Sunday, January 02, 2005


Bless you SuperDrug for the 25 quid MP3 player. I noticed that KwikSave were doing a iPod lookylikey for young council mums - but that was 99 quid for 2 gig, and well, do you really need 2,000 copies of "Dry Your Eyes, Mate"?

I'm adoring my SuperDrug ChavPod. I'd never really seen the point of iPods before (beyond that Dr Who fan urge to File Everything In Order), but I think I'm getting the message now. My ChavPod is about the size of a big keyring and contains 70 tracks and an FM radio.

It's perfect for jogging. I could even go and buy on for Classical, and one for Jazz. I doubt I'd need a separate one for my beloved Philip Glass operas - just one track on repeat.

Just going through my music collection to find the 70 things I've really loved jogging to has been a revelation. If I was transferring to an iPod I doubt I'd discriminate - whole albums would go over. But here, instead, is the sobering realisation that I didn't buy that Steps/Ricky Martin/Kylie album for the ballads, that I'm not interested in Chumbawumba's social commentary, that I own the Hamster Dance (as blessed by St John Peel), and that, after all these years, I'm still deeply in loved with Daphne and Celeste.

Surprisingly, this has set me thinking. If you can get already an MP3 player that will store 6 albums for less than the cost of six albums... how long will it be before player and packaging merge, and we'll be able to buy albums that play themselves?

Or will it be the quality of the data itself that becomes all important - will people carry on buying CDs and DVDs because the quality is somehow better than MPEG?

Or, will the packaging of legit albums and DVDs just become more and more excessive and lavish? My friends Gemma and Serge have thrown away all boxes and cases, reducing their extensive DVD and CD library to four plastic wallets sharing a tiny bit of shelf with the dope and catfood. Proof that you don't *need* the lovely packaging. On the other hand, Serge is refusing to get rid of all of his vinyl LPs, even though they take the wall of a room, and about a fraction of his iPod. So, perhaps the way forward for DVD is to become even more ludicrously lavish in packaging, with origmai, plasticised gatefolds which play a tune when you open them, and a built in, personalised, anatomically correct holographic Colin Farrell?

Anyway, the pure pop overload of compiling the ChavPod had an unfortunate side-effect. I went into HMV and blew 40 quid on classical music that I didn't need. Well, apart from the Jacqueline Du Pre Elgar Cello Concerto. That'd go on my classical ChavPod. But not her ballads. Or her duet with the Cheeky Girls.

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