Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

iPod: Goodbye to Hearing Full Songs

I haven't listened to a full song in a year. 10 seconds of a song? 45 seconds? An amazing minute and a half? Maybe. But a full song has not gone into my eardrums in over one year. No exaggeration.

It's part of the beauties and drawbacks of the iPod: I have all one million songs I've ever owned in one tiny spot, but having that many at the touch of my fingers has done irreparable damage to my attention span. Here's a run-down of tonight's iPod-fueled Metro commute:

- Don't know what to listen to, so put it on shuffle mode.

- First 3 seconds: Spoon song comes on. Too dissonant. NEXT.

- 1.5 seconds: Clip from Family Guy. NEXT.

- 4 seconds: Quiet, building acoustic guitar. Not "taking the train home music". NEXT.

- 38 seconds: Peaches track comes on. Like the album, but not in the mood to hear Fuck the Pain Away for the umpteenth time. Decide to hear Peaches, but not this song. Scroll to whole album.

- 1.7 minutes: Listen to Peaches track 'til it comes to the slow part ... Bored. NEXT.

- 2 minutes: Some Beatles song. Fine ... Need something more upbeat. NEXT.

- 3 minutes: Decide I need to hear The Stooges. Listen to first half of Tight Pants, I Wanna Be Your Dog, and Raw Power ... Ears hurt. NEXT.

Point made.

Listening to music will never be the same; the iPod has changed it permanently. You can have a trillion songs but you'll never have the attention span to hear more than a few seconds of each piece from your collection.

Not to be too nostalgic, but remember when you'd buy a tape of something and listen to every song over and over---even the bad songs? Those days are finished, my friend. FINISHED.
Comments:
I've found that the digital world has drastically reduced my attention span in lots of areas, particularly in reading. I used to tear through books. Now when I sit down to read, my mind skips in a thousand different directions all at once. I can't concentrate long enough to get through a page or two. A doctor might call this ADHD. I'm certain it's digital overload.
 
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