Two CTA passengers shared an iPod on the ‘L’. Photo by Erin Nekervis.
I bought a two-year subscription to the Sunday Chicago Tribune. It’s given me a lot of tips and ideas for blog posts, especially when it comes to Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority. Sitting down and browsing through, page by page, is an easier way to consume all of the news: it’s impossible to find every article the same group published on their website for that day (at least I haven’t found a method).
Anyway, on the cover of the Arts & Entertainment section was a large representation of the famous iPod “click wheel”, the touch sensitive “wheel” (without moving parts on most models) that doubles as four buttons. Ah, the iPod has turned 10! Indeed, the Apple iPod came out in October 2001. I got one for Christmas – it was a big deal as it cost $399, or about $511 today.
The article was about how that little white brick started a revolution in how we acquire and listen to music. Author Greg Kot interviewed 13 people, including musicians, a college student, an MC, and a Los Angeles-based entertainment attorney, to get their take on the iPod’s impact: “wonderful and terrible” Kot summarized.
One interviewee brought up the iPod’s impact on traveling to and from work:
“Once I stopped using the iPod (or for that matter, any mobile personal stereo) I then found I preferred listening to the sounds around me on my commutes. There have been times when I am driving or on the train where having that ‘insular personal world inside your headphones’ feeling is quite nice. Also, being able to use it as a hard drive was also handy. But I have grown to much prefer saving my listening time for the home stereo and carrying a flash drive for portable files.” – Frank Orrall, singer-songwriter in Poi Pog Pondering
In that vein, I ask you to leave a comment on how the iPod has personally impacted your commute, or the commuting environment.
I’ve been commuting by bicycle since 2006 when I moved to Chicago to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and I’ve never listened to music on headphones while bicycling – I prefer to hear my surroundings without interruptions. I did buy a $10 portable speaker last Christmas and I’ve occasionally cycled with that playing, but it’s quality is so poor that the sound dies after 15 minutes; I like having music while bicycling because it makes taking the same route a little less boring. When I drove to school and work, I only had a CD player. I used iTunes to burn mix CDs on a weekly basis. And I rarely commute by transit so I’m not sure I can say that the iPod has had an impact on my commutes (I’ve had four in 2001-2011).
Related article on Greater Greater Washington: Blogs and social media change the conversation on transit.