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Not My Pod

With the hoopla recently (at least in the Mac fanboy world) over the 5th anniversary of the iPod, it occurred to me that I've never really figured it out. I own a iPod, two actually (a 4G 20GB and a 1G Shuffle), but they are more a source of frustration than of joy. I'm probably too old to get it.

I find the iPod to be a beautiful and fascinating mistress that demands a lot of attention. For one thing, unlike a normal device you just can't turn it off. You have to hit two switches, the wheel to switch off, and the slide to lock it so it stays off. If you forget to lock it, it will bump against something in your pocket or your bag and turn back on, draining all the power.

Even when it is turned off, the thing sucks power. I've found that if I don't listen to it for about a week, the power will be gone. Like I said, the iPod demands attention, daily attention, otherwise it goes into a sulk. More times than not when I want to listen to it, the battery is empty.

By the way, I find the white earpods to be way too pretentious, again fitting of a attention-demanding mistress. I have mine hidden away and use Panasonic basic black.

This whole syncing nonsense doesn't fit into the way I listen to music or use the computer. When I'm home, I listen to music over the air, not through my MacBook or earpods. The mp3 files are on a server in the basement, fed to the speakers with a wireless Squeezebox. I tried keeping a music folder on my notebook synced with the server, but it was a pain and now there's not enough room on the MacBook for a music folder anyway. When I'm away I want to listen to iPod (at least when it has power), so I basically never use iTunes to listen to music.

Since I don't use iTunes to listen to music, it has no idea what I listen to and it's suggestions are useless. I've never bothered with playlists. My listening habits come from a time when music came on vinyl and you listened to a side at a time. At any rate, we have three listeners here at home, and I don't know how iTunes would sort my fine taste in music from that of my wife, and to ignore the stories that Christopher listens to. Needless to say, I haven't rated or tagged any files. That's just yet another demand for attention.

I also find the random shuffle mode to be pretty much useless. When I listen to the Shuffle, I generally click forward to the song I want. It only takes about 50 clicks.

Now I have a new problem. My music collection, or should I say our audio collection, is now 20.5GB. It no longer fits on the iPod. Since iTunes has no idea what I listen to, it has no idea what to sync and leaves all the new music out, which is pretty much the opposite of what I want. Since the iPod already demands too much of my attention in relation to the pleasure it brings, the last thing I want to do is to create a playlist for the iPod.

I'll probably end up buying another one.

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