Is There More to Life Than iPods?

Is There More to Life Than iPods?

The iPod family with, from the left to the rig...
Image via Matthieu Rieglera
Last week I was in the middle of filling out a form in order to be considered a “Buzzmaker” for a well established music magazine.  I’m connected to enough social media websites and have a firm enough grasp of popular music to possibly be chosen as one of these people but I found myself at odds with a pair of seemingly innocuous questions that slightly irked me.

The first of these asked how many iPods had I owned in the past five years or so.  I’ve never owned an iPod but I have owned several devices that fall under the same category as an iPod, namely an MP3 player.  I thought for a second and chose four “iPods”, codenamed Zen Vision: M, Zune 80, Zune 120 and currently Zune HD.

The next question asked what my three current favorite songs were…on my iPod.  After typing in Goldfrapp’s “Ride a White Horse” and Joy Williams’ “Speaking a Dead Language” I stopped for a second and I thought about what my third choice should be.  I decided to choose a song that could qualify as current even though it wasn’t necessarily at the top of my list of favorites.  Had I actually chosen my genuine third favorite I would’ve gone with “3121” by Prince but that song is even older, from the stone age of 2006.

The fact that my mind automatically felt forced to include a current pop song plus the questionnaire’s insistence on specifically naming iPod made me wonder if either I’m out of touch or if some of these people behind major music websites and magazines are completely oblivious to the fact that there are many more choices when it comes to listening to your music on the go than just the ubiquitous iPod.

Is there more to life than iPods?  Yes, there is.  Besides Microsoft’s Zune, there are the players by Cowon, Samsung, Sandisk and the Sony Walkman devices to name a few.  They may sound obscure to the average person and it’s true that iPod remains the undisputed king of portable media players but the fact that it’s assumed everyone owns one just seems silly to me when you’ve positioned yourself as a source for highlighting genres beyond what’s currently playing on pop radio.

For those of you considering an MP3 player just know that there are choices out there besides the venerable iPod.  If you appreciate musical diversity, take the same approach with choosing your device.  If you go beyond the mainstream, you may surprise yourself and find something just as good, if not better.

2 Replies to “Is There More to Life Than iPods?”

  1. I’ve found that many of the leaders in the music industry are more driven by trends than by anything else. It would be equivalent to car accessories mainly being manufactured for Toyota Corollas just because it’s one of the leading car models in terms of sales. It just makes no sense.

    What’s worse is that this creates it’s own snowball effect. iPods lead the pack and because of this they get free marketing from people such as those you mentioned, which in turn leads to more people blindly buying iPods solely based on brand recognition. If these people were to do a little more research, they’d realize that the iPod, while a very good product, is not necessarily the best product available on the market.

    On another note, I wish you the best in your hunt for “Buzzmaker” status.

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