dj futhur’s ipod, 2005 – 2009

It is with regret (and, admittedly, a bit of relief) that my dear 4th gen. iPod finally kicked the bucket with the sad face error. Its “name” or iTunes identification was futhur, a moniker I briefly adopted while DJing at my college radio station (and a reference to the name of Ken Kesey’s (thank you, Patrick) acid test bus). Part of its charm to me is its relative clunky-ness, the arcane Chicago display typeface, and that I brought a b&w iPod kicking and screaming into 2009. The relief, however, is that this means I get to buy a new iPod! And I’ve got a terrific engraving in mind as well…

The iPod (and iPhone) has completely remapped the way I listen to and think about music. While I absolutely love the experiential dynamics of listening to music and walking, the prevalence of iPods has two major impacts that bother me. Firstly, it makes the auditory event of music too easy, too much without rigor or discipline. While not always doable, I really love the moments where all I do is dedicate myself to listening to a piece of music. Secondly, the ubiquity of portable music upsets the city’s soundscapes by attenuating a public field of space and interrupting the potential for, say, spontaneous interpersonal exchanges. Because, dammit, the cute girl sitting next to me on the train is probably listening to the same music as me, only we’ve got these goddamn ear pacifiers on so we’ll never actually talk! But I’m conflicted as I regularly use my iPod just about everywhere; I tend to consider this a total narcissism.

But then again, sometimes ya just gotta hear that song…


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