Trust the Gene Genie

Friday, September 23, 2005

Old friends

Now that I've got my iPod, I'm trying to decide what to do with my minidisc player. I got it back in the late '90s when every showboater with some cash and a shallow yet loudly professed love of music was buying CD burners. I would smuggly tell them minidiscs were infinitely re-recordable, that they could be edited and programmed and that they were so much cooler than burnable CDs. They still are, by the way.

Anyway, that ship has sailed. Now, we all now, if your music isn't an electronic file, you're the new dope. I love my minidisc player. I've got dozens and dozens of candy-colored minidiscs with sonic treasures all over the place. They used to get us through the long road trips from Roseburg to Salt Lake, from Salt Lake to Richland and even from Portland to Sharm el Sheik.

In fact, because my MD player was also a recorder, I used to plug into my computer's headphone jack and record all sorts of soundfiles from various Web sites -- bootlegged U2, Wilco radio interviews and even NPR stuff. Before we took long road trips I used to go to the This American Life homepage and record three or four shows to listen to while we traveled. For a while my MD was a part of the family.

But, I'm afraid, the little guy is obsolete. The mix MDs I spent hours making are now playlists on my iPod. Most of the jewels, the really rare stuff I found back in the Napster hay-day, I've either found elsewhere or is now available on iTunes. My Md player and MDs are literally obsolete. So do I sell it? I can't imagine there's a market for them and mine is very used. do I bury it in the backyard, with a ceremonial bagpipes and canon fire? That doesn't seem right. Maybe I'll just pack it away, hold on to it for a rainy day, when the iPod breaks down or itself becomes outdated and I need a little something something. Maybe I'll have it bronzed and hang it on a plaque on my wall. At any rate, the time has come to bid it a fond farewell.

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