Friday, January 15, 2010

Fully Loaded (Musically Speaking)

Two days ago, I finally cracked the seal on my iPod Shuffle, hooked it up to my computer, and loaded it with tunes. 500 tunes, to be exact. I didn’t try to be so precise, but that’s what happened. There’s probably room for a half dozen more songs, but I got the stuff on there that I knew I wanted on there, so I feel really good about my selection. I’ve got Pearl Jam, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Culture Club, Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, and more—over 24 hours of music, if I remember correctly. I’ve got the music divided into three separate playlists—Punk, Rock, and New Wave. You can listen to an individual playlist, or you can listen to everything that’s been put onto the iPod. Additionally, you can listen to songs in shuffle mode, which randomizes the order of play, or you can listen to songs in order. So far, I’ve only listened to it on shuffle mode, and not from a particular playlist. It’s rifling through everything, which has been great. I can fully understand why someone might be interested in getting a high capacity iPod that can hold several thousand songs. It’d be cool to diversify even more—to have some jazz selections for when you’re studying in the school library, for example. (Not that I myself am ever in the school library, but you get my point.) I’ve got a collection of music I love on my iPod, but it’s almost all high energy and/or cheerfully upbeat. If I’m ever in the mood for something more sedate, I’ll be out of luck.

I’ve had to get used to using earphones—the little, bulb-shaped kind that you tuck into your ears. I’ve never been a fan of those. I’ve always preferred old-school headphones that wrap over the top of your head and simply rest against your ears like a pair of earmuffs. That isn’t an option with the iPod Shuffle, however, because in order to facilitate the iPod’s diminutive size, the playback controls are relegated to a three-button keypad located on the wires of the earphones that come with and are designed specifically for the iPod. Earphones have always felt uncomfortable to me, but even in my short experience of using my iPod, I can now see their advantage. As I move about, the earphones are much more secure than headphones would be. And, thankfully, the iPod earphones are the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. The only slightly annoying thing is that my ears apparently don’t match, so the left earphone fits more loosely in my ear than the right earphone does. This means that external sounds aren’t blocked out by the left earphone as well as they are blocked out by the right earphone, which in turn creates the illusion that my right ear is “clogged,” like the hearing is going out and I need to chew some gum to pop it or something. (The disproportion of my ears is one reason I’ve never liked earphones, which have often felt uncomfortably large—painful even—in my right ear.) But, to digress, another benefit of using earphones is that they are less likely to bother others. That is, I believe other people can hear the music you’re listening to less easily with earphones than with the older-style headphones. That too makes me feel better about the earphones.

More for my own sake than anything, I thought it might be interesting to look back one day on what my first iPod playlist looked like. So, I now present (to anyone who wishes to read it) the music that is loaded onto my iPod, including the playlists into which it has been divided. Italicized titles refer to albums while titles in quotations refer to individual songs. Unless otherwise noted, albums were included in their entirety. The list has been arranged alphabetically by playlist, then by artist, then by album title.

New Wave
  • A-ha, Hunting High and Low
  • Billy Idol – “Dancing With Myself”
  • The Cars, Greatest Hits (plus “Hello Again” from Heartbeat City)
  • Culture Club, Colour by Numbers
  • Culture Club, Kissing to Be Clever
  • Culture Club, Waking Up with the House on Fire
  • The Cure – “Boys Don’t Cry”
  • Depeche Mode – “Just Can’t Get Enough”
  • Duran Duran – selections from various albums
  • Men at Work – selections from Contraband: The Best of Men at Work
  • Men Without Hats – “The Safety Dance”
  • New Order – “Bizarre Love Triangle”
  • Tears for Fears – selections from various albums
  • Buzzcocks, A Different Kind of Tension (excluding several demo and live tracks)
  • Dag Nasty – entire discography
  • Descendents – entire discography, excluding four tracks that aren’t really songs
  • Hüsker Dü, Candy Apple Grey
  • Hüsker Dü, Zen Arcade
  • Mission of Burma, Calls, Signals, and Marches
  • Mission of Burma, Innermost (a two-song EP)
  • Mission of Burma, The Sound the Speed the Light
  • Mission of Burma, Vs.
  • Nada Surf, High/Low
  • Nirvana, Bleach
  • The Sex Pistols – selections from Never Mind the Bollocks…
  • SNFU – selections from If You Swear, You’ll Catch No Fish
  • Selections from the punk compilation Faster & Louder: Hardcore Punk, Vol. 1
  • AC/DC – “Who Made Who” and “You Shook Me All Night Long”
  • Bob Mould, District Line
  • Bob Mould, Life and Times
  • Deep Purple – “Hush” and “Woman from Tokyo”
  • The Doors – “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” and “Light My Fire”
  • The Guess Who – selections from Greatest Hits
  • INXS – four songs (“Devil Inside,” “Listen Like Thieves,” “Need You Tonight,” and “Suicide Blonde”)
  • Led Zeppelin, I
  • Led Zeppelin, IV
  • Nirvana, MTV Unplugged in New York
  • Pearl Jam, Backspacer
  • Pearl Jam, Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003
  • Queen, Classic Queen
  • Queen, The Game
  • The Rolling Stones – selections from Hot Rocks 1964-1971 and Jump Back: The Best of the Rolling Stones 1971-1993
  • Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun”
  • Temple of the Dog – “Hunger Strike” and “Say Hello 2 Heaven”
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – “Refugee”
  • The White Stripes, Elephant


  1. What I also enjoy is to see the statistics in Itunes, about which songs are played the most, etc etc.

  2. wow....very interesting. And also interesting is that I don't know more than a handful of tunes you have on there. And that surprised me a little, because you taught me a lot about music appreciation.. I still believe you were created originally, as spirit or whatever, from music.