Put another nickel in.

Right this minute, I’ve got LAUNCHcast Radio playing in my Yahoo! Messenger window. I’m always tuned in to either the “Big Hits of the 60s” or the “Oldies” station, and I’m… just… feeeeeelin’ good. Bring on those good vibrations, baby. I’m such a cultural artifact.

It’s totally amazing how technology and the internet have changed our lives (Ooh, Ray Charles’ “Hit The Road Jack” is playing! Perfect for post-Dear-John blues! Haha!), particularly with regard to entertainment. I remember when I had to wait for Sundays on FM radio to hear all “the good stuff” — hits from the 40s, 50s, 60s, Motown — or else tune in to the one station in town that played it all day. I ended up working for that radio station, which was heaven on earth for me, and how I wish iPods had already been around then!

Now, you can get online, go to the iTunes Music Store, click here and there, and voila! Your musical sweet tooth has been satisfied. Or you could rip a CD and transfer entire libraries of audio to a wee thing that hangs around your neck, making all of it available to you anytime you want it.

A far cry from less than 50 years ago, and don’t even get me started on video.

I’m not going to get into the whole godsend to the listener/doom of the recording industry argument; I haven’t the energy for it now. Suffice it to say that I’m just delighted that every CD I own is in one or both of my iPods: a 30Gb 4th gen iPod photo, and a 2Gb nano.

I love both units to bits (well, figuratively!), because they fill different kinds of listening needs for me, and I’m just totally covered however my day goes — in the car or at my desk, the 4th gen hard drive-based photo is perfect; when I’m roaming the Main Gallery, walking around the campus, or just plain mobile wearing a short skirt without pockets, the nano fits the bill because it’s flash-based (no moving parts, hardier and more tolerant of knockabout activity) and is teeny enough to hang on a lanyard ’round my neck.

Glenn Miller, The Andrews Sisters, the Chiffons, The Ronettes, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Shirelles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Four Tops, the Four Seasons, all the rest of Motown’s royalty, not to mention The King (thank yuh verah much, I luv yuh. Sigh.) and the entire British invasion are at my fingertips, ready to draw me back into a world I feel more comfortable in.

I love it, and I can’t wait for the next wave. While I wait, though, I’ll be the one walking around humming “To Sir With Love”…

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