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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Shufflin' along....

During my last trip back to the US I 'lost' a little (and very cheap) MP3 player that had accompanied me to and from the office in Belfast (and everywhere else) for the previous year. I have a terrible habit of stuffing things into the seat pocket provided on airlines for magazines and "sick bags", and it's no surprise that I usually lose a book or some other personal items by leaving them behind.

But in this case, it may have been a subconscious wish at work since I have been giving more and more thought to purchasing a mini iPod. Although I'd made an effort to call up the Newark airport lost and found department today after arrival, I was not too displeased that they said nothing had been turned in. The next day I was at CompUSA giving myself a holiday present....

One of the interesting and well advertised features of the iPod line is the "shuffle" function, and it took several weeks for me to actually give a try. I have quite an eclectic collection of CDs, ranging from collections of the "best of" the Eagles, Randy Newman, Sting and REM to Radiohead, several CDs of works composed and/or performed by Philip Glass, and (of course) all three CDs of The Dubnicks, my son's band. In addition, friend Ciaran has been introducing me to artists and albums that I would never have come across otherwise (EST, Stina Nordenstam). Typically I would select one or two albums and play them over and over again, but now that I've given the shuffle function a try I am really thrilled with the results. I can go an entire day listening to my collection on the iPod or in the iTunes browser and not really tire of listening to the selections. At the moment, for example, I'm listening to "Kinda Dukish," a jazz piece (obviously) from Jason Moran's "Black Stars" CD, and just before that was a piece from Philip Glass' Dracula soundtrack performed by the Kronos Quartet which, in turn, followed "The Cowboy Song" from Sting, Bobby McFerrin's "Circlesong Seven" from his Circlesong CD, and Patty Griffin's "Every Little Bit." Wait a second and something totally unexpected happens -- so now I am listening to Keith Jarrett playing one of Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues...

Who needs a TV?

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