Monday, December 11, 2006


So I've been for a while (since, maybe, Thanksgiving or so, when my parents asked me what I want for Christmas this year (or, at any rate, perhaps hinted to the fact that perhaps I should ask for a thing or two, without the explicit query (or perhaps it went something like this:

Dad: What do you want for Christmas, Pete?
Pete: Makes noncommittal noise accompanying by a gesture meant to demonstrate apathy
Dad: waits for response
Pete: Just don't get me an mp3 player. I really don't want one. And I don't mean this in a reverse-psychological way; really, do not get me an mp3 player.)

being forwarded)) been trying to put into a coherent paragraph what it is, exactly that I dislike so much about iPods (and any other portable mp3 players, for that matter) beyond just the obvious things like

- the obnoxious white headphone & headphone cable that are more ubiquitous than slap bracelets on an elementary school playground in 1988

- working a retail job which involves talking at people through their damn iPods that they won't even mute for the damn two minutes during which I'm being paid to interact with them

- some ill-defined conception about people who listen to music all the time being unable to ever hear any of it.

And its not like I'm pro-CDs and their CD-Discman counterpart. But I'm definitely not antiCD-Discman. I don't really mind carrying around a little 6-cd envelope thingy with the rest of my stuff. Having to stop every 36-78 minutes to change discs can be a bit of a hassle, its probably easier to not deal with the physical handling of objects, but not that much a difference.

And I don't collect records or anything (though I still own a couple crates of 'em).

And there are plenty of other things that I dislike for no good reason, but at least with them I can tell you what that no-good reason is:

-TEXAS: I picked up a lifelong back injury on the ride home from Dallas (which has some of the shittiest architecture I've ever encountered in my short life) while my family was laughing it up in San Diego without me.

-IOWA: When I was on a many-houred van ride from Pittsburgh to Yellowstone, for whatever reason our route took us both across and then up Iowa, without going diagonally, thus making what looks like a very small state on the map seem interminably long and boring.

-PEAS: If I ever finally would have had a chance to like peas, I ruined them for myself forever as a little kid by always letting them get could and smashing them, hiding them, or swallowing them like pills, whatever.


I think maybe, unfortunately, that I hate mp3 players in the same way that I loved the '87-'90 Mets.


Blogger Nate said...

So by that you mean you hate iPods not-really, and mostly for the sake of contrarianism?

If there's one technically solid reason to dislike mp3 players, it's that most of them can't support gapless playback -- e.g. running one track into the next without a pause -- save for the latest-generation video iPods, plus I think user-modified versions of some devices' firmware. Naturally this is terrible for a lot of classical music, live concert recordings, or concept albums. Plus it plays into this whole assumption that all music should be enjoyable in interchangeable chunklets, etc. etc.

Between that and the marginally-worse-than-CD sound quality that most mp3s have (I think that's inherent in the compression, though I'd have to follow up) you can probably formulate a more solid reason to hate iPods than, say, not driving diagonally through Iowa.

Plus they're socially evil too, yeah. But that's an argument I'm too tired to wrap my head around...

12/11/2006 9:45 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

I think that's the main thing - not that I feel unjustified in my disdain for the iPod, so much as I am disappointed in my ability to formulate my argument against more coherently, thus making it seem that perhaps I'm just contrary about some things.

12/11/2006 9:50 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Speaking as a quasi editor (albeit an off-duty one (and, more to the point, one who's drinking a beer (which, though whimsically Christmas-spiced, is still likely to dull my proofreading ability (already degraded through workplace overuse for some seven and a half hours (not to complain, since it does have a way of paying the bills . . .

[unpleasant snort] . . .

))))) [bleggkthh]

. . . I advise you to delete the word "been" from the first line of paragraph three.

[old person voice] Oh, I have no opinion about all these crazy gadgets. I can't keep 'em straight! What with the damn kids playing the Sonic Hedgehog games, and the Tivo-net, and what have you. Back in my day all we had was the VCR, and we liked it.

12/11/2006 10:00 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

Committed fans of nested parentheses may also enjoy Joseph Heller's Something Happened, or perhaps an introductory college course on propositional logic.

12/11/2006 10:30 PM  

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