Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Women & I-Pods

This news from the BBC via Drudge explores the on-line music phenomenon that women, surprisingly, are leading. I'm not all that surprised. Here's why:

  1. Ordering songs I like, versus being stuck with lots of annoying songs, is more frugal. If the musicians think that they are losing money because of down-loading they are wrong. For example: I would never buy a Britney Spears album. Just. Wouldn't. But I have downloaded one song for fun.
  2. My taste is broad and downloading allows me to go in all the different directions. I have Amazing Grace by Elvis, Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel, Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder and Can't Touch This by M.C. Hammer (this song I downloaded for one line that makes me laugh every time I hear it "mine, mine, mine, mine!" It gets me laughing--what a bargain at 99 cents). I have downloaded every Aria I can find by Renee Fleming.
  3. I can experiment with an artist's work and not feel stupid for making a $20 wrong investment. I love Kate Bush's song Woman's Work, for example, but didn't have the chance to listen to her other stuff. Now I have. I can pick and choose.
  4. One Hit Wonders from yesteryear bubble to the surface on oldies stations and I can go after them. Roy Orbison (not a one hit wonder, by any shot), Fiona Apple, Stray Cats, etc. This is fun.
  5. Variety. Playing albums one song after another might sooth a boy's broken heart, but for this girl, I like variety. I love Coldplay--almost every single song--and when one of their songs pops up in my mix it's like finding a chocolate covered strawberry at the end of every delicious course. Good to better.
  6. Social. How has the I-Pod made music social? Well, friends say, "Listen to this song! You'll love it!" like my friend Michael did the other day and you know what? I liked most, but not all, of the artist's album. I'll go buy the three songs I like on I-tunes. Also, when I hear those songs, that I hadn't known of before, I'll think of him. When I think of the Eagles another friend comes to mind. Same with Van Halen. Ditto Bruce Springsteen.
  7. It's psychological. When you hear another person's music selections, you learn A LOT about them. I feel privilaged to share someone's music. It's personal. It's revealing. It's trusting. In one of my home magazines, a hostess spoke of having an I-Pod docking station so friends could bring their mixes over and everyone could listen. One day, when I get a docking station, I hope to do the same thing. What a fun ice-breaker! When we were playing cards the other night, friends said (I have my tunes backed up on CDs and had them playing on the mini-stereo), "No you do NOT have Brittney Spears on your I-Pod." Yes I do. A little bit. (Very little. One song.) Perhaps they think that I'm normally a tight-arse and that revealed me to be a little more fun-loving than they thought. Or perhaps they thought I was rational and this choice reveals me as crazy. Or perhaps they thought with my music background that such immature musack revealed a disturbing lack of music appreciation. Whatever. It was fun to see the shock on their faces when they heard her over-synthesized, breathy crooning.
Can you see why the I-Pod suits women? Men love them too. It is a gadget after all. But I suspect that most of them like them for different reasons. Or not. Any ideas?


Chalmers said...

The fact that I can buy what I want and nothing more is the greatest gift of iTunes. I have been packing up old CDs the last couple days so I can get rid of my 100 disc CD player (now I just use mp3's burned onto DVD and play it through my DVD player). It is amazing to see how many CDs I bought for two or three songs, and ultimately packed away the entire CD because the other 8 songs were too annoying to justify playing the CD!

Thank goodness for iTunes! It is also guilt free because you are paying for the song.

vj said...

I guess I need to look at an I-Pod. I am so backwards when it comes to things like that. My husband loves music and perhaps that would make a nice Father's Day gift. How much do they run? I quess it comes with instructions...since I would have not idea how to download songs on it. You keep talking about so it must be pretty nifty.