Music technology

The iPod is Dead

September 2014

The iPod Classic is discontinued.

I was a late convert to owning music digitally. In 2007 I bought my first iPod and started the laborious task of burning all my CD collection onto the computer. Like the writer in this article says, your music collection, owned (and shared through your life) is a precious thing. From the days I borrowed friends LP records and recorded them onto my compact cassette of choice (the BASF Chrome [CrO2] Type II C90 cassette), having my bundle of cassettes – my collection – was always important to me. Those cassette storage boxes were bulky and even darn hazardous at times. Once I rolled a car half way down Mount Kaputar and the only injuries I sustained were from all the cassettes on the passenger seat next to me flying loose out of their cassette racks and slamming with their pointy plastic boxes edges into my head! Now my iPod purrs away in the glove box connected to my customised interface in the double DIN slots in my dash. And all twenty two thousand songs I’ve collected are there. My music IS collected. From the Celtic pipes of northern Spain while walking the Camino de Santiago (Berrogüetto) to the shoe-gaze cerebral fuzz of Chile’s Magellanic province (https://myspace.com/invernessilluminaciones), I’ve let my roaming ears enjoy and then encapsulate. Aural postcards to be forever reinvented in the contexts and conversations they provoke. And so the iPod is gone from Mr Job’s online store. Already the hawkers are selling them on eBay for twice the former RRP. For how much longer can I carry my own collection as defined by my travels on my own portable device? For how much longer will I resist the hire and rent proffered by the music landlords of the present future past. The iPod is dead. Long live the iPod.IMG_4812.JPGIMG_4810.JPG

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Stream Dream

I just devoured this southern hemisphere analysis of the music streaming phenomena: http://tidbits.com/article/13211

As a result I’ve just installed Spotify on my Mac and signed-up for Pandora Radio.

With Spotify I can now stream ANYTHING from their 15 million track library (albeit with the periodic interruption of annoying audio ads – with the free version) from my Mac desktop and then send it to my Airplay speakers (this due to the fact that I’ve got Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion which has AirPlay built in*) in the lounge room.  I can do the same from Pandora’s web-based radio. In difference to Pandora and LastFM, Spotify is machine-based (not web-based) and allows the playing of albums. It also has the ‘radio’ concept like the other two services, which plays selections based on an artist you first select to name your new ‘radio’ after.

(* Apple iTunes has had AirPlay built in for some time. But if you’re not using a Mac with OS X 10.8, and you’re not using iTunes for your music, then you’ll need other solutions to wi-fi your music to external speakers from desktop services like Spotify or the web-based services like Pandora or LastFM.)

Today I listened to Local Natives’ new 2013 album Hummingbird – nice high and quirky. And now the Freelance Whales new Diluvia (2102) – sweet tinkly and longing. But the biggest find has been Cloud Cult, which came to me yesterday from Cinema Purgatorio, who were promoting the band’s new documentary film release based on 16mm archival footage and their collective audio/visual creative anthology. And so I’m streaming Cloud Cult and Cloud Cult-based ‘radio’ as I type. And I’m going to look at their new film.

Meanwhile, on Spotify, I’ve turned off all social networky stuff, like letting other Spotify members know what I’m playing, or sending updates to my FB or Twitter accounts of similar nature. I’ve also turned on Private Listening, which would stop all permitted/authorised social networking in one foul click.

The Spotify app is also now on my iPhone. However, without paying for the service, you can’t steam or listen to anything. You can use the app though to research band stats, biographies and other related tidbits.

In difference to the iPhone Spotify app (at least in the Southern Hemisphere – geo-licencing constraints apply), the Pandora iPhone app allows free radio streaming.

And so I’ve entered the world of streaming music. Does this mean I stop buying CDs

Not yet! I still love the light-bending plastic

Yours from planet lars

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