iPods, the Arts, and Disposability

It’s the 10th anniversary of the iPod. . . time to meditate on how we consume the creative arts.

iPod 10ht Anniversary

Writes Greg Kot, “Undeniably, the iPod and iTunes have brought a previously unimagined portability and convenience to music-hungry consumers, but at what price? Has the ease of distributing, listening and replenishing music made it all feel somewhat disposable?”

Part of the struggle of this class seems to be how to make space in busy schedules for the kinds of reflection that the arts demand; maybe — in addition to all the pleasant distractions of college freshman year — folks are increasingly less wired to sustain creative attention.

Think of music listening, twenty-one years ago: I want to hear a song — I go to the shelf, I choose an LP. If its dirty, I’ve got to clean it. I put it on the turntable; I have to listen carefully — sometimes between clicks and hiss. When the side is over, if I’m engaged enough, I’ve got to stop what I’m doing it and go turn it over.

Did this produce patience? A sense of ritual? And push back against disposability? Consuming the arts meant creating special space and. . . doing something for yourself. (Not to go all Oprah on you…)


About jchall1960

I'm the instructor for FA 200, Introduction to the Arts at the University of Alabama
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One Response to iPods, the Arts, and Disposability

  1. klfoto says:

    I can’t believe it has already been ten years. It doesn’t seem that long at all. I still have my first iPod Mini. The iPod was a huge breakthrough in the world of technology.

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