Sunday, November 05, 2006


A top-of-the-line iPod can hold 15,000 songs or 25,000 photos. And yet we're willing to bet it is still not capacious enough to hold half of the idiotic crap that has been written about iPods.... "As for the Walkman," said Fortune, answering the obvious question raised by iPod sociology, "it never impacted behavior...quite the way the iPod has."

Funny, that's not what they said back in the early '80s. Indeed, there's very little that people have written about the iPod that wasn't claimed of the Walkman 25 years ago.


Adrian MacNair said...

It's just a thingy that plays music. I don't understand the hype about it. I use mine to amuse me in the car on the way to work (no other way to listen to hip hop until society goes more mainstream with it). But to call it some kind of cultural icon is iconoclastic.

People are always amazed at the new technology. First it was $5,000 DVDs. Now they're $29.99 at Wal*Mart. And just wait. The next technology will render our DVD collection worthless. Just like the next music invention will render the iPod a quaint relic of a forgotten era.

Olaf said...


Cool it on your technology updates... you sound like a dork. By the way, I've proposed a global warming argument that applies to the Stern Report adherents and skeptics.. it's pure brilliance.

john said...


Tragically, I am a giant dork. It hasn't stopped me from finding a mate, because leet female dorks pwn teh hottness, but it is true nonetheless.

(My GF - sitting a few feet away - momentarily tried to defend herself from charges of dorkiness, surrendered, and went back to writing fan fiction.)

auntiegrav said...

The only real difference is in price. If you could pump out walkmans back in the day at the current cost to pump out ipod-like devices, then they would have been implanting them in everyone's skull (better than the drivel their brains put out).
When you adjust for inflation, Walkman's were like 300 bucks in today's money. You can get a 1G player for 50 or so now. iPod's get all the credit, but the market isn't exclusively Apple, as the market wasn't exclusively Sony back then. (Yes, I'm an Old Fart). The real Walkman change was one of ignore-ance: The liberal music lovers couldn't stand to talk to the massive numbers of people who became Reaganites, so they flocked to the music stores in droves to drive away the propagandist "Trickle-Down" out of their heads. Unfortunately, nobody was listening (Supertramp, Crime of the Century), and the Economists managed to complete their coupe de etat along with the cocaine industry of Oliver North and John Poindexter, and the 'activists' were listening to John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
There is no hope for humanity as long as headphones and earbuds exist.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I'd say the one thing that puts ipods above walkman's is podcasting (which, as has been noted, you don't need an "ipod" for, any MP3 player will do, so really "ipod" is just used here for "MP3 player" the way "walkman" was for portable tape deck (despite the fact that "Walkman" is a Sony trademark).

A lot of the time, if you see me listening to my ipod, I'm not listening to music at all. I'm listening to the latest CNN news update, or the top downloaded stories from the New York Times, or last night's edition of the News Hour with Jim Leher, or this week's episode of "Real Time" with Bill Mahr (which I can't get on T.V., since it's HBO, but I can get for my ipod).

It's true that the "revolutionary" nature of the ipod is WAY over-hyped. But it is more than a "thingy that plays music". I spend almost as much time listening to podcasts, and watching video podcats, on my ipod as I do listening to music, and I think I'm getting a much broader sense of the news of the day, than I did when all I had was T.V. and radio, and I was a slave to their broadcast schedule.

auntiegrav said...

L.K.O.: here's one for you

I get CD books from the library and burn them so I can listen while I'm working on the farm. My nano hangs on a necklace so I don't lose it under tractor wheels...