iPod Shame

When I was a kid, I never did well in school. I never saw much of a point to it, in all honesty – to me, grade school was pass or fail. Of course, that never helped to ease the pangs of anxiety that I felt when I knew I bombed a test or a project. I’m sure you know the feeling: that deep empty hole that opens in your stomach and you feel like you’ve been stuck in zero gravity for a long period of time… it’s the same feeling you get when you step out of your apartment and you realize that you are locked out, without a key. It’s the same feeling that you should get when you get caught with something toxic on your iPod.

This has happened to be a few times, actually… having to explain why certain musical tracks are tucked away on my 20GB iPod… the problem is that the iPod is vast – my music collection is relatively small. It’s about 300 discs worth, but if you rip at 128Kbps, it’s not going to fill a 20GB HD. In fact, it’s only recently that I’ve started to rediscover some of that music, as I make my way through the entire collection. Not everything that I have on plastic makes it to the iPod, either, and even less makes it to the “shuffle through every day” play list. At this moment, it’s only half full and I’m at least 3/4 of the way through the collection.

The problem is, there are a few things – closer to about ten dozen things – that clash with just about everything and everybody. I almost pride myself that I will have at least one track that will piss off anyone. There’s a classical disc from Glenn Danzig that most people don’t even know exists. There’s old-buzz stuff like The Refreshments. Back asswards tracks from Springsteen, Rush, and other bands that have a long history. New discs from people like Breaking Benjamins, Green Day, and The Atari’s. There’s even a rip from this CD that a now defunct radio station put out, filled with some impromptu live tracks, from their own studio. But that’s all mostly normal.

See, for me, the iPod was also a tool. While I was in a band, I put our entire play list on there, in case we had to listen to something for “direction”. This lends itself to the strangeness of the library. Music from the 60’s. Bands I had never heard of before, and might not hear from again. Even some bizarre soundtrack cuts. Definitely B-side type tracks that even I forgot were on there. Then there’s the gag-tracks from road trips. Music from… um, I’m not going to get into those…

The problem is that the iPod is huge and once I’ve gotten my hands on an MP3, I’d rather suffer through a bout of iPod shame, instead of having to re-purchase it or re-rip it… even with today’s fast CD drives, it’s a slow process. When I can rip a CD in under a minute, then I won’t mind ripping so much… as it is I’ve still got the rest of my T-Z discs to get through and a couple of box sets…

iPod shame… it’s what you feel when someone else is spinning the click wheel, stops and says, “Um… why is this on here,” leaving you with that *oof*-aw-shit feeling for a moment. It’s something for future sociology students to look into; it’s definitely an interesting side effect of the technology. But it also doesn’t change the fact that I had to explain why a set of Bon Jovi tracks was on my iPod.

I blame Eric and his affinity for 80’s music!

4 thoughts on “iPod Shame”

  1. Coming to this post six years late through a very circuitous fashion (a search that took me to your keymapping utility, then a click to the front page and the link to this article in your post about iTunes 10). Motivated to post to observe that this makes you the third person I’ve come across who knows/remembers Danzig’s “Black Aria.” :)

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