Boston Globe: Apple iPod is ‘life-transforming’ device

“iPods and their ilk are changing the way music is being experienced, or reexperienced, by all sorts of audiophiles in all sorts of settings, from health clubs and school cafeterias to malls and subway cars,” Joseph P. Kahn writes for The Boston Globe. “In essence, these devices function much like customized jukeboxs or personalized radio stations, but don’t require a pocketful of coins to feed them or noisy advertisements to support them. ‘All my music, all the time — and all in my pocket’ might be their operating mantra.”

Kahn writes, “When thousands of titles are transferred onto the machine’s hard drive and in rotation, users say, what happens on the listening end can be aesthetically stimulating, even liberating. This is not necessarily because the tracks are unfamiliar, but because the software’s shuffle-play capability juxtaposes them in intriguing ways, not only across an entire 5,000-track collection but within, say, a compilation of blues tunes or Broadway melodies, or even shuffling through only the tracks played in the past 90 days.”

“In many cases, such specialized playlists can be automatically expanded by iTunes, the companion software that is another vital component of iPod chic. Want to create a continually updated playlist of every song on your iPod that was released during your college years? The machine can be programmed to do that, too,” Kahn writes. “Users can now stow away their albums and CDs as backup files while hauling their collections wherever they go. These tiny music boxes and their distinctive, earbud-style headphones have become life-transforming accessories.”

Full article here.


  1. It’s certainly helping me get back in touch with my music collection. I use iTunes to create a “Most Ignored” playlist and, using that, I’m on a mission to listen to every single song I own.

  2. I love the iPod and success is great but these are getting a little repetitive. MDN why aren’t you carrying the article abou the new utility that can strip DRM off itunes tracks? That is more newsworthy.

  3. iTMS Europe

    Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve! Hurry up Steve!

    Dammit, lunch break over. Back to designing jet engines.

  4. This article mentions smart playlists as a top iPod selling point. A friend of mine is thinking about buying the Dell DJ or a Nitrus, and I’m trying to sell her on the iPod. I’m talking up smart playlists as a great feature, but I don’t know whether other players have smart playlists. Do they? Or is the smart playlist an iPod-exclusive feature?

  5. If you want to sell someone on an iPod, some things to note:

    * Ease-of-use of course

    * Smart Playlists and ability to rate songs… iPod only? I’m not sure

    * The ONLY brands that auto-synch are Apple, Rio and Creative

    * The ONLY brands that are compatible with Audible (audiobooks) are Apple and Gateway

    * ONLY the iPod is directly compatible with the biggest, easiest, and most-used music store: iTunes

    * The Dell DJ can’t be used to transfer data as an external drive UNLESS both machines have special Dell software installed

    * The Dell DJ has a voice recorder (optional for iPod) but it can’t transfer the recordings to your computer!

    * Many non-iPod players have a small screen–often just 2 lines. NOT good for dealing with lists of lots of music.

    * Don’t forget to point out all the little iPod extras ( explains them) like text Notes, Calendars/To-Do lists, Contacts, and Games. The “name-that-tune” game that quizzes you using your OWN music is a neat idea.

    Negative review of Dell DJ:

    I’ll also mention the iRiver since that’s supposedly popular. Major defects: very confusing and difficult controls, and NO jukebox software. You’re on your own.

  6. And if the much-misunderstood battery issue arises, you can point out that almost all OTHER players ALSO have a built-in battery… and that the iPod’s battery is replaceable for under $40 if you’re one of the few whose habits wear a battery out quickly, yet after warranty. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about iPod batteries… and the extent to which the complaints ARE true, they apply to NON-iPods as well.

    Of course, you could start with even MORE battery life if you let iPods be bigger. I’m glad Apple didn’t do that.

  7. A real life changing thing? KAZAA. Before I could download songs for free I had given up buying music, paying $15 monopolized bucks for a cd that I only wanted to hear a few songs off of. NOw i have like $5000 worth of music according to itunes prices, don’t listen to 90% of it cuz it sucks but don’t care because it was free.

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