Goodbye iPod, the device that introduced too many choices Rebecca Nicholson

Goodbye iPod, the device that introduced too many choices  Rebecca Nicholson

THere are a few more old iPods in my desk drawer, tangled with cables that will definitely come in handy one day. One is a Shuffle that I grabbed by my T-shirt during a short attempt to have a jogging phase. The other is a crushed, fifth-generation black iPod. If I load it for hours, it plays a few songs before the screen dissolves, and if you press the wheel in a way you don’t like, the screen freezes completely. It is a frozen object in other ways, capturing life at a certain moment, in playlists called things like Dip It Low !! and Happy Birthday Matt 7.

Last week, just over 20 years ago, it was announced that the iPod would be discontinued; when the last remaining iPod touches are exhausted, they will no longer exist. “[It] redefined how music is discovered, listened to and shared, ”said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, for the quote that accompanies the announcement. Given the pathetic state of the music industry for anyone not at the top of it, I’m not sure it’s something to be proud of, but of course it has redefined music. As the capacity of the iPod increased from 5 GB to 160 GB, it put a wide range of options in our pockets and made it portable.

You could settle for almost any of the iPod innovations and see it as a turning point in how music has become something we talked about rather than consuming, but I’m still thinking about that element. of choice. I know it’s a luxurious position, but two decades later I often feel overwhelmed by the choice, not only when it comes to music, but also entertainment. It’s easy to waste time choosing a TV series to watch on a streaming service, for example, and more often than I’d like to admit, I’ll scroll, agitated at possibilities, before picking anything up and running. in bed with a book.

It’s the same with podcasts, movies and, of course, music. How can one solve when there is so much to choose from, all the time? Choosing has become a pointless activity in itself.

As is often the case with the death of a device, there has been a wave of nostalgia for the iPod, just as people have been thinking about the demise of the BlackBerry and its tiny, complicated keyboard from a lazy time. double-tap a screen to send a long voice note. I felt it too. I’m nostalgic for what could have been the perfect balance of choice: just enough to make the possibilities seem endless, without them actually being that way.

Ncuti Gatwa: No better man to be the new Doctor Who

Ncuti Gatwa
Ncuti Gatwa, Jodie Whittaker’s successor in Tardis. Photo: Carlo Paloni / REX / Shutterstock for BAFTA

The dust settled on the announcement that Ncuti Gatwa, 29, of Sex education fame, will take the place of Jodie Whittaker as the latest doctor in Doctor who. (Fan forums are already full of theories about the exact wording of the ad, which made no reference to Gatwa being the 14th doctor, as would be numerically correct. There are suggestions that he may be the new Doctor, but no Next Doctor, that’s the kind of dirt he gives Doctor who a reputation for being confused.)

The broad consensus is that this is a very good choice, and Gatwa certainly has the gaseous energy that the role seems to require; like Eric in Sex education, was a revelation. The announcement reached the social networks, just before the Baftas last Sunday. Gatwa and his boss, Russell T Davies, shared a picture with two hearts and a blue box on Instagram, and then the news broke.

Given the fanfare that previous doctors have been given for their arrival (Peter Capaldi hosted an entire live event on BBC One, Whittaker a trailer at the end of the Wimbledon men’s final), why was that so discreet?

Madonna: still shocking dads after all these years

Madonna on stage in Columbia.
Madonna on stage in Columbia. Fredy Builes / AFP / Getty Images

In March, Hollywood Reporter published a story about a tiring audition process that takes place to find the lead role for a long-awaited and much-discussed biopic about Madonna.

Given the recent successes of the films about Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Aretha Franklin, to name a few, of course there should be one about Madonna, although this is Madonna, she co-writes and directs it even if the auditions are as hardcore as it sounds, it wouldn’t be surprising if she gets into her younger role as well. According to the report, the film will culminate with its Blond Ambition tour, another one of the greatest pop shows of all time.

In 1990, Pope John Paul II disagreed, urging people to boycott “one of the most satanic spectacles in human history,” which somehow raised the bar in terms of the best career reviews. Last week, Madonna posted on Twitter to Pope Francis, requesting a meeting “to discuss some important issues.” She said she was excommunicated three times. “It does not seem right,” added the woman who appeared on the scene in Rome on a crucifix in 2006, to the despair of another Pope Benedict XVI. It is difficult to verify an excommunication, although there is no doubt that it has annoyed popes over the years.

Arguing the correctness of the excommunication with the current pontiff in the same week that she launches an NFT digital art triptych involving nudity and trees and butterflies coming from intimate places makes me believe that it is a pity that the biographical film will end in 1990. be a masterpiece.

Rebecca Nicholson is an Observer columnist

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