Wednesday, 6 April, 2011
Where music, particularly in the form of live musical performances, used to bring people together, and even effect social change, devices like the Walkman and especially the iPod are acting to do the opposite, argues Nikil Saval
The concern that recorded music promotes solipsism and isolation isn’t new. Before the invention of the record and the gramophone (1887), the only form of listening people knew was social; the closest thing to a private musical experience was playing an instrument for yourself, or silently looking over a score. More often, if you had the means, you got to sit in the panopticon of the concert hall, seeing and being seen to the accompaniment of Verdi – an experience most fully described by Edith Wharton in the opening scene of The Age of Innocence (1920), just as it was going out of style.
Tuesday, 15 December, 2009
Law-makers in the European Union are considering imposing a curb on the volume levels of portable music players (such as iPods) in a bid to protect the hearing of users, who are potentially subject to noise levels far higher than most workers are legally able to be exposed to.
There are up to 10 million Europeans, mainly young people, who are at risk of losing their hearing permanently in the next five years due to their personal listening habits. The units on the market at the moment, some of them are capable of generating a volume of beyond 115 decibels; if we compare that with health and safety legislation, workers are not allowed to be exposed to that levels of volume for more than 30 seconds.
Tuesday, 14 April, 2009
One hundred or so years ago there were only a few options available when it came to consuming, or listening to, music. These were something along the lines of a piano session in the living room, cranking up the phonograph, or going along to a live recital in a concert hall.
But now, from the home stereo to mobile phones, live performances to streaming, there seems to be no end of choices when it comes to listening to music.
Shakespeare famously wrote, “If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it”. We seem to be taking him literally. Music is everywhere. It is as if the more it becomes available, the more voracious we become in our consumption of it.
Wednesday, 25 June, 2008
A solar powered bra that can supply sufficient energy to work an iPod has recently been developed in Japan. That’s well and good if you live somewhere that enjoys a lot of sunshine.
What about places that are overcast, or prone to bad weather? How could one power an iPod there? All is not lost for the alternative-energy-generating-seeker though, as it seems there may be answer by way of breast motion…
The idea of an energy-generating bra isn’t as crazy as it might sound. A company called Triumph International Japan recently unveiled a solar-powered bra that supposedly will generate enough energy to power an iPod. But I live in foggy San Francisco and prefer not to walk around in my underwear in public. Could someone design an iPod-powering bra for me?
Wednesday, 5 March, 2008
iPod envy sparks “iCrime wave”
So desirable have iPods become, and so easy are they to take from unsuspecting users who are absorbed in their iTunes music, that a group of researchers believe they are at the cause of an increase in the US crime rate.
The Urban Institute, a Washington think tank, first raised the subject of an “iCrime wave” last September, and held a panel discussion on Tuesday to explore it further. The researchers do not blame iPod maker Apple or any other device maker for crime, but they do say consumers should demand technologies that would render stolen gadgets useless.
The Urban Institute has cited a dramatic rise in instances of personal robberies between 2005 and 2006, when the rate had previously been in decline, as evidence of an iPod induced “iCrime wave”.
Tuesday, 22 January, 2008
Apple’s big year.
Stephen Hutcheon charts the rise and rise of Apple, following the announcement that “the technology giant” plans to open a flagship store in Sydney.
In the decade since he returned to the helm of the outfit he co-founded more than 30 years ago and rescued it from near death, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has transformed the Californian-headquartered operation into a global digital lifestyle powerhouse. Late last year, Apple’s shares briefly touched $US200 (about $230) for the first time, valuing the company at $US174 billion and making Apple the world’s third-biggest technology company – ahead of the likes of IBM and Intel and only bettered by Google and Microsoft.
And it’s all largely due to the enduring success of the iPod. Create a device everyone wants, or thinks they want, and the world will beat a pathway to your door.
Saturday, 6 October, 2007
- Wanted: Thinking Writers, ilker over at The Thinking Blog is on the look out for guest writers, and about the only proviso is that submissions be “thinking” articles! I’m not the greatest fan of guest blogging, but this may be something to think (no pun intended…) about.
- Google search rank drop: advice needed, this is something bloggers who sell advertising spots on their blogs, or those considering doing so, should read. Scottish blogger and designer David Airey saw his Google search ranking drop recently and feels it was because he was posting paid links. The practice isn’t entirely a no no though as David explains…
- Reverence: is the name for the brand new WordPress theme from Anthony at Antbag.
- Thanks to The Guru’s Movie Review Carnival and the Anything Goes & General News Carnival for including a couple of my posts in their recent blog carnivals.
- Superbad: there’s plenty of five or ten step “how to” articles about the blogosphere, but this has to be the first “how to properly steal the design of a website” in five steps post that I’ve ever seen. From Airbag of course…
- The Importance of Deadlines: by Chris Campbell. Another worthwhile read. Sometimes the best way to get things done is to set self imposed, tight, deadlines. Anything with a “do it whenever” sort of deadline seems to get continually put off, whereas a “do it by noon tomorrow” requirement is more likely to see a task accomplished a little sooner!
- Chameleon16: is the latest font set to be unveiled by Dan at SimpleBits.
- Why we need standards support in HTML email: the battle of the browser may have been won when it comes to web standards, but standards support for HTML email is seriously lagging, says David Greiner of Campaign Monitor.
- Australia jumps 11 spots on iPod index: another reason for overseas readers to make Australia their next holiday destination… Prices for the 4GB Ipod nano are among the best in the world, costing $US175.42 compared with say Brazil where the cost is $US369.61! Hong Kong offers the best price though at $US148.12. Interestingly, this price research was carried by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia… don’t these people have anything else to do? ;)