iPod® Antipathy Two Years, Two Months [and 1 iPod®] Later…

Truth in blogging compels me to admit that I have one of these now…

Truth in blogging compels me to admit that I have one of these now…

Back in September of 2010 I was giving readers the official public debut of the anti-iPod® screed that had been my stock-in-trade ever since the popular device was released in 2001. A dedication to disclosure of potential conflicts of interest suggests to me that I need to revisit this topic now that I’ve owned an iPod Touch® for the last year. Why did I capitulate, you may ask?

First of all, I am not a cell phone, much less “smart phone” user! I am a curmudgeon [in case you haven’t noticed] with no friends to talk to any way. I have no need for a land line phone except that it is required for DSL service at my home. I will never own a cell phone! What people pay for monthly service is astounding to me. I don’t get broadband via my cable company because I don’t watch television. I haven’t for two decades. I found TV had a really poor cost to benefit ratio and it interfered with the quality time better spent in the care and feeding of my music collection – so I pulled the plug in 1993 and have only regretted not doing so sooner. When I see glimpses of it in public places [a pet peeve] I am appalled by what I encounter. Furthermore, it is one less bill to eat into my shrinking entertainment dollar better spent on music! As a bonus, it better disconnects me from our hideous culture which I find repellent.

My earlier bash post outlined my problems with the iPod® as a music listening/entertainment device. So why did I buy an iPod Touch® last January? Well, sometimes I build websites and though I don’t have a smart phone, everyone else does, so coding and testing in a mobile browser environment became beyond mandatory by last year. The emulators for the desktop left much to be desired, so the iPod Touch® was my salvation. It’s an iPhone® with the phone part removed. The fact that it has connectivity only on [free] Wi-Fi makes it endearing to me and now I was able to test any sites I designed in a mobile environment for just the cost of the hardware. Sweet!

The other upside is that you get a lot of hyper-portable computing power in a ridiculously  thin device for the $200 [business expense] that I paid for the thing. Web browsing, email, photography, video, calculator, note taking, etc. are all useful functions for me. It carries my music database/want list with me. The fact that WordPress has a mobile app where I can blog offline at my leisure is also a good way to while away time spent in any waiting rooms.

As far as music, in the last year I have bought exactly three downloads. These reside on the device as backups, basically. At two times in the last year, I recorded a disc in 24 bit uncompressed format [like I always do] to my computer and transferred it to the iPod Touch® in order to carefully listen to it during my lunch hour at work where I blogged about it. The act gave me a glimpse into the way most people use these devices and while it helped me blog on those two days without burning a disc, I can safely say that the hassle of making and transferring a playlist was everything I had looked askance at for years. And I was dealing with single tracks!

So to sum up: iPod Touch® = useful portable computing device with important business and personal functions to enhance my life. Not an entertainment device. And I have made peace with my iPod® without experiencing a shred of cognitive dissonance.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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6 Responses to iPod® Antipathy Two Years, Two Months [and 1 iPod®] Later…

  1. chas_m says:

    While I use my iDevices for entertainment along with other things, you bring up a good point that they can also be purposed in damn useful ways. Personally I love being able to spot-check prices on significant investments against Internet or other online prices while I’m still in the store! I save enough money on this to justify the modest cost of my 3G investment. My iPad has *become* my television, allowing me access to the few shows I might care about for either free (in most cases) or very modest cost, saving me at least $40/month. I would love to have every entry in my record/CD collection on hand to help me avoid duplicate or over-buying, but alas that task will remain undone until I can catalog the whole mess, which is currently split into two portions some 3,500 miles away from each other!


  2. Tim says:

    Love the added rant about phone, tv, etc. I am also part of the group that does not have a cell phone, last I heard there’s 7% of us in the US. Was on call 365/24/7 for a long time when managing a hotel and honestly I don’t care it I ever hear a phone ring again. Don’t watch much tv and dvd is changing all that. It is refreshing to know that I’m not alone out there.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – Only 7%? Astonishing. I never really thought to look that up. Also, TV is so suffused with advertising it makes my mind melt. In the 80s, Reagan gutted the FCC and important bedrocks like the Fairness Doctrine went out of the window as well as the regulations on advertising. We’ve been paying the price ever since.


  3. Tim says:

    I saw the 7% statistic in a NPR piece maybe a year ago and was floored. I generally trust them and don’t recall a margin of error but even if you go a very generous 3% that is still an amazing number of people using cells.

    I used to have some video tapes of things that i taped off of tv in the 1980’s. One of the things that I would immediately notice when rewatching them was how long the shows would go between commercial breaks. There’s also an absence of network watermarks, ads overlaid, banners, tickers, etc. Not the blipverts of Max Headroom per se but the quantity of unending ad and visual junk (the disease of images as Wim Wenders drives at in parts of Wenders on Wenders) just make it unappealing. I have no interest in reality tv or sports so that eliminates a lot of tv for me and the days of Norman Lear are long gone. I do hear that David Lynch has apparently pitched season 3 of Twin Peaks to NBC so perhaps there will be something to look forward to soon.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – So right about the Max Headroom reference! The end credits of shows now want to bend your attention 4 different ways at once! As far a blipverts, I have read about how some ads are now made so short [10 sec.?], you can’t change the channel in time to evade the pitch! The pervasiveness of advertising is also horrifying. I’ve taken to avoiding gas stations with TV screens built into the pumps. Piped in audio was bad enough…

      Also, the truth about television is that it almost never offers any character progression. TV is about selling stasis once a week. Familiar characters and settings that never experience change; only the suggestion of growth, which is conveniently forgotten by the time when the credits whip by at 90 m.p.h. in their quadrant of the screen. Series television is a dead thing to me. My wife works in a library and the staff there are real Anglophiles. A few years back, she bought home a Canadian series [a Commonwealth nation – close enough, right?] called “Slings + Arrows” which was the first TV series I’d watched in decades. After 30 years, I’d finally found a series to sit next to the exalted trio of “The Prisoner,” “Batman” [1966], and “SCTV” on my short shelf of all time favorites. It was a thrilling series that was in no way diminished by the second and third seasons eventually produced. Scenes of a director giving direction for a production of “Hamlet” were the most exciting thing I’d ever seen on television [or in this case, DVD]. The characters were all informed by their experiences during the dramatic arc and their relationships and points of view changed in response to the same. Of course, a season was six one hour [48 minute] episodes! In America the same series would have been pumped for at least 40 episodes of diminishing returns before a cancellation came from the blue.


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