The perfect iTunes Shuffle mix

I am not going to lie about it. Whenever I read a Coupland novel I think I can write myself as well. I start feeling the urge to document certain contemporary trivia about my life the way he does. And now I have this blog thing… so I can bother you with it as well. How?

Well, this morning when I walked out of the train station (since I work in the center of Amsterdam, going by car is not an Cigarette budoption and would be insanely bad for the environment) I discovered two things. First; I am glad I quit smoking a long time ago. When you walk out train stations you see a lot people, a certain group of those people smoke. Those people do not seem to be the type of people that are going anywhere fast. In a lot of cases those people don’t even seem to be the types of people that are taking regular showers. Obviously, this is a crude generalization. Some people that smoke are young, successful, cool, cosmopolitan and healthy. However, their numbers are decreasing and they are none of those things because of their addiction but in spite of it. I took a deep breath of fresh morning air. At least, as fresh as you get it in Amsterdam.

My second discovery is that I really satisfied with the playlist I have uploaded to my first generation iPod Shuffle. My playlist currently features;

  • Radiohead – In rainbows (legally downloaded and paid for at radiohead.com, Radiohead rocks)
  • New Young Pony Club – Fantastic Playroom (Tip: perfect music for looking at my artwork)
  • Fink – Distance and time (No less than brilliant show in Paradiso a couple of weeks ago)
  • Pete Murray – See the Sun (Bringing back memories of my stay in ‘Oz’)
  • Bonobo– Days to come (Last.fm played Bonobo in ‘Fink’ radio, Ninja Tune is a great label)
  • Hot Chip – The warning (haven’t heard the new album yet)
  • Kings of Convenience – Riot on an empty street (it’s snowing right now, what better than Scandinavian music?)

iPod ShuffleAnd even though I am very pleased with this selection, it’s got some good tracks for reading while on the train as well as for walking though the center of Amsterdam I know it is far from perfect. A perfect mix depends on various variables like where, when and for how long you intend to listen to it. At this point I am not even sure whether or not I will add several individual tracks to the playlist or, as I have done now, select a couple of albums which will make it possible to not listen to a shuffle but in fact an entire album.

Which brings me to a different point. I believe that the iPod shuffle is superior to its bigger siblings, not in spite of but because of it shortcomings. There is not too much memory on a shuffle so you have to really select what tracks you add instead of adding just everything and thereby merely postponing the moment at which you cannot choose what music you’d like to listen to. It’s the same reason why I will never download a ringtone but just use the one my mobile came with. If you start downloading ringtones, you will never be happy and just keep on wanting more and better ones. Leave it to the marketing people. It’s just like the casino: the only way to win is not to play. Furthermore, the iPod shuffle does not have a screen or various sorts of buzzers. It limits your options to the basics, which is such a relieve nowadays.

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