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Tue, 06 Jan 2004

iPod is not a way of life

So, Apple have a new iPod out. Hurrah. I'm sure getting it will be just one more excuse for the terrify people scattered throughout this guardian article to praise Steve. Yes, the iPod is a neat wee thing and yes, you can fit an awful lot of songs on it, but it's only a digital music player. It may well be the best one, the easiest to use or the most elegant, that doesn't change what it fundamentally is: a piece of consumer electronics.

Whenever someone says something analogous to "this piece of consumer electronics has changed my life" I'm suspicious. I imagine if they stop and really think about it they'll find it hasn't. It might have made it a little easier, more convenient but changed? Not in any meaningful way. Certainly not in a way that warrants the pseudo religious zeal with which these statements are often accompanied.

The zeal I am fine with. There are more than a few things I'm happy to evangelise to people. It's when it crosses the line from being perhaps a little over excited by a nice piece of industrial design into treating those 'behind the curve' as if they were afflicted:

She recalls a recent meal out with six friends: three of the group had iPods; the other four didn't. "I was sitting opposite someone who had a mini-disc - I felt really sorry for them," she says.

If you'll excuse me coming over all valley girl: Hello, a sense of perspective? They're not dying, their house hasn't burned down, they just happen not to own the same portable music player as you. I think they'll get by.

Don't even get me started on "The iPod is the greatest piece of technology since the motor car".

posted at: 21:23 #

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