Open Letter to My iPod

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Dear iPod,

Hey, buddy. This may seem a little weird what with the fact that you are sitting next to me on the chair. You’re probably all, “Dude, what are you doing? I’m right HERE!!!”

But, see, iPod, that’s the problem. I feel like you don’t know me anymore – like there is this great distance between us and I’m trying to figure out what happened.

I’ve felt it for a while, but I really noticed today when I went for my second run of the day. Normally, you spin up just what I need to hear when I set you to shuffle. Until recently, I trusted you with my song choices so much so that I stopped making playlists. But, today it was so apparent how apathetic you’d grown, that I almost started picking my own songs. I was feeling defiant and I wanted rock stuff that would give me energy. What I got was 70’s light rock and jazz. Ok, I may have let “Sister Golden Hair” slide, but I like that song.

Then, you must have figured out from my song selection of Foo Fighters and that song by that band you’ve never heard of that I found on MySpace that I wanted some rock. You could’ve spun up some modern stuff like The Killers or maybe Juliana Theory or The Raconteurs, but no. You pull up Dokken and Yngwie Malmsteen? Were you mocking me?

I know I probably shouldn’t even have those on the iPod but I made a hair band mix for the band road trip as a joke and forgot to delete them. You KNOW this. If you paid attention to my feelings and weren’t trying to be such a smart ass, you would know that. Before this change, you would’ve, at worst, played “Live Wire” or “Too Young to Fall in Love” by Motley Crue, which would’ve been perfectly acceptable.

I just don’t get it, iPod. Just because I have Seals & Crofts or England Dan and John Ford Coley on there doesn’t mean I want them to play all the time. At the very least, split the difference and give me some Son Volt or even the Black Crowes. I’m sure “Remedy” is on there, right? You could give me some Long Winters or even Guster. You always seemed to be fond of “Satellite,” right?

And what’s the deal with all the quirky pop you’ve been pulling up lately? I love XTC and ELO, but I don’t want all of their songs in rapid succession, especially when I’m trying to get some energy. “Scarecrow People” and “I’m Alive” may work for before a gig or on a drive, but I’m jogging here!

Did I do something? Was it something I downloaded? Maybe I’ve put too much strain on you with all the different genres of music. I know it must be tough to go from The Decemberists to Wayne Shorter to Prince to Albert Collins, but that’s just how I roll and you should know that by now.

Sure, Elvin Bishop may not mix with Rush for most people, but you know me, iPod, or at least I thought you did. Remember when I felt depressed or introspective and you’d know just what to play? You’d pull up “Your Heart is an Empty Room” by Death Cab or the Damnwells’ “Heartbreak List.” You might give me Jonatha Brooke’s beautiful acoustic version of “Eye in the Sky” or Wilco’s “What Light.”

You made me laugh with Paul Thorn’s “A Great Day to Whoop Someone’s Ass” and David Lee Roth’s “Elephant Gun.” You even knew when to set a mood with Al Green or Zero 7 or Bebel Gilberto.

There was never a need for a playlist, just the shuffle function and the trust we shared.

I still care about you, iPod. I just feel this distance growing between us and that doesn’t count the extra long cord on my ear buds. It’s so frustrating because the end result is “Xanadu,” the ELO song, not the live 10-minute Rush anthem, though I’m not sure which is worse at this point to be totally honest.

Maybe you are over me. Maybe you need to find some new owner who will fill you with new songs and the promise of better days ahead.

I’ll be honest, iPod. It’s been tough for me too. As much as I care about you, you aren’t the only media player on the block. There’s an iPod Touch that has been eying me for a while and it’s getting harder and harder to resist her sweet wi-fi and silky smooth touch screen. She seems to get me like you used to and she’s not afraid to try new things, like video or cool new apps, the kind of thing you think is waste of memory.

I want this to work, iPod. I really do. But, I need more from you and I don’t think I’m asking for too much. Let me know how you feel and we’ll play on from there.



P.S. I don’t know who put that Britney Spears song on there even though it is the perfect tempo for running. But, seriously, it wasn’t me.

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