Tuesday, February 22, 2005
My Ipod Fights for Right To Rock Out
By Damian Garde, senior, Los Lunas High School
For the Journal
Portable mp3 players have become such a staple of American culture that even your grandmother has one. But, as technology advances by leaps and bounds, have these mini jukeboxes become too smart for their own good?
For instance, I think my iPod is a rabid Beastie Boys fan. When I click the Shuffle Songs option, no artist gets more airtime than the three emcees from NYC. This is a mathematical phenomenon since there are only three Beastie albums on the iPod (which will be further referred to as Hal 9000), compared to six releases from Elvis Costello and five from Fugazi.
Does my iPod have a brain?
To test this, I devised an experiment: I would select Shuffle Songs and scroll through the 1,671 songs on Hal. If, within the first 10 songs of each shuffling, Hal chose a Beastie tune, my hypothesis would be correct.
The results were as follows:
Shuffle 1: Interpol, Serge Gainsbourg and "Song for the Man" by the Beastie Boys.
Shuffle 2: Q and Not U, Elvis Costello, Prefuse 73, and "Professor Booty" by the Beastie Boys.
Shuffle 3: DJ Shadow, Bob Dylan, Jay-Z, The Arcade Fire, Led Zeppelin, Puffy AmiYumi and, finally, "Hey Ladies" by the Beastie Boys.
So it is, Hal is capable of thinking for himself. Come to think of it, I recently found Hal on the floor near the door to my bedroom when I was certain I had left him on my desk. If he can pick and choose songs at whim, what's to stop him from taking over the world?