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warwickmcghee's avatar

Overall, have ipods disintegrated our appreciation in music in our everyday lives?

Asked by warwickmcghee (212points) May 8th, 2010

i find that the internet and the iPod have made music too accessible for me these days.
is listening to my favourite tracks via the shitty little headphones in mp3, a low-fi audio medium, destroying the musical experience, (as we arent hearing to the songs as they’re intended to sound)? also, is it a slap in the face to them by listening to these songs on the go (not giving our favourite songs our undivided attention)?
has the iPod (among other factors of course!), consequently, made music less meaningful in our lives?

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16 Answers

NeroCorvo's avatar

I find the opposite to be true.
Having the music available means I listen more. The sound quality is great (you may want to invest in better earbuds or explore the sound settings on your iPod) and I can hear the subtle changes and feel the music.

I can listen to music on low volume and still interact in my life and this gives my life a “soundtrack” which I enjoy.

gailcalled's avatar

I just received a refurbished iPod nano, on the advice of the wise John Powell. it is so small that I know I will lose it. And all I really want to do is download books. The manual is one small sheet of tissue paper.

netgrrl's avatar

I listen to music & audiobooks on my iPod constantly – used an rio 600 mp3 player before iPods were invented.

I believe it’s enhanced my life & widened my range of music.

But I did have to get a better set of earphones. The Apple stock ones hurt my ears.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@warwickmcghee – I see what you’re saying, completely. But when I think about it, it seems to me that the accessibility of music is only increasing the appreciation of it. What’s great about music and the internet is that it’s much easier these days to find new music that you might like. To someone who has very broad tastes and a more obscure taste in music (like me), this is fantastic.

I have an iPod Touch and have rarely been disappointed with sound quality. With a decent pair of headphones and music tracks that are ripped well, I find the quality to be quite decent. The bonus is that I can bring it along with me and have a large variety of my music in the car, the airplane, working out, etc. I used to have to make mixes for myself, which was a pain and I would find myself frequently getting bored with the song selection. Not to mention, carrying around a Walkman of any sort is kind of bulky, so I definitely welcome the technology.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Having music with you all the time makes getting home at the end of the day a little less special. However, we have two pairs of really nice B&W speakers, and a 5 disc CD player, and I can “rock the block” if I choose. I can’t do that with an iPod.

I could not imagine having an iPod as my only source of music. If it were, I would invest in great headphones and a docking station with a really great set of speakers. When I was buying printing for an ad agency, when digital printing first hit, I had a printer across the country tell me that I could approve color across the country from my printer and screen output rather than having them overnight proofs for me to sign off on. That’s great if you’re dealing with visually pleasing color and everyone’s monitors and printers are calibrated the same, but if your client’s product color really, really matters to them, then “visually pleasing color” isn’t going to cut it. Likewise, if music and quality really matter to you, invest in better equipment, and enhance the experience. There’s lots you don’t hear on an iPod, especially with poor quality headphones.


I don’t think such gadgets have negatively affected our appreciation of music. However, I agree with you, IPods and the Internet have made music so accessible that people don’t take the TIME and EFFORT to really focus on a particular work by an artist anymore. There are so many songs available to the ear that young people can just skip from one to the other without really “appreciating” the amount of energy and work that the artist put into it. In other words, it hasn’t depreciated our love for music, but it has “cheapened” the works by artists out there——music is so massed produced and listened to these days. When I was growing up in the 1980s, a phonograph vinyl LP used to be a very “treasured” item. I remember getting one for Christmas, and found it really “special” as I sat down with my headphones by the stereo, and would listen to the LP, one song at a time, slowly appreciating and enjoying the notes of each melody for hours at a sitting. If my LP got scratched, I was like “Omg”! Lol. These days, kids don’t seem to value the songs as much as the generation I grew up with, because of the “mass production” and readily available technology.

rovdog's avatar

I find that I have access to more artists and more sounds than I used to. But still I do feel I don’t make the time for music or treasure it as much. There are too many choices on my Ipod and when I get in the car- I don’t have to even burn a CD for a long trip I have all my music with me. I used to make myself mixes for long trips and think about what I would like to listen to. Now I am a lot more fickle- I keep changing albums and I never force myself to listen to something I don’t feel like listening to. It’s harder to get into the groove of whole albums. I do on rare occasions sit down and listen to a whole record on vinyl- these moments become more treasured.

DominicX's avatar

You’d think that being raised in the iPod generation and being surrounded by kids who listen to their iPods all day with those crappy little earbuds that I would be one of them too, but I am not. I almost never listen to music with my iPhone (the only iPods I had before were my brother’s old ones because he is one of the typical “music all day long” people and I never asked for an iPod before). The only headphones I use are big ones that sound excellent and are inconvenient for walking around town listening to music (and they flatten your hair).

I’m not the type of person who wants to listen to music all day long just flipping through random songs not really caring what I’m hearing. That’s just not how I am in general. I’m not saying everyone who has an iPod and listens to music all the time is like that, but I certainly think that these people with 10,000 songs probably don’t know all 10,000 of those songs very well.

Sometimes I do like to listen to random music without much thought as to what it is (usually by listening to the radio). But I also listen to a lot of classical and weird foreign pop music that is not easy to get. It takes a lot of effort in illegal downloading to get some of that foreign music.

I guess I know so many people who play instruments and talk about music that I can’t say they “don’t appreciate music” just because they have 10,000 songs on their iPod that they listen to all day long. I think it’s great that people have access to so much music. Do you think a composer in the 17th century ever imagined that a teenager in the 21st century would be listening to his music? I just find that amazing to think about…


@DominicX +++++for your answer!

warwickmcghee's avatar

‘I do on rare occasions sit down and listen to a whole record on vinyl- these moments become more treasured’, roydog.

Perhaps then our appreciation in music has actually reached to higher levels then lol but not on the whole though. so OVERALL our appreciation may not have even changed at all.

i raised this question because i recently invested in a shit-hot hi-fi setup and it blew my mind. it just feels criminal listening to music on-the-go lately. i think it’s bizarre to willingly displace oneself from society and into their own musical world lol but i suppose you can go to the extent of saying that by owning a stereo too lol

Bagardbilla's avatar

As with any tool, it’s only as good as it’s design.
I have all my music on my iPhone now, I carry it everywhere with me. I stream it to stearo at home, to my portable boom box at my job site, and in my car via FM.
Instead of hauling all my tapes/CD’s everywhere… Man I listen to more music, books on tape, NPR/radio, pandora, world FM channels, podcasts etc. now then I ever did before.
So I’d have to disagree with you, as others before me have said.
And BTW, if there’s something I don’t have or cannot locate, I can usually find it online on YouTube or iTunes. :)

Lightlyseared's avatar

I listen to music on iPod in a lossless format with a pair of custom ultimate ears. It sounds fantastic.

Berserker's avatar

I didn’t answer this right, feel free to flag.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

The iPod has nothing to do with music appreciation. I’ve had a music collection that I have been adding to since I was in junior high. I appreciate music & I am a huge audiophile. An iPod is just a storage device. Just because it is some ubiquitous item, that doesn’t change my music or how I feel about it, it’s just another way to store it. At home I have a 5.1 surround sound setup for when I listen to music or watch movies & when I’m away from that setup, I have a nice pair of sennheiser. Everyone may have iPod’s, but our music collection within them are as different as the person who it belongs to. Everyone has TV’s & dvd players, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate movies. They are merely devices, the content is what’s important.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

”...shitty little headphones in mp3…”

Did AM radio kill music? I get the impression that people look back fondly to those days. Content and fidelity are distinct.

HungryGuy's avatar

I don’t know. I never went the way of iPods. I prefer to own my music on CD rather than download it and deal with censorship Digital Rights Management. That way, I can listen to my music on my retro audio system (separate pre-amp, power amps, dynamic range expander, equalizer, and massive speaker systems), or my potable CD player (with the crappy ear buds), or in my car (where I can really crank it up without disturbing the neighbors). And I can still burn my CDs to my computer to make backups of all my music, copy favorite tracks to my Xbox (to turn into a fake radio station in GTA), etc., etc.

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