What world-shattering claim next from iPod users?

Reading over at HongkieTown an excerpt from someiWankerbody called Alex Soojung-Kim Pang's article about how iPods are going to bring the world together in a great seething mass of empathic niceness and cure all society's ills merely by listening to the music from somebody else's iPod. Great, if you're not soaking up the podcast of a speech by Joseph Goebbels...

E@L is going to have to re-quote from this article at length and do a bit of analysis: sorry, but it is just too ridiculous to let pass...

In fact, the iTunes software that supports the iPod already has some interesting social features. If you're in an office with people who also have iTunes, you can see their music libraries over a network and listen to their songs[1] -- so long as they weren't bought from the iTunes store. Seeing a colleague's music collection is a great way to find out things about them that you might never guess; were Leonardo da Vinci[2] alive today, he'd say that playlists are a window to the soul. (Worried that your collection isn't cool enough[3]? Don't. You can opt out.)

Some designers have brainstormed how to bring sharing to the iPod itself, and turn the experience of listening to your music from a personal and isolating one into one that enriches our social environment. There's already a phenomenon called iPodjacking, where iPod users trade headphones for a moment, and check out each other's music.[4] Clay Shirky, a New York University professor and social software guru, imagines a service that would read the contents of all the MP3 players in a bar, and construct a group playlist that appeals to all the patrons[5].
(Mercury News) [Emphatically my emphasis.]

1: Fucking moron. What open network DOESN'T allow you to read other people's files? MP3's, Word documents, PowerPoints, porn, whatever. Christ, get a grip. Is E@L missing some basic point or is it The Rest Of The World (TM) -- but isn't that the POINT of being connected to a network, isn't that why ARPanet and then the Internet were constructed? You open their folders and look in, then right-click "play." Pang, see me after school for a course on basic network principles.

2: Da Vinci? Did Da Vinci say "the eyes are the window to the soul"? Not according to all of the books searched at Bartleby's com. But he might have, in a moment of cliché-ridden angst, so why not attribute it to him? You may as well attribute "a stitch in time saves nine" to Da Vinci as well. And while we're playing this game, why not attribute the ability to rearrange your songs in a different order to the iPod Shuffle? Double fucking moron.

3: Don't have a big enough insecurity complex? You can upload the latest version of Status Anxiety from Apple.con... Fucking moron.

4: Fucking moron. This [sound of vomiting] iPodjacking line is so WTF lame, it's beyond the iRonic commentary of any independently sentient being.

4: Quintuple fucking moron. You can please all of the fucking morons some of the time, and you can please some of the fucking morons all of the time, but you can't please all of the fucking morons all of the time because a) they're fucking morons, and b) they're wearing headphones in a bar. That's because they're so uptight that they think they don't like ANYBODY ELSE'S music taste, you fucking moron -- even though they are all listening to Michael Buble.

Next we'll be reading that through the magic of the iPod, the guys at Apple invented the wheel, brought fire from the heavens, discovered penicillin, velcro and sliced bread... (but had built-in digital rights management?)

E@L, counting backwards slowly, inhaling deep calming breaths, ... 10, 9, 8, 7...


Posted by: expat@large on Oct 11, 05 | 3:14 pm | Profile


I don't think the point is that anyone can share files over a network now. For the most part, in order to do it, it requires a certain level of tech-saviness, it requires making an effort. Blogging is the same way. Ten years ago anyone could do a blog on line but few people did because of the amount of technical knowledge and the sheer brute force involved to do it. The creation of blogging software that is essentially little more than a layer between people and code led to the explosion. So it may well be with iTunes or, more likely, some other software yet to appear on the scene. Or maybe not.

Posted by: spike on Oct 12, 05 | 1:59 pm

Actually if anyone is on a network (the internet/arpanet analogy was a stretch I admit), with iTunes on their computer or not, they should know what they can and cannot do. OK most don't, but that's the fault of their IT department, not me.

In reality, most business networks these days are so firewalled you would only have, at most, access the internet for email and maybe to a common file-server and you would not be able to directly access anyone else's computer.

So my iTunes folder (if I had one) would be just as out of range to my co-workers these days as "c:/expatatlarge/personal/movies/wickedporn/deviantsexwithwildebeests/*.* "...

Oops forgot turn off file-sharing! I wondered why the secretary was looking at me funny and why Mr Lim was winking coyly at me...

So, anyway, the point of this part of the guy's argument is entirely wasted. So I blasted him. Koreans are tough, I've had to deal with quite a few, he can take it. If he can take kimchee, he can take E@L!

Posted by: expat@large on Oct 12, 05 | 2:42 pm


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