I love that just by posting on 04/01 I have to give a disclaimer that this post is NOT an April Fool’s joke (thank you Anil). What a terrible day to be online.
I ride the bus to work every day. Everywhere I look I see the white headphones of cool iPod people. I get off the bus, walk to the office. People walk by with the whites on. On the plane. In line at Starbucks. On bicycles. In the tub. In the car. Up against the mini-bar…
Some might read this, think “it’s just like Walkmans were”, but thats definitely not the case. Walkmans were never so pervasive in our culture, they were just too darn bulky. iPods are so well designed they are close to invisible, and convenient to carry. And the clever commercials did such a good job branding the signature headphones that it’s a bit of a fashion statement to wear them (I still vote for Shures incidentally).
I’m tired of getting bumped into by people who don’t even realize it because they’re so focused on whatever it is they listen to. Here’s the thing people: YOU DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOUR IPOD ALL THE TIME. It’s true, studies have proven it. It’s okay to NOT be entertained 100% of your bus ride, walk, or other moment in life where you can just, you know, think about something or read a book.
In case I’m not clear here – I have no problems with iPods (though my Rio Karma was still the best MP3 player out there… once), nor using them when appropriate. As a wise man once said, “Life goes by pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Thus endeth the ranting.
One more thing: If you DO have to have your iPod in use in a public place, please check the volume – the rest of us don’t want to hear the tinny aftertunes.
Cheers to a fellow (past?) Rio Karma user. Unfortunately, the HDD blew up in mine, and I haven’t been up to Hack-A-Day’s replacement directions. But I loved that player.
Alright audio geeks – call me crazy, lambast me by saying I don’t have the nitty-gritty technical information, do whatever you want – but I strongly believe that it just sounded better, especially in my car.
The 5-band parametric equalizer was golden. Whatever happened to putting a real EQ in an MP3 player? (Although I love my iPod, I think the EQ’s need improvement.) I feel it gave me the flexibility to tune it more closely to the environment in my car. I also appreciated the OGG and FLAC support, definitely a nod to the open source crowd.
And I agree wholeheartedly about the “zombie” principle. I think we’re starting to get just a little crazy these days – obsessed with being constantly entertained – and feeling uneasy, nervous, and extremely bored when we’re not. I know that it happens to me often… sometimes, I can’t sit still for more than a few seconds without whipping out my phone and messing around on the net – I know, guilty as charged…
Maybe someday we’ll be able to maintain a healthy balance with our beloved gadgets!
congrats! you are officially a curmudgeon!
Ironic timing on the post JT. I recently began working in San Francisco (I am moving from the dreaded 408) and had to walk from the office to my bank at lunch. I was amazed at the number of people sporting white ear buds and thought how strange the “walking around crowd” in SF was compared to the crowd around my old Mountain View digs (and our offices were surrounded by Google, so a pretty big walking around crowd).
Looks like this could be a regional issue at some level…
Oh… and chalk me up as yet another old school Karma user.
I’ve seen the same phenomenon in the the Washington, DC area and I’m (somewhat) part of it.
For what it’s worth, I listen to my iPod on the bus (at low volume) to provide a soothing background noise to focus on my book, work, or nap. It wouldn’t be so necessary if other people weren’t talking, listening to their own music too loudly, or refusing to blow their nose when I can clearly hear the congestion with each wheezing breath.
That being said, I have no problem walking down the street without being plugged in. It’s just like the over use of cell phones in public spaces – too many people don’t understand that there’s a time and place for everything.
I’m surprised the well-compensated Bay Area residents haven’t upgraded to Shures, Etymotic or eqiv. Guess the housing prices have impacted audio fidelity. Or conspicuous consumption prevails over quality. FYI I find people texting or emailing from their mobiles (like me) is more of a pedestrian annoyance.