TRENDS | You can’t escape, even if you’re driving the fastest car, Ahmad Humeid reports
After I became an avid listener to podcasts (audio content that you download to your digital music player) I realized that there is conspiracy being woven behind my back. In some dark room, in some non-descript corporate building a number of technology and media strategists are scheming to rob me of my last minute of from their net.
But a glitch in their system, revealed the conspiracy and the conspirators to me. The glitch occurred when I saw that a huge number of podcasts that I have been downloading are lingering on my iPod without being listened to. I am falling more and more behind and the unplayed shows are piling up!
Then I started observing myself. Why am I not listening to all these podcasts? Hmm. I always plan to listen in the car. Aha. The CAR! Eureka!
The three strategists were revealed to me. The older guy is Mr Radioman. He has been vying for my drive-time for years. He has been offering more and more stations to listen to, making sure I never switch off that radio. Soon he will be offering me digital satellite radio with hundreds of irresistible music, talk and news stations (insert evil laugh here).
The second strategist was a middle-aged woman. Codename: Mrs M. Her scheme, which turned out to be a complete success, was to get me to immediately start talking on my mobile phone the minute I stepped into my car. She has a helper whose teeth are blue! He lures victims like myself into buying those cool-looking Bluetooth headsets, to keep us talking on the phone while driving, without fearing the police pulling us over.
The youngest of the three conspirators is a shady figure. They call him On Demand. Although he is part of the conspiracy of stealing every minute of my car time, he is actually at war with Mr Radioman. Secretly, Mr Demand wishes to become the next Mr Radioman, by providing victims with a personalized listening experience whenever and wherever they wanted. Sure I can listen to any podcast I like before bedtime or in the bathroom. But a lot of people end up listening in their car.
So now you can see my problem. When Mr Radioman, Mrs M and On Demand are all conspiring and competing for the 45 minute to one hour that I spend in my car, something has got to give. In my case it was the growing number of podcasts that were going unplayed.
So who’s the winner among the three technologies and media? In my case it was Mrs M. My 20 minute commute to work can easily turn into two to three phone calls. This leaves no time for radio or iPods.
And here’s a final confession. As a hobbyist podcaster myself, I bought a portable mp3 recorder (the iRiver ifp 799) and started recording shows while driving! How’s that for crazy?
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