My Beloved iPod, My Window to My World

 I love my iPod When I remove it from its protective case releasing its sleek silver body into my hands turning it over and over, I reconfirm that this must be the most perfect confluence of form and functionality.  It is nearly impossible not to become lost within its clutches.  Surely this is how Xi and his tribesmen felt when the empty Coke bottle fell into their midst in the cult classic The Gods Must Be Crazy.My only hope is that I am not one day forced to travel to the ends of the earth to dispose of it.

But what is it about my iPod that makes it so special?  Is it not simply the next product in the same lineage that brought us the Walkman, the portable CD player, and earlier editions of the MP3 player?  In short – Yes… at length – No.  The Walkman was static and the CD player was both static and fussy about motion.  Both were bulky and like aircraft carriers required support fleets to maintain their viability.  Tape cases and CD ‘albums’ became the equivalent of house guests that would not leave – easy to invite over but expensive to maintain and probably still lingering just out of sight.

The iPod on the other hand is like a gift from the future, it must be alien technology!  While the first devices were indistinguishable, the iPod is as unique as the individual tethered to its slim and attractive form.  iPods are dynamic, alive, vibrant and ever changing.  Mine is never the same day to day.

So why the gush… what am I really listening to as I travel the world with my electronic wall keeping out the masses and their infernal small talk?  Below is a list of my (current) favorite (and free) iTune subscriptions and iPod functionality:

10.        Music… ok, this one is too easy so let me get it out of the way.  I enjoy music as a by-product of my iPod but it was not a motivating factor in my joining the iPod nation.  Apple iTunes is easy for grabbing a quick tune and saves lots of time searching bins in a record store – do those even still exist?

9.         BrainStuff – Have you ever looked at a simple product and wondered how it works?  Marshall Brain will take roughly 2 minutes of your day to answer those questions.

8.         Dan Miller’s 48 Days to the Work You Love
– There’s something about Dan’s podcasts and his message that I find motivating.  While Dan is not a dynamic story teller, he is at once inspiring, motivating, encouraging, and realistic.  Without fail, I feel like starting a new business or side hustle while listening to Dan and I often find myself dispensing his wisdom when I’m asked for career advice.

7.         Mike and Mike One of three sports related podcasts on my list.  Sorry if you’re looking for more enlightenment than this but I take no shame in sports being one facet of my personality.  Mike and Mike are simply iconic in this genre.  Mike Golic is a former NFL player and willfully plays the ‘dumb jock’ role at times (though clearly he is no dummy) while Mike Greenberg plays to his ‘refined’ persona.  Together they make a great team and bring a level of professionalism to this too often trite forum.

6.         Listener’s Audio Bible Proverbs Podcast – Max McLean has the voice of God, literally and figuratively, on his side as he reads a chapter from Proverbs every day.  Many successful people claim a Proverbs-a-Day habit.  This podcast makes this good habit mobile.

5.         NPR – Story of the Day – What’s not to like?  NPR tees up a single interesting story from its daily line-up for you.  Sometimes it’s entertainment, science, political, arts, or business but it is topical and often thought provoking.

4.         ESPN College Football – Again this one is simply a product of who I am – a college football fan.  I especially enjoy the episodes when 80+ year old Beano Cook shares his historical perspective on today’s game.  Some fans don’t care for Beano – few thinking fans would fall into that category.

3.         This American Life – This is from Chicago Public Radio and it is a blast to listen to.  It is like a spa treatment for your brain.  Each week American Life takes a topic and tells 3-4 stories that relate to the theme of that topic.  These stories are often laugh out loud funny and frequently allow you to view situations from a new vantage point.  I find this to be one of the finest produced shows in my repertoire.

2.         The Dave Ramsey Show – Do I even have to explain this one?

1.         The Colin Cowherd Show – Hands down the most entertaining show in the sports radio genre.  Sure Colin talks sports but he also talks life and entertainment and he is not afraid to give you an unabashed opinion or perspective.  My close friends say I like him because I sometimes share his sarcastic and smart-ass delivery…hmm, ok, but a favorite lesson from Colin is his “Say it out loud” philosophy.  Thinking about doing something and you’re not sure?  Say it out loud to see how it sounds…  “I think I’ll go down to the car lot and sign up for a $450 monthly payment for the next 60-72 months because my current ride needs a tune-up and new tires.”  Really!?!  That sounds like a winning game plan??  Colin is sports radio with life appeal.

Bonus!      Alabama Football Podcast – hey, it’s my podcast, I have to like it!  Check it out on the web or subscribe on iTunes.

So what do you listen to on your iPod?  I recognize how my perspective and approach to the world has evolved over the last 20 months as I’ve iTuned in.  I’d love to hear what you’ve mentally main-lined and how it has affected your way of thinking.


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