Two bits of news about iPods, one tantalizing, one troubling.
A September announcement for a pocket-sized video player, perhaps at the Apple Expo in Paris?
The Wall Street Journal has reported this is the toy that Apple is developing. Jeremy Horwitz in iPod Lounge writes: "After years in the shadows, portable video is about to go mainstream: according to reports out this week from respected journalists, analysts, and columnists, Apple is rapidly preparing to sell digital video content and new portable devices that will play it." His piece examines the possibilities. The New York Times says a Sept.7 announcement will concern playing iTunes on Motorola phones.
The second item is contemplative, and more fun: Have iPods ruined "rock snobs?" The piece, by Michael Crowley in The New Republic wonders, what the easy downloading of formless digital files is doing to what philosopher Walter Benjamin called the "thrill of acquisition." Building collections, gazing at CD spines, unpacking memories -- gone like favorite record stores.
A snob's last gasp: "We are suddenly plagued by musical parasites. For instance, a friend of middling taste recently leeched 700 songs from my computer. He offered his own library in return, but it wasn't much. Never mind my vague sense that he should pay me some money. In Rock Snob terms, I was a Boston Brahmin and he was a Beverly Hillbilly--one who certainly hadn't earned that highly obscure album of AC/DC songs performed as tender acoustic ballads but was sure to go bragging to all his friends about it."
I hear you, brother.