Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walking with my iPod nano

Today marks the first day that I walked to work listening to music. For Christmas, the Housemate got me a 6th generation iPod nano, a tiny little square with a color Multi-Touch screen (I assume this can touch it more than once?). I actually had no idea they made iPods like it until I opened it. It's beautiful. It is my first mp3 player--my first music-playing device (other than a computer) since the Discman I got in--what--1998? Somehow I never got into the culture of always having portable music on hand. I guess I figured I had music in my head.

But now I have an iPod, and while I was happy to use it to block out ambient sounds on the airplane, I was hesitant to listen to it while walking to work. I always liked listening to the sounds of the world: the birds, the cars, the people talking, leaves rustling in the wind. When you have earbuds in, you don't know what you're missing. You might not hear your sister calling your name behind you, and as a result, end up locked in a room with her when you're about to turn into a werewolf and are sure to eat her! Or maybe a hot guy/girl will hear the song you're listening to, compliment you on your taste in music, thus causing you to fall madly in love with him/her only to have him/her reject you, sending you into months of utter misery and depression. See? I know how dangerous listening to music while you walk around can be.*

Luckily my journey today seems to have been uneventful--no werewolves or broken hearts. A few thoughts that occurred to me while walking and listening:

- I need to change my playlists. I have on my iPod songs that I like, but I need lists for certain moods, and certain purposes. Walking to work requires something upbeat to get me pumped, or at least something optimistic. I don't need an Evanescence song to make me despair about life on my way to work, or I'll never make it.

- I was standing at an intersection, cars going in four directions, people crossing every which way, as "Same Direction" by Hoobastank played. We're all going in the same direction... Mildly amusing.

- I really hope people walking around me can't hear that the Spice Girls just came on. What? Seriously, I do not remember putting that on my playlist. I swear!

- I'd forgotten how much I love Ewan McGregor. Elephant Love Song Medley is the best. Though I can totally sing as well as Nicole Kidman.

The verdict: I liked walking to work with my iPod. The Housemate said he was a little worried about getting it for me (he was so cute: "I hope you like it..."), because he knew it wasn't something I'd get for myself. But that can be one of the great things about gifts, getting something you didn't realize you wanted. Walking with the iPod felt a bit like having a personal soundtrack, though they need to make it automatically change to suit the situation. It was like being in a movie. Another thought:

- I need to download "Suddenly I See" so I can be Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. Any other good walking to work songs?

Still, I feel a little wary about joining this culture of youth disconnected from the immediate world around them. But I guess that's just an old-fashioned stereotype. I'd better be careful, though; next thing you know, I'll be texting everywhere I go.

* P.S. What do people think of the new American version of Being Human? No spoilers--I still haven't seen the second part of the pilot. And I understand I have to check out the original British version.
Also, (500) Days of Summer was such a great movie. Highly, highly recommended.

P.P.S. The picture is from the Apple site. Mine is blue.


Hezabelle said...

I didn't really like the American Being Human. But then, I only like the first season of the British one and even then not SO much that I want to see it all other again in American accents.

I can't live without my iPod, because I HATE ambient noise. I hate people chewing gum loudly and mouth breathers and stupid cell phone conversations. haha. So I listen to my iPod to make it all go away!

Home by the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Can't Shake It by Kate Miller Heidke
The Sound by Human Highway
The Fear by Lily Allen
F**k You by Cee Lo Green
Last Person by Jenny Owens Young
When I'm Up by Great Big Sea

RAY J said...

lol everytime I hear that KT Tunsdall song I automatically think of the opening to Devil Wears Prada too! lol...

Eleni said...

Hez - Thanks for the suggestions! I might save the Cee Lo song for the walk home from work. Keep up the optimism in the morning, then vent on the walk home :)

RAY J - Haha, it's funny how memorable that apparently was!

wolfman said...

but what if you fall madly in love with someone who turns out to be a werewwolf? that would be awsome and scary at the same time, haha. oh by the way, you asked me awhile ago which island i lived on, i live on oahu, idk if my comment went through or not (the computer im using is almost as retarded as the economy right now...almost)

Sebastian said...

I read a news story recently about the health benefits of 'good sound'. It was probably psuedoscience, or something unproven, but the basic gist was that random/natural sounds are much better for us than music.

Apparently listening to bird song is one of the most 'healthy' things you can do -- aurally, anyway.

(Multi-touch means you can use two fingers on the screen at once. Pretty hard on a small screen, though :)

Eleni said...

Wolfman - I would be fine with it, as long as we found some solution to the eating people problem. And yes I did see your comment that you live on Oahu :)

Seb - But isn't listening to Mozart supposed to make us smarter? Eh, I don't know. Listening to cars and buses doesn't really feel healthy to me. That's really mostly what I hear.

(Ah, that makes sense. I noticed that with two fingers you can rotate the screen, but that's not too useful when the screen is a square.)

Vanessita said...

Hi, Eleni!
What a nice little gift (did'n know they were in such small sizes now)! I only recently bought myself a cell phone that plays mp3, and I really like it. My previous cell was so old, its main feature was a lame (and I mean it when I say lame) camera. I admit I don't care much buying that kinda stuff. I think they're super cool, but I usually prefer to spend my money upgrading the PC or buying games, when I can. I did buy an mp3 player though, a couple years ago, when I was having problems with the pc for months and read a lot of books before sleep. I know what you mean by having a soundtrack for each ocasion, I elaborated soundtracks for all the books too, it helps a lot on the immersion experience!
A song I would recommend for lifting up the mood before work is "Don't Worry, Be Happy". I know it's a bit old, but hopefully you won't be caught whistling the melody! (Or hopefully you will and not even care, cause you're that happy!) ;)


Eleni said...

Ah, that's a good one to cheer me up. Maybe if someone catches me singing it, it'll cheer them up!

I knew about iPod shuffles which are really small, but I was so surprised to see one this small that has a screen. A touch screen at that. I suppose in a few years we'll be laughing at my surprise, but they can't make them too much smaller, or else we won't be able to read the screen, our fingers will be too big to control it, and it'll get lost all the time. Well, I say that now...

Anonymous said...

Cool! There is a iPod nano giveaway at Check it out!