The day the music (almost) died

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

I wanted to shuffle. My music player wanted to click and whir. These things never end well.

And so, I prepare to deal with the death of what has been one of my best friends over the last three or so years. Yes, a music player may not actually be my best friend, but it beats out a lot of the people currently on my MySpace or Facebook lists.

How many MySpace friends religiously go with me to the gym and sing to me while I lift half of the weight I’m supposed to and then rest for twice as long as recommended?

How many of my Facebook friends go the extra mile and jog with me, allowing me to listen to the latest ESPN podcast where Red Sox fan Bill Simmons and Yankee fan John O’Connell debate the finer points of why the Yankees failed to get Johan Santana when they had the perfect chance?

And I’d be hard-pressed to find a college friend who would drive cross-country with me and give me a side-by-side comparison of the Temptations’ “Just My Imagination” and the Boyz II Men version that followed it decades later.

I found a way to download ridiculous YouTube videos and convert them to player size, so I can point out the hilarity of the literal version of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” or the college kids who reshot Journey’s “Separate Ways” video and matched the now-ridiculous wardrobes.

I’ve been able to compile photo albums on my player, so I can show people how ridiculous I look with facial hair, or how good I’d look if only I could keep off those 10-15 pounds.

The only thing I don’t do is download movies — because that’s a waste of time.

But all those possibilities seem to be coming to an end with my current media player, a small white box with only half of its 30 gigabytes filled. I heard the click and whir on Sunday night as I listened to some pre-slumber music, and Googled the symptoms later.

Diagnosis: Fatal. I have no idea how much time I have left with this friend. The only thing I know is that I have no problem calling it my friend.

And I’m proud to say it. I don’t find it all that ridiculous to treat my media player as a friend. I mean, I know at least two female friends who have names for their car, and a co-worker who hasn’t named her car but does say, “All I know is the car is a she.”

A car’s gender is a conversation for another day, but we make our technology such a part of our lives it feels natural to personify it.

I guess the only things left to do are save up money for my next player, plan out a name for the new player and be eternally thankful that a dying media player is the worst thing to happen to me lately.

But the new player with a name isn’t coming until the current one without a name clicks and whirs for the last time. Call me cheap. I prefer to think of myself as being a friend for life.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313 or by e-mail at kevin_wilson@link.freedom.com