Friday, May 30, 2008

Music Always

Yesterday was a tragic day. The end of an era, so to speak. My iPod of nearly 4 years has passed. There had been signs of impending doom for a while now—skipping songs more frequently, restarting itself at random, steadily reducing battery life, occasional freezing, and even cases of full-blown amnesia—so I wasn’t shocked that it happened. But it all seems so sudden. It was working just fine, and then it froze. After restarting, it made some weird grumbling and grunting-type sounds, and then the display showed the link for iPod support and a hilarious yet sad picture of an iPod with x’s for eyes and a frown. I think it’s time to finally put the poor thing down.

I suppose I can’t complain too much. Most people I know who bought one of the early generations of iPod (mine was a 2nd generation) have long since abandoned them for various reasons. Four years is a very long time for most any hand-held electronic to last.

I’m sure I’ll be buying a new one soon. I’ve been eyeing them for a while now that they have increased the memory so significantly. I filled my 20 gigs up a long time ago, and have to shuffle music around whenever I wanted to add things to my iPod. The color screens and video are also a plus, though I’m mostly just interested in the music. Plus, I supposedly get a small discount if I turn-in what remains of my old one to Apple.

But this interim where I’m without a music player is making me very aware of how much I rely on it. I’m writing this during my commute to lab. I didn’t feel like doing anything intellectually intensive, and if I had my iPod I would probably be listening to music and zoning out. But I don’t, and spacing out without my own personal soundtrack doesn’t seem to work. I can already tell that my long commutes to Berkeley could get excruciating. I also have to plan my working-out schedule around the TV. I’d never get through biking or the elliptical without music and with nothing good to watch.

I’m a bit ashamed of myself and how dependent I’ve become. It’s also clear how spoiled these entertainment-at-your-fingertips tools have made me. I can’t entertain myself anymore? Hmm. Maybe I should wait a little while to buy my new iPod.