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Monday, July 12, 2010

So, what's on your iPod? And more important, how do you listen to it?

Here's an interesting article on discussing the way the iPod and similar devices may be changing the way we listen to music, especially new albums. With downloads so easy and accessible now, there is a tendency for new records to get sort of lost in the sea of freshly-downloaded songs. An extract:

"... The act of listening to an album front-to-back repeatedly seems to be a harder task to do in the age of the iPod. And it’s only getting worse as some people are now seeing the process of storing music on a portable device like an iPod as a bit archaic as opposed to storing your library online “in the clouds”. It’s also more of a challenge to listen to an album front-to-back if your music is on a phone or iPad where other applications vie for your attention.

"I count myself among those who probably shouldn’t have a 120GB iPod. Whenever a new release comes out, there’s too much of a temptation to rip it to your iPod as quickly as possible so the album can be absorbed in your library. And there it stays, along with 50 or possibly 500-plus other albums. At work, surrounded by distractions, I find it best to put the iPod on shuffle. Part of the reason is to break songs out of their album settings so I can listen to them individually, while another reason is an insatiable curiosity about how the iPod shuffle can make a mix that includes Modest Mouse, Thelonious Monk, Baroness, and Lucinda Williams sound utterly logical.

"Unfortunately, this results in sort of a backlog of releases. Be it a bargain $3.99 find at a record shop, or a $7.99 “week of release” sale, albums keep getting added to your library. In the past, depending on how many cassettes you could hold in your backpack or how many disc you could fit in a CD wallet, you had to make sacrifices. If you wanted to give an album a few listens, the best way to do it was to just bring that album. Nowadays, if an album doesn’t get your attention, you have another hundred or so just waiting to be accessed with the touch of a finger."

There's more, and there are some interesting comments too. Here's the link:

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