Wednesday, July 26, 2006

got a pocket full of mpegs (and my homeboys do too)

D. D.'s got a theory about portable music players. The short version points out that the true genius of the iPod, from a marketing standpoint, was that it convinced people that:
a) it was a reasonable thing to do to make the iPod a person's primary music player;
and (thus) that:
b) it was a reasonable thing to do to put a person's entire music collection on that primary music player.

The first makes a ton of sense from Apple's perspective. I mean, the iPod prints money, particularly if you can con folks into collecting all the accessories that it needs to run through your house speakers. The second, a person pretty much has to buy into, if she's bought into the first...

Somewhat predictably, D. D.'s not buying it. His tactic was to score a small, cheap .mp3 player, just big enough to take the edge off of his latenight, backstreet bar-to-home commutes. Later, whatever it is he does for a living kicked him an iPod shuffle, which he later kicked on down to yours truly. After a lengthy struggle to get the little bastard talking to my local linux boxes...I gave up, and took it over to my pal Sam's house, to use his Mac. We gorged ourselves on wrestling: a surprisingly dynamite ECW, followed by the unsurprisingly awesome Samoa Joe dvd. In the interstices of this, I tried to throw some songs onto the shuffle, and finally met with some success!

Since Sam and I have relatively divergent tastes, I was somewhat hard-pressed to find stuff I truly dug on his mammoth hard drive. This is half-lucky, since it's got me actually thinking about what I might like to hear, about how I might like to structure the playlist that makes the machine go. (My first attempt, off of Canada's hard drive, was unbearably predictable: the total familiarity of 99 songs I'm thoroughly familiar with would inevitably have cloyed quickly, and probably made me abandon the device altogether.)

After these last couple days, I have a couple thoughts on how to use the critter.
i) Favorites that always hold up: the typical Neurosis/Voivod/Dylan tunes that I like to hear every day. (See the mix I scored off of Canada's hard drive.)
ii) Alternate playlists: think like a roster of mix tapes I can swap out when it seems appropriate or desirable. Like a Dylan mix, a bands-I-haven't-heard-yet mix, records-I've-forgotten mixes, guilty pleasures mixes, alla that.

It occurs to me to wonder how often D. D. actually changes up the roster of songs on his little machine. Confidential to D. D.: how often do you actually change up the roster of songs on yr little machine? --Or is it just the same 2 PWEI records and a couple Fetus albums?) Oh yeah: how was that Locust remix record? Any good at all?

Both of those thoughts on use are compromised by the savagely limited capacity of the shuffle, however. Most of my favorite bands are best enjoyed at album lengths: that's how their music makes most sense. But with a paltry 512 megs, you're looking at a mix-tape of like 1 longish album. Therefore, idea the following!:
iii) If preparing a mix of type (i), no more than one song per side of a given record can be put on the shuffle.

This makes it a projekt! A little twist on the desert-island-disks format. Originally, I wanted to hold myself to one song per record, but, as always, Bringing it All Back Home refused to comply. In the comments, I'll throw out my first stab at at a type (i) playlist with type (iii) limitations... Projekt!

1 Comments + Unabashed Criticism:

Blogger d.d. tinzeroes said...

(A) Apparently the scam du jour with iPod (the hard drive ones, not the shuffle, although…) is that the battery slowly bleeds out in about a year, AND there are no replacements available from Apple. Time to buy a new iPod. There's a fucking awesome line in the first Eclipse book by John Shirley where an American ("Hard Eyes" I think he was called) is studying abroad in London when war breaks out between NATO and the Soviets, and he has this great throwaway line (Shirley's greatest strength) about how "one day all anyone cared about getting the next music chip reader, and the next it didn't fucking matter any more" [I'm recollecting erroneously. Namely, Shirley has some great '80s way of basically saying "MP3 player" before anyone knew what the fuck an MP3 player was, would be, or could be.]

(B) My mp3 is the measleyest or measley: 256k! This holds, on average, around 65 songs. It doesn't take long to end up listening to same 65 songs several times over (at least if you have a desk job rubber stamping the marching orders for the fucking Finnish Navy like I do – what happened to my fellowship at Kuloma-Jokerit!? Fuck!!) day in and day out.. Plus I got one of them accounts at some Russian MP3 download place and can buy whole albums for like $1.50 (still paying, tho', an important *distinction – AND I'm supporting an emerging capitalist economy = Neat! Go народовластие !), so there's always a few "new to my overall collection" songs I'm wanting to get in the rotation there.

(C) Yes. It is about, on average, two albums worth of PWEI stuff or two albums worth of foetus stuff, and whichever has two albums worth, the other has about one album's worth.

(D) That Locust EP's alright. Little too "noise" for my tastes. Still alright, though. I love anyways because you gave it to me for my birthday that night at that chloroform den in Oslo.

4:44 PM  

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