Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dear Shuffle

Dear Shuffle,

Dear Husband and I have very opposing views about your function on our music player.  One of us loves you, and the other despises your presence.  Let us muse, for a moment, your role.

We have over 6,600 songs on our primary iPod, from all kinds of genres and languages.  DH likes to listen to music from the docked iPod station in our kitchen/dining area with the shuffle function ON.  Which means we are listening to loud pop music followed by a quiet classical piece, followed by a Motown song, followed by a soprano opera, followed by rhythmic Latin music, followed by haunting contemporary music, followed by exotic Indies music, followed by a Chinese children's folk song, followed by DD's tweeny pop song, followed by explicit rap, followed by a sultry French song, followed by a Suzuki violin piece, followed by a Chinese ballad, all interspersed by songs we don't really remember.  Half the time, DH sits from afar with his nifty little remote control and skips a song because 1) he doesn't like it, 2) the lyrics are too explicit when kids are around (and they are always around), 3) the song is suddenly too quiet or too loud to listen to, or 4) the song is not fitting for his current mood.  While we are skipping around, I seem to have ants in my pants as I have to get up every time I don't know the name or artist of a song and have to physically go find out the answer.  Worst of all, I get completely discombobulated and overwhelmed by the bombardment of musical genres thrown at me all at once.  My brain is just not capable of switching gears every 3 to 4 minutes. 

When I listen to music (when no one's around, usually when I am cleaning), I listen to one album at a time.  I pick the album that reflects my current mood.  And as the music plays, it draws out a particular sentiment in me that makes me adore the artist(s) even more.  But best of all, I know exactly what song is coming up next.  I may not know the name of the song, but I know the tune and how it starts.  It's like that with every album I love.  I hear it, I feel it, I absorb it, I love it.  Enough said.

DH argues that with the shuffle function, we are able to hear more of our music, and not just the selective few we really like to hear; that we own the music for a reason, and that we should give those less well-liked songs a chance to redeem themselves.  To a point I understand this argument, although I still prefer to shuffle within an album instead of the entire library.  I withhold my complaints, most of the time, since I am too lazy to create any sort of playlist myself, so I suffer through the massive schizophrenic attack of musical amplification into my poor ears and mind.  Okay, I'll admit that it is quite nice to come across a beloved song from yesteryear (every once in a long while) while we have the shuffle function on, and I get all nostalgic and wonder why I haven't listened to that song in such a long time...

Whether it is because I am particularly rigid in the head or that I have no tolerance for this kind of variety, I still stand by my preference of music listening.  But alas, it seems to me that our little disagreement on this topic is slowly becoming a moot point.  Out of the speakers of our music player are more and more often the voices of Selena Gomez, Miranda Cosgrove, and Demi Lovato.  And if you don't know who these people are, you will, when your child enters the tweeny bopper stage (did you hear 8 is the new 12?).  Soon enough, what DH and I think won't matter anymore, because even DS has been brainwashed to love those tweeny bopper songs, too.

So, Shuffle, I'll tolerate you for now, in the company of DH.  One day, when we don't get to listen to our songs anymore, I might actually even miss you.



  1. OMG I cannot stand that shuffle and I never use it. My DH uses it all the time while he is on the treadmill which is fine cuz I cannot hear the music. I am just like you, I like hearing one album at a time based on my mood and somehow knowing what song will be played next give me a sense of comfort. Life is complicated enough in general, I do not need to have different songs coming at me every few mins. That is one suprise that I can do without, thank you very much. =) Good letter!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. That you can relate to this, I have succeeded! The purpose of this blog is in hope that people can relate to the inconsequential, everyday, mundane things that run through my head. I really want to add at the end of each letter: so what do you think? But you always comment and tell me what you think, so THANK YOU!