In October, I bought my first mp3 player, a 5th generation apple nano (it’s the cutest little thing), with money I won for doing a survey. I’m still new at the tech game, and just recently discovered (accidentally, of course!) that it would randomly play songs from the entire collection I have downloaded. It’s intriguing to see who follows who; what songs get played in a string, etc. I take it with me when I go on my shopping excursions/expeditions/adventures.
I spent an annoying afternoon in the town (two towns over by train) where I do my shopping, and get my prescriptions filled. It seemed like wherever I was, somebody else wanted that space. No matter how obscure the goods behind me and the grocery cart, somebody wanted that jar of pickled duck eggs. School-aged kids (I’m guessing high school) hang out in bunches along one of the main drags and clog up the streets and stores (especially the drug store, and starbucks). Apparently, it takes at least10 noisy, rambunctious teens to buy one pack of gum. Today, the cashier was spending as much time “breaking up” the knots of students as she was ringing up drug store purchases.
Each store had it’s disappointments: advertised sale items not on the shelf; pre-made/deli foods not what I was looking for; non-sale items pricey (who says there isn’t inflation?); and the list of complaints goes on. I hauled my shopping cart (basically a big knapsack on a frame with wheels on the bottom) over snow banks, around folks moving slower than I was, in and out of grocery store carts. As the afternoon progressed, I was getting more and more annoyed, frustrated, and my mood was far from good. At least this trip I wasn’t nearly run-over in the crosswalks – a usual occurrence!
Finally finishing my to-do-in-town list, I headed for the train station: due to police activity in the town one stop down (towards the big city) from where I live, trains were operating 20 to 30 minutes behind schedule. More harrumphing, and head shaking. The train did arrive pretty much on time, and I remembered I’d brought my nano along for the ride. I popped in the headphones and “touched” now playing. The soothing strings of Lorena McKennitt’s harp gently nuzzled my ears as the train shuffled along through the dark.
Stepping off the train, the pace and mood of the music changed from an Irish lilt to Warren Zevon going full tilt in “It Ain’t That Pretty At All,” which includes the lyrics:
I’d like to go back to Paris someday and visit the Louvre Museum
Get a good running start and hurl myself at the wall
Going to hurl myself against the wall
‘Cause I’d rather feel bad than feel nothing at all
And it ain’t that pretty at all
Ain’t that pretty at all
Which got me to thinking: what if Apple took the mood ring idea a few steps further and created an ipod that sensed your mood, and then selected the appropriate songs. In other words, if Apple morphed it’s ipod nano with a mood ring: an mp3 player that intuitively knew what songs to play by how you are feeling!Today, I needed a soothing, soaring string-based piece to calm me down. But, I also needed something a little more edgy that matched my mood and impressions of the afternoon. My little metallic blue nano came through; wonder what it has in mind for tomorrow’s song selections?