The Best Wearable Gadgets

Dear iPod, Happy Birthday #6 – I Love You

Dear iPod, Happy Birthday #6 – I Love You

I have a deep passion for music. I play no instruments, although I have some interest in the lap steel guitar and the dobro. I have no musical talent as of this writing. I would love to learn the craft of writing music. I hope to achieve this before my life has ended.

My deep passion for music was introduced to me very early in life. I had three older brothers and we all slept in the same bedroom. We were raised in a small two-bedroom house. We had little privacy. My oldest brother had the control of the hi-fi. The rest of us listened. It was the 1950s and rock and roll was hot. I memorized many songs and tried singing them all through the night.

My brothers and I listened to some 78 RPM records and later 45 RPM records. Then came the 33 1/3 LP albums. We played mostly 45s on a stacked, spindled turntable. I believe it was a Westinghouse phonograph. Electric radios and transistor radios were busy in our household. During the years, we collected a sizable room of records.

It wasn’t until after I turned 51, in 2004, that I introduced myself to the computer. It was then I bought myself a brand new HP. I didn’t enroll in any classes. I didn’t have a clue. I taught myself by trial and error.

I was impressed how skillful I became and how quickly I learned. I always had trouble learning by instruction or by manuals. Hands-on training was the only way for me.

When It came time to set up my music library through Windows Media, I was thrilled to death. I have a collection of about 1700 CDs. They all needed to be ripped into Windows Media. This was going to take some time and patience. I completed the task.

A few months later, I introduced myself to the iPod. I purchased the iPod for HP version to coincide Apple with HP for my particular computer. I fell in love immediately with this tiny, thin, smart, hi-tech blast of ultimate fun and convenience.

Eventually, I transferred about 12,000 songs from my iTunes library onto this amazing invention. I purchased the 40GB that claims it holds 10,000 songs. I pushed it to the limit. I selected mostly the hit songs, rather than all album cuts. At first, a variety of genres of music was applied to my iPod. I later bought another identical iPod because I wanted to divide my music to certain genres. I now have country and folk music on one iPod and another for rock and roll, pop and rhythm and blues on the other.

But I didn’t stop there. I purchased another iPod, a 20GB which claims it holds 5,000 songs. I needed this one for my jazz and easy listening collection. Now I covered all the bases–I thought. No, I didn’t buy another iPod. I decided I would have enough room on the 20GB to put on my holiday music. That would go nice with jazz and easy listening.

I still am amazed at the thought that I now have almost my entire library of music on three iPods. Each one represents the listening moods I’m in.

Now I look back and it seems so unusual that I was packing a bulky portable CD player around my waist and having to carry around and constantly change CDs. What a hassle! And to think America, at one time, had no other alternative other than to baby sit the phonograph every two or three minutes in the ’50s and ’60s. How times have changed.

All this new technology reminds me of the time I went from vinyl to cassettes many years ago–in the ’70s and ’80s. I somehow never made the switch from vinyl to 8-tracks in the late ’60s. My older brother did. I held out until the mid ’70s when cassettes were available. I had no problem with staying with vinyl–pops, crackles and all.

I have always been slow to convert or change the course from old ideas to new. I inherited this trait from my mom and dad. It wasn’t until 1988, that I owned an answering machine and a VCR. It wasn’t until 1989, that I owned an automatic dishwasher. It wasn’t until 1991, that I owned a microwave oven. I didn’t own a cell phone until 1998. I didn’t own a CD player and began buying CDs until 1999. Since then I have been buying CDs on the average of 800 per year and still going strong. Then, for me, came the computer and iPod in 2004 and the rest is history.

Apple introduced the iPod to America on October 23, 2001. Since then, I have been so happy with the new and improved ideas in technology, especially where music is concerned. The advances have been astonishing.

I still have friends that love their vinyl and claim they will never cross over. They seem happy baby- sitting their turntable of smack, crackle and pops and hisses of the sound of needle to vinyl.

I am only 55 years old, a product of the baby boom generation, but I remember my aunts and uncles fashioning their stately Victrollas in their living rooms. I had fun winding them up and listening to their breakable, brittle 78 RPM records. I’m sure I broke a few.

I, also, remember receiving an exciting gift at Christmastime–a phonograph that folded up like a suitcase. It was a jewel at slumber parties.

Also, I’ll never forget the time my mother submitted her name in a drawing at Montgomery Wards in the early ’60s. Her gift was a console stereo made by Montgomery Wards. The stereo model was an Airline, and bless her heart–she gave it to me. I was floored. I played that stereo cabinet clear up until the ’70s. My brothers were insanely jealous. It must have been close to my birthday. I wasn’t use to receiving new things. Being the youngest, I only received hand-me-downs.

The iPod is the greatest, little invention of my time. It’s the greatest way to play music and be organized. The versatility of the iPod is by far the best companion in this materialistic world. It can go with you anywhere. I play it in my car and connect it to my home stereo. The sound is crisp and pristine. It’s the most perfect sound you’ll ever hear. It’s the best gift to buy for a friend or relative. It’s the best gift to buy for yourself. You will have no regrets.

I am fortunate to have a job where I can strap on the iPod and listen to my favorite music during my shift at work and never having to attend to it. I particularly like the shuffle mode. It’s like listening to non-stop FM radio without the DJs and commercials. I like the idea of not knowing what will play next in the shuffle mode. It’s all a pleasant surprise.

In many ways, the iPod, I’m sure, has taken away many sales from businesses selling home stereo systems, car stereos, CD changers and other audio equipment. Who needs them if you own a slim, thin, smart and dynamic instrument, like the iPod? It’s all you’ll ever need. Consumers deserve the best quality money can buy–and i Pods are affordable. Even auto makers are installing direct sources, in which iPods are able to connect as their optional equipment. No longer will the consumer fear the theft of their car stereo system. Now they can take it everywhere they go.

Music plays a major part in my life. Listening to music is my ultimate hobby. I can’t imagine life without music. I play music daily. And I play lots of it. My shift at work is so much more enjoyable–thanks to the iPod. I can’t afford another change in how I listen to my music. I hope the availability will always be there. I love you, iPod, happy birthday #9 and many, many more birthdays to come. I sincerely wish you continuing success. You have made my life so much better. Thanks again, iPod. Take care.