Remember the fad from the late 1980s when everybody carried their boom boxes on their shoulders in music videos? From Public Enemy and Vanilla Ice to skateboarders along the beach, they all blared their tunes on their oversized boom boxes held at ear level so they could get as close to their music as possible.
Boom boxes have come and gone, but the trend of listening to music while on the go is now bigger than ever. It seems impossible to walk from the Stafford Academic Center to the Fine Arts Center without passing a dozen students with similar small white headphones on, listening to music from their iPod.
Since it’s creation in 2001, the iPod has become a near necessity for students on the Castleton campus, and across the world. It used to be impossible to carry thousands of songs everywhere you went, but now they can easily fit in a person’s pocket.
“I have nearly 1,500 songs on my iPod now, but that will go up,” said senior Matt Vernon.
Kenneth Tyler, another senior, has had his iPod for only 10 days and already has 532 songs on his. He said he likes his new music player because “I can have every CD I own in one spot and I don’t need to carry around a CD booklet.”
Having every song a person owns in a 2-by-4 inch player is getting more popular every day.
“I listen to it between classes, at the gym and while snowboarding” freshmen Hannah Makuck said. Once place that Makuck says that she has not, and will not, listen to her iPod is in class, which was a theme of students interviewed.
What Are You Listening To?
Tastes in music vary from person to person. Makuck turned her iPod on after exiting the Fine Arts Center and walked with a rhythm to “Sexual Healing” by Ben Harper. She put a selection of 546 songs into her iPod since receiving it as a gift this past Christmas.
Makuck, along with most students interviewed, has a variety of different styles of music on her iPod, including rap, hip-hop, alternative, and rock.
Unlike when listening to the radio, the iPod listener is guaranteed to like every song he or she hears because they put it on themselves said sophomore Travis Kimball. Although he chose all of the music he put on his iPod, Kimball shook his head and beamed with a guilty smile when asked what the most embarrassing song on his play list is.
“No Comment” he responded.
Another Castleton student who said he last listened to the hard metal sounds of the Deftones, and has a play list including Korn and Led Zeppelin, admitted that he also had “Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayer.
He asked to remain unnamed for the sake of his personal popularity.
How They Work
Getting songs onto an iPod is simple. The songs start out on a person’s computer, after being downloaded from the Internet, or from a person’s CD collection. The songs get transferred from one’s computer to their iPod through a cord that connects the two.
After the music has been put into the iPod, it can then be put into different categories, organized by artist, or many other creative ways.
“I have a few different categories on my iPod. I have ‘Skate mix’ for when I’m skating and ‘F**k Ya’ for when I’m snowboarding. I also have softer music for when I’m falling asleep,” said sophomore Phil Samaha.
Other people categorize their play list for the different styles of music they have on their iPod.
What’s the Big Deal?
Not only does an iPod carry an enormous song collection that fits in a person’s hand, but getting the songs is also less expensive many students have found out. ITunes, a free downloadable software, provides song downloads for 99 cents, or an entire CD for $9.99 which is less expensive then most major music stores sell them for.
iPods themselves are not quite so cheap. The most common iPods range from $69-299 depending on the style and amount of memory that it can store.
The price of an iPod is what scares away many people who do not own one. Jeremiah Behnken, a sophomore, does his homework in the library listening to a portable CD player, a tool that, thanks to the iPod, seems to be becoming a thing of the past. Behnken doesn’t mind not having an iPod though.
“I prefer a CD player, it’s something I’m familiar with,” he said. He also believes that the cost of an iPod is too high, but admits that maybe someday he will get one.
Kimball, along with many other students, believes that iPods are a good investment for those who really enjoy music. Tyler agrees.
“There’s nothing better than walking to a soundtrack,” he said.