Saturday, May 02, 2009


Fiona got an iPod Touch for Christmas. She offered me her iPod Nano. I said yes. The device is very tiny, and has earbuds. I knew that I could use it to download music and podcasts, and listen to them, using either the earbuds or a docking device with speakers.

The iPod sat for a while, unused. This was partly because one of our computers was broken, and took a few visits to the repair to be completely fixed. In the meantime, I tried not to monopolize the other working computer. This sounds funny, I know, because besides the one working computer, we also have Alex's MacBook and Fi's iPod touch, which get them on the wireless internet that we have in our house. Oh my, down to 3 functioning internet devices in a house of 4 people - what shall we do?

In the meantime, Fiona set up an iTunes account for me, asked me every once in a while if I wanted her to show me what to do, and waited patiently. Alex bought himself an iPod and filled it up with songs, using his MacBook.

A couple of weeks ago, I took the plunge and started to download. I discovered that there is an infinite world of music, tv and radio shows, videos, podcasts, etc out there. For the music, you can buy one song, or the whole album. I can't do much with the video stuff because my iPod doesn't have video, so I'm sticking to songs and podcasts.

I bought some iTunes cards (to avoid using my credit card to buy music) and redeemed the value onto my iTunes account. Now I have bought 3 albums and subscribed to a bunch of podcasts. I'm liking the iPod, and discovering how to best use it given my particular preferences.

I really don't like earbuds. They hurt my ears and they fall out. I shopped around and found some sport earbuds that aren't too poke-in-the-earish, and have little arms that go over the top of my ears so I don't worry about them popping out. The sound is quite good, and Fiona and Alex have assured me, at my chosen volume, my music/talk is not audible outside of my head. I am amazed at how some people on the bus listen to their tunes so loudly that I can sing along, even though they are wearing earphones. What must it sound like inside their heads? Do they know they are imposing their music on the people around them? Do they care? So I use my modified sport earbuds on the bus and on long walks. I especially like podcasts for this. I have subscribed to CBC's Definitely Not the Opera show, which I don't have time to listen to on Saturday afternoons. Now I have it on my iPod when I want it.

I shopped around for a dock/speaker system and found one on sale. It has a clock radio incorporated which is unnecessary really, but oh well. It sounds pretty good, and allows me to listen to the tunes from my iPod around the house. I found out I can also plug the iPod in directly to the stereo amplifier in the living room or to either set of computer speakers. But then again, I can listen to it at the computer directly from iTunes. Right now I am listening to an album I just bought - Immaculate Machine "High on Jackson Hill."

When I'm in the car, I like to listen to music. Andy bought a little device that transmits the iPod to the car radio receiver, but it doesn't work as well as I would like - periodic radio static interference and such. But Alex loves it and uses it whenever he drives anywhere. I discovered that I can burn my tunes to cds so I'm doing that and will use the cds to listen in my car. I also know that I can import my commercial cds into my iPod using iTunes. Haven't done that yet, but I will for sure, soon.

My last bit of iPod trivia is the iPod cover that I inherited from Fiona. She bought a pink leather cover on eBay when she first got the Nano. It's very cute, and does protect the iPod from bumps, bangs and light spills. I don't have a lot of pink in my wardrobe, but in keeping with the theme of "trying something new" I'll stick with it for now.

I still have not bought one song all by itself, nor have I listened to my tunes on "shuffle." I'm stubbornly hanging on to my paradigm of music albums being complete artistic statements to be appreciated as a whole experience. If I like a particular song, I'll just play it more frequently than I play the other songs on the album. If a particular song is annoying me, I'll skip over it (that is, once I learn better how to use the iPod controls). Some days I am sure my fingers are too big for all of this technology, and wonder if the dog might accidently swallow the device in one gulp, and eat my entire library, but all in all I'm liking it.

question: what is your favourite podcast?

mompoet - clumping and glumping into the 21st century

1 comment:

mompoet's dad said...

Welcome to the iPod world. Your mother beat you by about 4 years, and I beat you by about a year and a half.

Some good podcasts are Dispatches from the CBC, Health Report from Australian radio, a whole bunch from NPR in the States (Car Talk, Planet Money, Fresh Air, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, This American Life), and the Brian Lehrer Show from WNYC in NYC. You can also download the audio of CBS's 60 Minutes but you have to imagine what Andy Rooney looks like if you just listen to him.

All this is more than I can keep up with listening while on my usual 10 km/day walks.

mompoets' dad