Late adopter

This weekend I finally got around to uploading music to my first ever portable mp3 device. (!!!) I bought it out of pity at a silent auction fundraiser three years ago. (No one had bid on it.) It’s a Zune, which is probably not surprising eh, for me to go against the grain. Plus it was red, not a generic black or white color. But there was also a strategic reason I picked it: it has FM radio. I thought it would be neat to be able to listen to radio stations in different places we traveled to. Though of course, now that I’ve finally gotten around to activating it, it doesn’t seem like I’m not going anywhere in the foreseeable future!

The main reason why I hadn’t loaded up the Zune earlier was that I was daunted by the thought of having to upload all those CDs, and how time consuming that would be. As it turns out, it wasn’t too bad, since Joe had already loaded up most of the CDs we have onto the desktop. And even though he has an ipod, which is proprietary with iTunes, I was able to drag and drop stuff pretty easily onto the Zune.

Even though we have the 80’s and 90’s in common, a lot of our music taste is quite divergent. For the past couple of months I’d been playing Flight of the Conchords ad nauseum around the house.
“Aren’t you tired of them yet?”
We play his ipod in the car when we’re driving long distances. It’s nice to have variety, but it’s mostly his variety. Sometimes I really want my own variety, wacky as it may be.

I’ve started to bring my Zune to work. It’s almost silly to listen to it on the commute, because after I get off my bike (I don’t listen to it when I’m biking), I’m only on the train for about 20 minutes. At work, I usually listen to KCSM streamed through the internet, all jazz all the time. When the pledge drive was on for three weeks, I brought in several CDs from home, but I got tired of listening to them over and over again. Another case of esprit d’escalier, the Zune would have been the perfect antidote for that.

The great thing about any of these music players is that you can load so many songs on it, and hit shuffle, it’s like your own hit-or-miss radio station with a wonderful variety of songs. Although the shuffle doesn’t seem completely statistically random: I’ve been hearing a lot of Les Miserables, Janet Jackson and early Beatles. And the volume is a bit uneven, some songs come out very softly, and the others are a bit loud. I don’t know how/if there’s a way to calibrate that.

But overall, I’ve been rediscovering so much music that I hadn’t been listening to in such a long time with the Zune, it makes me smile. Jazz is good, but sometimes you just feel like belting out in lipsynch to the Police or Duran Duran. Or certain music conjures up certain moods, memories or sensations.

The other neat thing is that I could recreate almost all the lagniappe compilations from when we started burning them as CDs, in 2000. I’ve wanted to be able to have them all accessible from one source, and be able to play them in chronological order. It actually took me some effort to re-create them. Some of the source music I don’t have anymore, and I can’t even find all the lagniappe CDs to copy from again.
Joe asked, “And once you’re done with that, will you make playlists of all the mix tapes we made for each other when we were first going out?”
Actually, I still have cassette box covers with the song lists, even if the cassettes themselves are long gone. What would be really neat is if I could find the covers to the original cassette lagniappes from the late 90’s, and recreate those playlists on my player.

Maybe I just am really enjoying and appreciating the player now because I’ve gone so long without one; to me it’s the discovery of a new toy. And I haven’t even begun to load photos or video/podcasts to it (I’m trying to resist, because it could be another slippery slope.)


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