First week thoughts on the iPod and CD collecting


One week in, I’m pretty happy with this experiment. One of my new favorite ways to relax is to sit in a comfy chair with iPod in one hand and the CD booklet in the other, listening to an album for the first time while flipping through the lyrics in the booklet. I didn’t expect it, but the CD booklets are often surprisingly nice and tactile to flip through and study. And the iPod is a great design object and conversation starter. My friends are either super excited about it and are inspired to go look for their own old iPods (hi Fiona! hi Chloe!)… or they are totally unimpressed and question my sanity.

I had forgotten how dumb it is that iPhones don’t have a headphone jack any more. I never use wired earphones with my iPhone now because it’s such a pain to find that annoying little Lightning-to-3.5mm dongle. However, I prefer the sound of my wired earphones to my AirPods. As a result, my dedicated listening sessions usually involved my computer, but sitting with an iPod feels way less encumbering than sitting with a computer.

The iPod isn’t as nice to use in the car as I’d hoped. When plugged in, the interface on the iPod is locked because it’s just acting as a disk for the car to read. The iPod interface on my car is usable, but it doesn’t seem to play songs within albums in order, and sometimes songs don’t seem to play, or they stutter. So instead, I’ve put my music library onto my iPhone (after disabling the Apple Music cloud service as much as possible), and that works great for listening in the car.

In the end, I’m not actually using the iPod as much as I thought I might, but I’m definitely listening to music more thoughtfully, which I think is the real point. I’m spending conscious attention listening to and seeking out music; I’m an active listener rather than just a passive consumer. The iPod and the CDs make this fun and encourage me to carve out time and energy for it, but they’re just a means to an end. I was doing this in high school with friends, but then later I kind of just let Spotify assume the role of music discovery for me. But I think there isn’t really a substitute for putting in actual time and attention.

Will write more soon on the music I’ve been listening to!