Recently I’ve been grabbing music CDs from our collection when I’m heading out the door. My car has a CD player in addition to its iPod interface, and my thinking is that I have a well of untapped or undertapped music hanging on the wall of our home office. Sure, I’ve ripped a bunch of this music to MP3 and it’s in the player, but music is an oddly inconsistent medium, and does sometimes depend on its delivery system as part of its message.
As I was putting away a few CDs this morning, a k. d. lang album, Invincible Summer, fell open in my hand, and I instantly remembered the experience of buying a CD, opening it up the first time, reading the lyrics and looking at the pictures. Neither my wife nor I have enjoyed doing that for some years, but she recently asked me to pre-order a CD she saw advertised in a magazine, and insisted it be physical media, not a download, so when it arrives on March 1-ish, we should be able to enjoy that again.
I also recently unsubscribed from Sirius/XM satellite radio in my Nissan Juke. In the five years since I first subscribed, I decidedly underused it, and was often disappointed by in both the content and the tech.
I found it very peculiar that a service with 151 channels would devote one of those channels to Jimmy Buffett, for example.
The other problem I had was reception. In the middle of Doctor Radio or 70s on 7 or CNN, I would hear hissing, then nothing, then after a few seconds the program would return. Calling the service resulted in the inevitable “reset your radio,” followed by me explaining it happened in both of our cars all the time.
Another reason to cancel Sirius/XM is how aggressively they tried to stop me from canceling. Not only does that encourage me to cancel even faster, it means I’ll never return.
I still have several entertainment options in my Juke. The iPod has a gadrillion songs (although I feel like I need to finesse my playlists some), the CD/MP3 player, and, of course, AM/FM radio.
Hmm. Radio? Scanning up and down the FM dial was an urgent reminder of the state of things today… Hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and today. Rock 100 The KATT. Public Radio. Religious radio. AM radio hasn’t changed a bit… Sports Animal, conservative talk radio, hillbilly preachers talking about the end times. Tons of Spanish language programming fill in the rest.
On that last point, I would love to learn conversational Spanish, but I only made one short stab at it on a road trip years ago. I need to borrow someone’s Rosetta Stone and make it happen.
I am on the road enough that entertainment is important to keep me fresh and awake, and I am feeling good about my present situation.