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.