I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

The iPod

iPods I recently pulled several iPods out from my closet. The two I started charging were those above (I scanned them on my flatbed scanner, and I included one of the backs in the collage above). I still own working versions of * original 5GB iPod (Firewire) * 1st Gen iPod Shuffle (built-in USB) * 3rd Gen iPod (USB or Firewire, I think - Dock Connector) * 4th Gen "iPod Photo" * 5th Gen "iPod Video" * 3rd Gen iPod Shuffle (Charges via headphone port) What's amazing is that these things a) still charge, b) still play, and c) have a lot of music on them. My 5th gen iPod holds 80 GB worth of music - far more than the 32 GB of space available on my iPhone for music, apps, and pictures. In fact, if you compare the 2001 or 2003 iPod with its stainless steel back to the iPhone 4S. it's quite amazing. The genes are there, but the phone is so more refined and "adult." The reason I bring this up at all is to take stock of what this device (and those like it, to be fair) have done to our enjoyment of music. And photos - I just scrubbed through 1000s of photos faster than I could do on my iPhone (using the ingenious click wheel). You knew in that 2005 model that it would only get better. Baby steps. I showed someone this evening how I can re-download albums I've purchased on iTunes through the so-called "iCloud" on my new iPad. "How does that work?" I talked about how I imagined in a few years new cars would come with iCloud-enabled radios... that could grab an internet connection from your phone and download albums. Or stream them. Why not? Or do we need radios? Or just a place to plug-in the said phones? Imagine, if you will, if you could load one of these things up... just to keep it simple (no phones or Internet required) of music by, say, Bach. Mass in B minor, a few Brandenburg Concertos, Wendy Carlos, Andreas Staier, Glenn Gould, and maybe, some "Bach on Marimba." We might even load up music that was inspired by Bach. The Chaconne by Busoni. Some YLK Organization (which borrowed BWV 846). An "Ave Maria." Shostakovich's preludes and fugues. So we've got a Bach iPod. If it's a more modern iPod, we could load performances from video. And then you go back in time. And visit Sebastian. "Wass ist diss?" Somehow, in my daydreams where I get to talk with Bach, or ride to work with him, he doesn't speak German, but English. I figure if I can bend time I can make Bach speak perfect American English. Certainly the thing would blow him away. He'd hear music he hadn't yet written. He'd have something to say, I'm sure, on the performance style. But eventually, he'd have to ask: "From when do you come here?" And that's when the profound part hits. It's not so important that it's an iPod. I could have had this daydream years ago with cassette tapes. But the iPod epitomizes modernity. "Your whole music collection, in your pocket." He'd never encountered something that could play it all back. And then he'd wonder why I had it, from 2012. It's rare that we see or can even imagine our impact on the world. It's a profound day dream. I am going to make it a point this week to go back and live with one of these devices for the week and re-live the wonder of carrying music in the palm of your hand. Because it's not how modern or flashy the iPod is that really matters. It's that we can fill it with so much profound music. Imagine the wonders that await someone in your life to whom that sound world is all new.

Stravaganze Napoleatane

Handel Sonatas