I recently read a post that caused me to think about how the way I listen to recorded music has changed over the years.  Back in the day, if I wanted to play a record I had to be in my room.  I’d pick out an album and put it on.  Even when compact discs replaced vinyl albums the process was still the same, except you could play the record all the way through without having to turn it over.

These days my album collection is long gone and my CDs are gathering dust in a box in my basement.  Now my music collection is digital and can travel with me at all times.  If I want to listen to music while working in the garden, for example, no problem.  I just insert my ipod earbuds and a vast collection of music is instantly available on demand.  My old stereo is in a box in the basement and I never play music in the house any more.

The other major change in how I listen to music comes from the ipod’s “shuffle” function.  I almost always keep my device set to “shuffle songs.”  Gone are the days of picking out a record.  Also gone are the days of listening to an album.  It seems the ipod has secured the dominance of songs over albums.  It’s like having a collection consisting of only 45s.

Although I don’t generally appreciate electronic gadgetry, I admit to liking my ipod.  I use it listen to podcasts while I work, as well as music.  And I enjoy the ability to “shuffle” my music collection.  If only it had a “shuffle album” function.

On the subject of songs, Hippie Cahier wrote an interesting post entitled Twenty Five Songs.  I thought about doing a list of my own, but decided (for now at least) that I didn’t want to take the time.  Her post did cause me go see what the first and last songs in my collection are alphabetically (“Abandon” by Dare and “Zydeco Honky Tonk” by Buckwheat Zydeco).  The ability to easily figure out something like that is another cool thing an ipod makes possible.



13 comments on “Shuffling

  1. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, technology has indeed changed how we do allot of things. I can remember the first Hi Fi record player I got for a Christmas present. It was amazing how I could now listen to all my favorite songs as many times as I wanted. With the adapter, 45s could be stacked up and automatically played. It was a great era to be alive. I really haven’t stepped totally into the new century just yet and perhaps I may never get there 100%. I remember plainly in my 20s when I saw the older generation fighting change and couldn’t understand why they would do that. Even though I’ve been a part of developing the technology of today, I don’t really embrace it as much as I did back then. I’m not against those that do and I don’t think its an evil that must be eradiated. I’m still a radio kind of guy. Just a plain old radio. No satellite, no phone app, no high definition (don’t even know what that is for radio), and now ear buds, just plain old through the air waves radio.

    I some times ponder what technology the next couple decades will bring. Already in its infancy, cars that drive themselves are being developed. Soon taking that dreaded driving test at age 16 will be a thing of the past. Computer controlled farm tractors will be sent out to the field and supervised from a work station. Today is a great era to be alive too, don’t you think?

    Have a great shuffling IPod day.


    • Bill says:

      I had that stacking adaptor for my 45s too. I also had a penny taped to the little arm that held the needle to try to keep the records from skipping.

      I was a radio station DJ when I was in college and I really enjoyed it. I actually thought about pursuing that as a career. Looking back I’m really glad I didn’t, as radio is all corporately controlled today. Some computer somewhere selects the music. It’s very very rare for DJs these days to have any say in the music they play.


  2. valbjerke says:

    I’m fine with the technology – but my music runs the gamut – from iTunes, CDs, cassettes, records, and I actually own a gramophone along with dozens of records to play on it. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and wind the thing up and marvel (yes I marvel) at the technology of the day – a five pound arm with a big fat needle picking up the music from a platter of Bakelite. Want it loud? Open the doors on the front. Too loud? Close the doors 😊


    • Bill says:

      Very cool that you have one and that you still use. I think vinyl records are making a comeback among the younger generation now. I sold all mine (for very little) once compact discs took over. If I’d held onto them they might be in demand now. 🙂


  3. Peggy still has a record player that she keeps out in our sunroom, so she can listen to her old records. She still has her collection. I listen to my IPod when I am writing, mainly classics that don’t interfere with the writing process. Words seduce me into listening to them. 🙂 –Curt


    • Bill says:

      Once upon I time I could listen to music while writing. These days that’s a multi-task that I can’t do. 🙂 Maybe it would still work for me if I stayed with word-less music.

      I saw the stereo in the basement last week and felt a brief pang of nostalgia. I even thought about setting it up down there, but didn’t.


  4. I’d be interested to read your list of 25!

    I borrowed the idea from one of those circulating interactive blog exercises, since I’m not really part of the group that was doing it at the time and also because I didn’t want the pressure of posting an answer on a schedule. I rather liked thinking over my answers on my own time.

    So, I set it up as an unpublished page and worked on it in close to real time, then converted to a post when it was finished. You might enjoy doing it that way.

    Regardless, if you decide to do it, it’d be fun to see what your list looks like.


    • Bill says:

      I enjoyed your list. Maybe I’ll take up the challenge someday.

      I didn’t know it was possible to arrange itunes alphabetically by song title until I read your post. That caused me start playing around with it. Arranged by artist mine goes from Aaron Hale to ZZ Top. By album it goes from Abbey Road (The Beatles) to The Youth Are Getting Restless (Bad Brains). By date added it goes from “140 BPM Deepach Remix” by Food for Woofers to “Revolutionaries” by Bethany Dillon. Most played: “Shame on You” by the Indigo Girls. I am such a nerd. I love playing with features like that. 🙂


      • I felt that same nerdy elation when someone showed me that. I’ll have to check out some new names I see here. Another Indigo Girls song is on my “Life in Six Songs” list. (Spoiler alert: Closer to Fine). 🙂


      • Also — Now “Shame On You” is in my head, but that’s a very good thing because on my to-do list today is to create a new workout play list and that’ll work! Thanks!


  5. I am from the era of the cassette tape, vinyl was just on it’s way out about the time I hit the teen years, though I certainly had a bit of both at first. At least I never got into 8 track! I no longer listen to much music – I leave the car radio off, I don’t have an iPod. I’m alone in my family this way, as the teens both have iPods going all the time – one listens to science podcasts and hard rock, the other listens to books and C & W. Same gene pool, go figure. Hubby is on the road a lot, and listens to CBC Radio, the Canadian equivalent to NPR (I think), and occasionally gets some Mike Oldfield going on his laptop while he’s working (no words). I find I appreciate the sound of my own thoughts more as I get older, and I have never enjoyed listening to music while working outside – it seems to drown out what’s going on in Nature all around me. Of course it would also drown out the neighbour’s chain saw, which might be good, but I’ll take the good with the bad on that one. That said, a while back I cranked Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on my computer so I could hear it all over the house while I floor scrubbed, and just last week had Stan Rogers going while I ironed some stuff (I NEVER iron). But that’s in the house. On my own. I don’t seem to do it while the others are there. I admit to a hankering for an iPod occasionally, principally so I could listen to podcasts – many people who used to write great blogs now use the podcast format, and for me that means sitting with the computer while I listen, which I don’t have time for, which means I don’t get their insights, wisdom and thoughts anymore. I could read their blog posts over time, or skim quickly and come back later if needed, but podcasts don’t work that way for me.


    • Bill says:

      I don’t listen to music nearly as much as I used to. I prefer the sounds of nature too. I’ll either listen to one podcast in the morning, or a little music in the afternoon. I’m usually outside about 13-14 hours a day in the summer, and I try to limit my ipod to about an hour a day.

      I was a late comer to the ipod thing but I’ve come to appreciate the device. Really amazing considering how much space a music collection used to take up and how effortless it is to listen to it now. Funny that while I was listening today Four Seasons came up on shuffle. So did the Clash. That’s a fun thing about shuffling. 🙂

      I had a podcast for a while and did about 16 episodes (if I recall correctly). I eventually dropped it because it was taking too much time. I’ve found that a good podcast can be great company while doing chores.


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