“We’re living in a device-centric age. Technology may not yet fully define us, but it increasingly defines how we behave and spend our time. In New York City, I notice that subway riders are quieter than they once were. More and more, I see little white earphone wires emerging from their hats and hair–the telltale sign that they’re listening to iPods. Sometimes I’d estimate that as many as 25% of all the commuters either in the cars or on the platforms are listening to music, an audio book, or a Podcast. And in the Tokyo subway, I’m told, silence descends when the doors close. Almost all the commuters in that city pull out cellphones or other electronic devices and peck at their miniature keyboards, sending messages or playing games,” David Kirkpatrick writes for Fortune.
“While I’ve had my share of techno devices and toys (including an original iPod), it wasn’t until someone gave me an iPod shuffle last week that I fully joined the new digitized masses. It’s giving me new insight into how technology is changing our daily lives. What’s different about the shuffle is that it’s amazingly small and light. The player, which Apple describes as ‘about the size of a pack of gum,’ hangs from a little cord around your neck. Everywhere I go people stop me to ask what it is. And once I tell them that it’s a music player, they marvel at its diminutive size,” Kirkpatrick writes.
“With the iPod shuffle, it’s infinitely easier for me to live in a world of music. In the first five days that I’ve owned it, I’ve listened to about three times as much total music as I would have otherwise. I find that I take it off only when my eardrums start to ring. But most of the time, I barely realize that I’m using the shuffle,” Kirkpatrick writes. “This is something the music industry seems not to have fully appreciated: We can now simply listen to more music. That’s why downloading music has got to be an unalloyed good for the industry. The music companies probably have to figure out different pricing models, but there’s no question in my mind that the industry’s opportunities are growing, not diminishing, as people have easier access to music and listen to it more often. But this raises another question for me: Why do I, and so many others, want to cocoon ourselves off into our little music bubbles, even when we’re out and about?”
Full article here.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Microsoft offers six tips for not buying an Apple iPod shuffle – March 22, 2005
The iPod is bigger than Jesus, now can Apple’s Mac take on Windows? – January 31, 2005