Sometimes, I'm a little slow.
For example, I'd had my iPod for over a year before I finally realized that if I just bought a dock I could plug in some speakers and play all my music without the aid of a CD player (or those cute little white earbud headphones that really don't fit in my ears all that well).
Like I said, sometimes I'm a little slow.
Now, walk past my office and you're likely to catch a waft of music seeping out my door (or blowing out, depending on my mood and whether or not the classroom across the hall is in session).
Mostly I just let it shuffle, so you could hear anything...from John Mayer or Martha's Trouble...to Richard Thompson or Youssou N'Dour...to oldies like Patsy Cline (one of my Mom's favorites; I used to sing along when I was a kid)...or even a bit of choral music from Chanticleer.
But some folks are really cooking. The other day I read how some club DJs are leaving their CDs and such at home and just taking their iPods. (I guess they also figured out about the dock and speakers.) And some people are podcasting -- creating their own digital audio shows and posting them on the web for others to download. What's more, some of them are even making money at it!
I don't know if you saw Podcasting Riches, an article by reporter Michael Bazeley in the Tech Monday section of the Mercury News, but it had a great article about people who are making money off podcasting. He quotes two Midwesterners whose podcast radio show is attracting enough advertisers that least one of them could quit his day job, and two women whose "mommycast" has attracted a $100,000 one-year sponsorship deal from Dixie Paper Products. Amazing!
Which gets me thinking...that maybe the Borg-like Clear Channel will finally meet its match...not in another media behemoth, but in a growing army of colorful and idiosyncratic podcasters. And maybe they'll replace this homogenized, automated, targeted-to-death crap that most radio has become and bring back the real thing...real music, real people, combined in ways that can still surprise and delight.
It really is a brave, new world out there. And for all our worries about radio and newspapers, and the future viability of careers in either, there are also some interesting opportunities cropping up.
So keep your eyes and ears open...and if an opportunity comes along to try something new, grab it! You never know how it might turn out.