iPodized

The iPod made another victim last week. While visiting the Apple Store in Soho, I fell for the iPod 15GB.

The iPod mini, while cute et tout ça, didn't attract me. Firstly I did not find it that small compared to its upper brother, secondly I had a terrible experience listening to one of them in the store (the headset would start making loud hissing noises each time I triggered the menu), thirdly my better half is already equipped with a regular iPod (that's where I caught the virus) and we can share one dock, cables and other iPod equipments together, and fourthly I find the Inox/white combination of the regular iPod more aesthetic and classy than the monochrome anodized aluminum -- this is strictly subjective of course, repeat with me: des goûts et des couleurs, il ne faut point discuter. That said the mini is cute and, although the screen is really small, its interface feels better than the regular iPod because of the real buttons. Apple would do a smart move in applying the iPod mini interface to the regular line.

I now enjoy almost my entire CD collection on this amazing little thing. Certainly the best way I've found to hold Domenico Scarlatti's full clavichord anthology (555 sonatas by Scott Ross, 1.4 days of continuous music according to iTunes). I'm not quite used to listen to baroque music with the random mode on (granted, you can randomize by album, I don't belong to the 99 cent-a-song culture), but it's helping me revisit CDs that I was too lazy to fetch and place in the living-room CD player.

This made me realize that I won't buy any new CD for some time, as long as I can enjoy the rediscovery of those I already have. Certainly one less point to those who claim that the iPod locks people to only one source of music!

Meanwhile in France, SACEM (our local RIAA) is threatening to sue Apple France if the company doesn't pay the levy tax imposed on hard-drives (from 10 to 20€ depending on the size). The music industry lobby is powerful enough here to levy taxes on just about anything that has a remote chance to sport music, it also includes blank CDs and DVDs and they're now lobbying to levy a tax on all Internet uploads via the ISPs. If they continue to consider everybody as a potential pirate and treat them as such, there will be no consideration left for the value of artists' works. I don't pirate music. But if I'm taxed by Universal each time I post my own content on my weblog, this will doubtless weaken my moral obligation to pay premium price for their catalog.

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