cone of silence

I bought an early xmas pressie for us – the 30gb iPods. Yay! They’ve been a while coming while I reconciled myself to paying about four or more times what I’d expect to pay for a 30gb hard drive. You can tell the Mac charisma doo-dah hasn’t really taken root with me – I was all keen get a black one, and then found the earphones were in matching white. Great, a true designer accessory. And then I’ve discovered that, because I was cursed from birth with deformed ears, the hard shiny plastic speaker cases slide out of my ears – or, better still when I got really annoyed and shoved them up my head, they stuck to the wounded flesh and formed a sound-proof seal. Pffft – design. Yeh, right. Deliciously idiosyncratic, quirky, gently eccentric. See also: crap design. However, as Kate writes, great packaging.

Moaning aside, there have been a few great new experiences as a result of joining the iPod set. First, I now have more Mozart than I know what to do with (although I do know what to do with it). Instead of playing the same cd over and over because it was too hard to change (and who can be bothered when the flow kicks in?) I an now able to create a day’s worth of sounds and let ‘er rip. Rip being the operative word. I’ve managed to dig out some meditation material and now spend a set time meditating each day. I write a set time too. No big changes, but it’s a coordinated strategy and I’ll go with that.

From cds I know really well I’m finding subtle sounds and effects I didn’t know was there – so, I’m rediscovering familiar music all over again. I’m also realising how much noise there is downtown, as I have to turn the sound up much more walking during the day than I do in my office. I had the bizarre experience of having the earphones blown out of my ears the other day – not from the volume, but from the gentle breezes we’ve had wafting in lately.

One of the greatest benefits of wearing the headphones is it’s like being in a cone of silence. Whether you’re listening or not. People don’t engage with you. I even noticed in the lifts people don’t even so much as look at me – they don’t engage at all – I’m loving that.

So now the gloss is fading from the new-ness, I can relax into finding cool ways of hacking the iPod. I’m interested to see if I can take a leaf out of Kate’s book and maybe get flash working for interactive learning games, to get text into audio, to generally make this over-priced playback device earn its keep.

2 thoughts on “cone of silence

  1. bryan

    Lynsey,

    Go straight down to MagnumMac, don’t look at the Mac’s or you’ll blow the budget! Buy a pair of Griffin Earthumps, they fit in the ears (even mine) and give better response than the standard iPod ‘phones

  2. kate

    I Lynsey,

    Congrats on your new iPods! I love mine, and found its very much paid itself back.

    With the interactive podcasts things I wrote about (which I’m pleased to say has got lots of interest and will be getting published soon!) I had a few probs getting iWriter installed on my PC at work because it needs a .NET tools add-in. So if you want to try out that software and have probs let me know and I’ll help you out.

    I’m now trying to find a way in which to send the content down a RSS feed with the Podcast. It would be great if you could subscribe to a Podcast, and when it downloads and saves to your iPod it saves the attached text content in the iPods “notes” folder.
    That way, you could sync and go with all your content together.
    (at present, you have to manually add the your notes to the ipod).

    Cheers,
    Kate

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