The iPod craze has been played out. It started with the crazy dancing silhouette advertisements, continued with the U2 promotional campaign and currently stars the newest addition of the iPod family – the iPod shuffle, which has both a tampon appearance and the tagline promise of playing 250 songs in random order. I am not really sure why the promise of uncontrolled music is enticing, but I suppose there is some appeal since it comes at a low price of $100.

I have actually gotten over the iPod craze after being its most prominent activist. Don’t get me wrong – I still have my little guy and usually have it on me at all times, but the obsession has been on the down-low since we had a falling-out. Yes, I had a falling-out with my iPod, an inanimate object, and I still get a little upset when I think about it.

It began last February when my iPod mini, in the beautiful color of green, came to me one blustery day. I opened the box and a shudder fell upon me. It was like my own personal Excalibur, except it was green, pretty and it didn’t come out of a stone. We started slow – a few occasional runs together, maybe a brisk walk or two.

Then we began to study together. I loved that a soundtrack for my life was provided for me. I would do a little strut whenever hearing Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman” and then perhaps a more sedate gait while listening to Modest Mouse. I found myself putting on my headphones when just walking from my room to the common room in my suite. I began to coordinate outfits around my iPod. My friends began to complain that I was withdrawn and distant, and they really didn’t appreciate having to say my name three times before getting my full attention. I ignored them and kept on walking to the beat of my own drum – well, actually Ringo Starr’s drum.

The zenith of my iPod phase came last summer in New York City. As a summer student at New York University, the ultimate accesory was an iPod. They were as common as a UR girl in Ugg boots. Thanks to my little guy, I was able to push my way through the adamant venders in Chinatown, as they hurled knock-off Prada bags – or Prado and one time a Pardo – in my face.

Then, on one balmy day, appropriately while listening to “Hot Child and the City,” a static came between my iPod and I. There was this constant loud, annoying noise playing over the songs. It was like our communication had suddenly gone awry. It became quite temperamental, only working when it wanted to, and that was usually only in the privacy of my dorm room.

It would never work when other people tried to listen to it, and it couldn’t stand long car trips. When I took it to the supposed experts at the Apple Store in SoHo, they told me I was not updating my system. Not updating my system?! I spent every second with that damn thing! I had cases for it in five different colors! I recharged it every night! Why did it need to be updated? I provided everything and more a machine with no conscious cognition could want.

Eventually, I gave up on my iPod all together and accepted that I would have to learn how to walk without the accompaniment of Madonna’s “Material Girl.” I would have to be a normal person again. I was completely envious of everyone I saw walking around with the headphones and the little white wire running down their shirt. I, too, used to be one of the “pod” people.

Eventually, I came along something to keep me company while I walked. This time in the form of a human boy.

I often wonder if the iPod had remained functioning would I have ever met the boy. I mean, it is quite easy to tune out the world when I am having a dance party in my head with a guest list that consists of me and the Black Eyed Peas. The boy is great, but his delivery of Maroon 5’s “This Love” is subpar – though he does a surprisingly good Aretha Franklin.

In December, I got a new iPod and was told that my old one had been a dud from the beginning – a manufacturing mistake. My entire relationship had been a lie. I would love this new iPod, but I know I could not enthrall myself in the iPod world as I once had. I am wary of listening to my iPod too much. When I didn’t have music access for those few months, I still found my hand reaching in to my coat pocket, scrambling for buttons to press. But to my dismay, it was nowhere to be found.

So, a word of advice to any new iPod buyer – though they can provide you with hours of entertainment, look pretty in latex and fit in your pocket, they still cannot give you a hug and a kiss at the end of the day.

Lepore can be reached at mlepore@campustimes.org.



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