New Music


I asked for earbuds for Christmas. My standard operating procedure is to buy cheap earbuds from Walgreens for my iPod and they usually last two or three months before some internal wire begins to degrade or disconnect and I lose audio in one ear. I figured it would be a good, inexpensive gift idea for someone who wanted to give a “little something”.

The In-Laws had other ideas. Instead of a set of simple little earbuds I got a Device that no doubt styled itself as a Mobile Audio Delivery Apparatus or something similar. It was a sleek curved piece of molded plastic that you wore around your neck. It had external speakers, retractable earbuds, volume control, microphone, Google Assistant compatible, and was Bluetooth enabled. The only problem was there was no way to connect it to my iPod, which was old enough to predate any model that might be Bluetooth enabled.

“Are you ever going to use those headphones my folks gave you?” The Curmudgeonly Lion asked after the Device sat untouched for six months.

“Yeeees?” I said, guiltily. “I just need to move all my music to my phone…” I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t sure how to actually do that and was too embarrassed and unmotivated to ask for help.

At last the opportunity presented itself: I was researching DreamWorks animated films and there were a few I needed to get caught up on. The Curmudgeonly Lion was not keen on animation so I needed to watch them on my own time and my daily bus commute seemed like the obvious choice. I could stream Netflix on my phone. My phone was Bluetooth enabled. It was the perfect opportunity to put The Device through its paces.

It was surprisingly easy to pair the Device to my phone- even for a luddite like me. The sound quality was good. The earbuds were comfortable… It was nice to be wireless for a change. In the chaos of my recent emotional turmoil I could wear the Device and discreetly listen to music off of YouTube to keep myself calm. It helped. I discovered that the algorithm for YouTube Music was surprisingly good at anticipating my taste. Sure it was pairing a lot of Rammstein with Five Finger Deathpunch with Weird Al, but it happened to speak to my mood in that moment. It had been a long time since I’d gotten any new music and I was hungry for it. I started wearing the Device every day to explore some new musical directions and my horizons have expanded as a result, which is quite pleasant.

So it took a while to get around to it, but I finally fell in love with the Device.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on August 23, 2019.

One Response to “New Music”

  1. I’m starting to see more of the lacking identity/self-confidence picture from this post… But, I dare not say too much.
    I just learned a new word about myself…luddite. 😀 Resistant to new technology; yeah I have my moments. But, I’m also an innovator looking for new and/or better ways to do almost everything.
    And, I have had the same troubles with earphones/earbuds. Cords are a pain in the butt, but I am not entirely sold on everything wireless. I think we just have to restrict ourselves to using wired devices at home and other stationary places, not on the go.
    I’m a lil scared of technology reading our tastes and supplying what it thinks we want/need…which brings me back to that luddite thinking. But, I will say listening to music requires some screening for taste; otherwise, in my experience, just listening to broadcast radio, I am forced to continually flip stations to avoid hearing the same lousy and/or upsetting songs over and over. I’ve gotten to the point I can hardly listen to the radio, anymore. I’ve started transferring music from CDs to my computer. [And, eventually…some day, like you…I’ll get to using a portable device I was given some time ago…hopefully, before it’s obsolete. 😛 ]

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