Saturday 16 June 2012

Habits : Radio vs iPod

Although there are certainly many downsides, I am fortunate enough to have a job where I can listen to music fairly freely. I have access to a stereo for the majority of the day, whether I am driving or in the warehouse, and I am definitely happy about this. When a big delivery arrives and I will be spending at least a couple of hours wandering back and forth carrying sacks, it is a lot more bearable when I can have some music playing. In fact, almost any task - no matter how mundane - can be improved with a little bit of music. The only decision really is whether I listen to my iPod, or put the radio on.

There is plenty of music on my iPod that I haven't even listened to yet, and obviously a whole bunch that I love and play very often. So there's certainly a great deal to choose from. All those familiar favourites, all those classics, all those songs I own but have yet to hear. Great! So I choose my iPod and shuffle my way through the random selections, or cycle through my 'Most Played'. And that'll be my choice for the next few days.


As a week passes, a nagging thought begins to irritate me. All this time I've been listening to my iPod, I have completely neglected the radio which, in turn, means that I am missing out on any newly released music. There could be some fantastic new songs that, due to my abandonment of the airwaves, I am completely unaware of. I'm losing out! What if there's something truly astonishing that has only just been created, something which I will connect with, and adore, and obsess over? If I continue to prefer my iPod, I might miss it and perhaps never learn of it.

And so, in a mild panic, I'll switch to radio. And, phew, I can begin to take in all the new stuff. And that's how things will remain for a few weeks.


What about the older music that my preferred radio station is unlikely to play? All those tracks I have already bought and paid for, yet haven't really discovered yet? What about those songs that I know I will enjoy?

And so the cycle continues.

The battle between new stuff and old stuff is constant, and I only wish I had the self-control and organisational skills to say to myself, "Right. I'm going to listen to my iPod on THESE days, or at THESE times. And the radio at the other times. Therefore I get a good mix of the two, and all is well."

But no. Instead I start a long-term relationship with one, then suddenly abandon it to flirt with the other.

"I love my own music" - Alicia Keys

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