephemeral and disposable nature of music itself, a process that probably started with the demise of vinyl and has been hastened by the separation of music from physical media altogether.

Secondly, I’m starting to get really pissed off with the whole “Cult of Mac” thing, it’s getting really silly now. Mind you, this parody ad for Apple iProduct made me laugh (thanks to Jim M. for tipping me off to this one).

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