Desert island iPod

This is in reference to this discussion on Cornerstone Interactive.

Please! Not an ipod. The battery will die – which will be a particular pain in the butt on a desert island. At least let me hack a solar panel or something on to it before I go. But more importantly it symbolises and re-enforces so much of what is bad about the ‘music industry’.

Does anyone understand what that phrase ‘music industry’ means?

It means that once we made music. Now all we have is a ‘music industry’ to do it for us. I almost wrote ‘to do it to us’ – talk about a Freudian slip! It means that we have out-sourced the things that music is really about: our imaginations, our passions, our intimate longings, our sense of belonging and identity.

Girl: “Listen honey – they’re playing our song.”

Record company: “Listen honey. They’re playing OUR song!”

Cash register: ka-chinggg.

Band: (heard somewhere in the distance) “Whose song did he say?”

The ipod is a product of a culture that assumes you are here to consume. Some people get to make music, some people get to listen to it, and some people get to decide who does what. In a world of producers and consumers, god makers and god breakers, a world with a hungry empty manipulated public looking for something to worship, your role is to be a good little consumer.

In that kind of world there is no need for an ipod to be good at helping you make music – even though it could easily have been made that way (and there are some good alternatives that are.) In that kind of world there IS a need for the ipod to be good at controlling and enforcing what someone else says you are allowed to do with the music you have paid for. And that is what the ipod IS trying to be good at.


  1. Nathan Murray
    Posted January 6, 2007 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Hey mike. That puts words to many of the ill feelings I have towards ipods… is it different if it is a Samsung YP-U1? Theres not necessarily the same monopolising of choices with some other kind of digital audio device is there?

  2. Andy J
    Posted January 6, 2007 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Here Here…if you don’t already know about this page you must see it


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