Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Classic Rock

Probably due to the desperation that comes with eternally low ratings, Melbourne radio station Classic Rock (91.5 FM, formerly known as Vega) has started this new habit of playing classic albums in their entirety. Last Sunday they played Reggatta de Blanc by The Police, this Sunday they played The Wall by Pink Floyd: both albums that are much more than favorites of mine; I would describe them as more embedded to who I am than my own DNA.
In these days where albums hardly matter anymore and the single is the way of life, much praise is to be thrown at Classic Rock. I certainly know that my music appreciation would have greatly suffered if I was not to listen to complete albums for most of my music listening career, back in those days when I actually had time to listen to music and when my music listening was not dictated by the three year old dictator running the house.

While all this is happening, Apple is working hard to achieve the exact opposite. Last week accusations came out concerning Apple blocking radio station apps that allow iPhone users to listen to a single radio station (the story is still ongoing; read about it here). As is usual for Apple they come up with all sorts of stupidly sounding reasons to justify their application banning policies; to me, however, the story seems very clear.
If you look back at Apple’s ongoing war on Flash, one of the main probable reasons behind Apple’s vigorous campaign is the need to prevent people from accessing music in any way other than its own iTunes shop. One only needs to look at the YouTube app for the iPhone and its lack of support for playlists (forcing you to choose your songs one by one) to admire Apple’s efforts on this front. Then there is Apple banning apps such as Grooveshark’s, currently my favorite live streaming music website.
It really is simple: while most people view the iPhone and its compatriots as god’s (i.e., Apple’s) given gifts to us all, Apple views them as products whose purpose is to make us consume contents. Consume contents that we pay for. Consume contents that we pay Apple for. It is as simple as that; Apple do not want iPhone users with ever growing data allowances to listen to radio stations for free, they want you to buy stuff from them.

As I am writing the above I am also celebrating a year with my iPhone. The device has had significant impact on my way of life, the way that having the Internet on you all the time and using the Internet all the time can impact a person. By now the thought of not having Internet access, even momentarily, sends shivers down my spine. Before I’m accused of addiction I will add that yes, I am addicted; but I will also add that I view the ability to access the Internet whenever I feel like to be more important than the ability to make phone calls whenever I want to (pointing a finger at the way the majority of us are glued to their mobile phones without being labeled for addiction). If only because the Internet allows making phone calls and then some.
You can say I have a love/hate relationship with Apple.

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