I Traded My iPod for a Walkman
On November 14, 2010, I got an idea so perfectly bizarre and intriguing that I just could not brush it off.
“I will sell my iPod and purchase a Walkman.”
Most of my friends thought it was a bad idea. “What’s the point? Why?”
There were 4 things motivating my decision. 1) I did not use my iPod much anymore and felt like it was a waste of a quality electronic device. 2) I missed listening to the radio. 3) Tape nostalgia. 4) I was ready for a new experiment in the vein of epistemological luddism.
So I did it. I sold my iPod to my roommate and ordered RCA’s version of the Walkman (Sony just discontinued the original).
When it arrived in the mail, I laughed out loud. It was bigger than I had realized, clunky, and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it on. I had forgotten that some portable music devices accept AA batteries.
An hour later, I hopped on the bus to go to work and found myself a little embarrassed to pull it out of my backpack. I worked up the courage eventually and began listening to my first tape… Gordon Lightfoot’s Endless Wire. It sounded okay but Gordon’s voice was almost buried by that nostalgic tape crackle. 5 minutes later, it was beyond buried. It was warped. The tempo derailed and his voice did the opposite of whatever the geniuses behind the Chipmunks do.
A disappointing first run, but I quickly moved on to radio. I listen to alot of NPR, but to hear it live (actual, live debate of the tax cut extension) was a rush. There is something about live radio and TV that no podcast or Hulu / Youtube stream can match and it was a blissful rediscovery via Walkman.
In the end, my life has not been dramatically altered by the cross-over. I have sacrificed high-quality musical recordings on-the-go but that only makes them sound sweeter when I get home and turn up my computer speakers. People do look at me funny but it’s only a matter of time before everyone in Silverlake has a clunky, silver accident clipped onto their pocket.
Filed under: tk | 5 Comments
Tags: cassettes, gordon lightfoot, ipod, npr, rca, tape crackle, walkman