November 19th, 2005

krazy koati

I get the music

As a side bonus to a recent purchase I got what's almost the standard free giveaway thing: my own MP3 player.

It's not an iPod, nor an iPod mini, iPod nano, iPod video, macroPod, or anything like that. It's an LG Digital Music Player, model FM11, and its booklet is 31 pages in English and 31 in Mandarin. It's got earbuds, FM radio capacity, and it's around the size and heft of a pack of gum. The instructions, written for Windows, suggest all manner of installing drivers and programs for loading MP3s onto the player and removing old ones and making playlists and all that, although it worked just fine when I plugged it into the USB port on my Macintosh and just copied ``Linus and Lucy'' over onto the device and all went well. Maybe they were over-explaining things in the file.

The thing is, I don't think of listening to MP3s. Oh, I've got a CD collection with, for me, a record of I think 25 CDs, not all of them the Beatles or Peanuts ones. I have a few miscellaneous MP3s, like a marvelously long theme from The $20,000 Pyramid or the opening theme from an early 90s puppet show about a 1500-year-old dragon living with a TV weatherman. I do listen to old-time radio, but mostly by a stream; downloading a specific program file and listening to that seems too ... deliberate, when I like the serendipity of hitting a Fred Pohl block on X Minus One or so. Deliberately picking out things to listen to feels so ... wrong.

It's my MP3 player, unquestionably. I have complete title to it. It's just this suspiciously wrong thing sitting in my home. I just occasionally poke at it, as if expecting it to do something malevolent or lead me into a life of crime. Yes, no one could fault me for listening to my own MP3 on my own MP3 player, but it's just not worth the risk. They won't trap me into whatever it is exactly such players lead to.

Trivia: William Morgan, whose 1826 murder would lead to a wave of anti-Masonic activity in the United States, had been in debtor's prison for a debt of US$2.69 prior to his killing. Source: 1831: Year of Eclipse, Louis P Masur.

Currently Reading: The Longest Battle, Richard Hough.