Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Pod Life.

iPod Touch as Perfect Drum-Machine

I make no apologies for my devotion to all things 'pod'.
I put up with the sneery condescension of contemporaries and am quietly amused by the similarities in their disdain to the comments I received if I got caught, horror of horrors, reading books during tea-break when I worked in a factory.
In those days the most vehement criticism came from work-mates, I subsequently learned, couldn't read.

Prior to my first pod, when I spent a good proportion of the day marching from door to door delivering and collecting charity bags, I would carry a personal CD player then, later on, a Mini-Disc player.
Both of these devices had downsides.
The CD player was bulky and, even with the anti-skip function selected, would skip.
The Mini-Disc required content preparation and by the time I'd selected and recorded the disc I was already bored with it.
The other problem with those formats being they seemed to be tailored toward music rather than speech content.

I bought a 4 gig iPod Mini (I had 'Outa-Spaceman On The Beam And Gone' inscribed on the back) I loaded it with audio books & pod-casts. 
(The mini was instrumental in my developing a love of Hooting Yard.)
I traded up to a 30 gig iPod 'classic' and filled it with all the philosophy books I didn't have the time in this life to actually 'read'.
Next came the iPod Touch which I've been using for about 18 months.

The iPod Touch is the best toy box I've ever owned and, along side audio books and podcasts, what have I filled this most modern of modern technology with?
Well, the past as it happens.

I used to love my ITT portable mono cassette recorder.
I'd record TOTPs by placing the it in front of the T.V.'s speaker and replay the recording on the bus to school the following morning.
I had a brief flirtation with photography during the 1980's using a Polaroid Land Camera but had to give it up when I couldn't justify the price of the films.
I tried my hand at being a film maker using a super 8 movie camera and if I thought the price of Polaroid films was bad imagine my shock at the cost of movie film development.
I've already waffled on at length about my obsession with crappy old drum-machines so won't say anymore about them in this post.

The past seemed like everything I wanted just not the way I wanted so those are the sort of devices, in the form of 'apps' I've put on my current pod.
The cassette machine has become Retro-Recorder.
The Polaroid has become Hipstamatic or, sometimes, Retro-Camera.
The super 8 movie camera has become 8mm Camera.
The drum-machine has become FunkBox.

This is the world I imagined I'd live in all those years ago when I read the comic TV21, which seemed less of a comic more of a newspaper from the future, when I was a child .
I didn't get to be a secret agent, my chosen career path at 8 years old, but I did get the kind of  equipment Agent 21 used in his adventures every week.

Or was it deadly toys Agent 21 used?