Tuesday 11 July 2023

The Spirit of iPod is Dead on iPhone

 I was reminded of the nostalgic feeling of using an iPod when I watched a YouTuber (DankPods) customizing his iPod classic for wireless charging.

The iPod experience

iPod doesn't have internet access, which means you are limited to the music you have stored on it. However, this limitation brings a unique feeling – you become intimately familiar with all the music on your device. There's something special about waking up the iPod and being greeted by the hundreds of familiar album arts, quickly navigating to the one that perfectly match your mood.

In the past, my preferred method was to select an entire album and listen to it from start to finish. This allowed me to fully immerse myself in the artist's perspective on love and life, and experience the emotional journey they intended through the arrangement of songs. It was on my iPods that I discovered music with the most profound impact on me.

Apple Music

Currently, I own an iPhone SE2 with ample storage of 128GB, so I had tried to use it as an iPod. However, the official music app doesn't seems to encourage such usage anymore. Open Apple Music, I'm greeted with the latest trending music or music I might like. For a person who likes old songs, I cannot remember how many times I disliked its recommendations.

What's even more frustrating is that Apple has all the songs available on the cloud and they could create an better iPod-like experience without the cumbersome syncing process through iTunes.

It's funny to witness Apple remove the spirit of the iPod, which was once invented and celebrated by Apple itself. At the same time, it make me realized how music has became an purely entertainment for me. Music exist only for me to alleviate boredom or as a background "STUDY LO-FI BACKGROUND MUSIC". It no longer feels personal, and as a result, music has significantly lost its impact on my emotions and perspective on life.

More about my iPods

Throughout the years, I have owned several iPods. It all started with a blue Shuffle, the one before voiceover came out, which was a gift from my sister during my high school years. Later on, I purchased a second-hand Nano 3, followed by a second-hand Nano 5. Finally, I acquired an iPod classic, the last generation of its kind. Each of these iPods held a special place in my heart and accompanied me through different stages of my life.

I vividly recall the weird emotions I experienced when I heard Steve Jobs' passing while listening to music on my iPod. Although I wouldn't consider myself a religious Apple user, there was an undeniable impact his products had on my life.

A few years ago, I attempted to replicate the feeling of "own my music" by purchasing a Sony MP3 player, the NW-A20. However, it didn't quite provide the same experience. The user interface and controls were less intuitive compared to the iPod.

Monday 10 July 2023

Something New in My Life #1

I have recently encountered several new experiences in my life, and I feel compelled to jot them down.

I present at an academic meeting for the first time

Public speaking has never been my strong suit, and even in small meetings and interviews, I always get nervous and my voice trembles. So, this was a really big deal for me.

I sang an entire song in front of other people for the first time

I loves music but I'm not a good singer at all. This time, when my friends were encouraging and showed genuine interest, I actually enjoyed it a lot.

I tried soju/소주 (Korean alcohol) for the first time

To be honest, my first impression of Korean alcohol wasn't great. During my first few months in Korea, I tried some random alcohol my girlfriend bought from a nearby store. Even though I only took a sip, it gave me a terrible headache. However, this time I drank quite a lot of 소주 and woke up feeling fine. It didn't have a strong ethanol or bitter taste but was surprisingly smooth.

Fun fact: In Chinese, when we describe alcohol that is easy to swallow, we use the term "顺口" which directly translates to "smooth in the mouth."