Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Music Revolution

I downloaded iTunes in the first 24 hours it was available for Windows.  (iTunes originally came out only for Mac, and in those days no one owned a Mac.  There was no iPhone.)  I fiddled with it some, ended up spending the entire night playing, downloading, etc.  My wife thought I was insane.  I told her -- the music world has changed forever.  Record stores are extinct (one of the biggest in the world was around the corner), and albums are history too.  And oh, Apple will rule the music business.  She laughed.  I was 100% right.

My next reaction was to buy a bunch of Apple stock.  My friends talked me out of it -- it was expensive and the success of iTunes was already factored into the stock price.  Besides...its Apple.  Um, ok, right, so I passed.  The stock is only up about twenty times since then.  100% wrong.

I have been trying to get music and running right since the beginning.  Headphones -- I have tried them all.  Seriously, I bet I have 20 pair.  I owned, as a kid, one of the very first Walkman stereos (a cassette tape model, with foam covered headphones and before the yellow rubberized case, 1980 maybe?).

My first Walkman circa 1980?

So, with that backdrop...I present the next revolution...Bluetooth headphones.  In essence, athletic headphones with a tiny Bluetooth receiver in them so no wires to the iPod.  Is that a big deal?  I think so.  The wires bounce and tend to pull out the headphones.  (My Sennheiser sport headphones have the single worst cord design I have used -- a microphone right in the middle that bounces and both distracts and pulls out the headphones in ear.)   For my runs, I assiduously plan the location of my iPod, the wires, where they go, etc., and the armband, Spibelt, pocket whatever, where the iPod will be stashed.

For Christmas, Mrs. Wolve gave me a new iPod Nano.  Eh, don't need it, but thanks, probably return it.  Keep in mind I just returned and got a new pair of Westone headphones (under warranty yeah!) which died because of sweat. But then I saw a post about these Bluetooth ones, designed for sports and  sweatproof ...Jaybird Bluebird X.  What if...I used the headphones, bluetoothed to iPhone...yeah!  I bought the headphones (pricey at $169, but I had a discount from Best Buy to use, so not insane).

First run, with the iPhone, was a revelation!  Not having wires dangle was just, like magic.  They sounded great and it was literally like music just appeared in your ears.  It is disorienting really, not having a wire dangling, because I expect it.  It's just weird, but awesome.

The next problem was the iPhone.  It's too heavy to stash in a pocket and slung around as I ran.  And then I remembered.. the new Nano has Bluetooth!  Awesome ...it will fit into the tiny little pocket in most of my running shorts. (For whatever reason, most mens shorts have like a 2 inch elastic pocket sewn into the waist that is good for nothing except holding a nano.  Maybe a key, but not money, trust  me.

And so I configured the nano, the headphones paired, etc.,.. and ...Game Over.  This is it.  The nano is undetectable.  The sound is incredible.  The lack of wires is indescribable.  This is it, the ultimate running music set up.  I cannot describe enough how crazy good the sound is and the lack of wires makes it just like it is coming from inside your head.

Is it perfect? Eh., pretty close.  As the name implies the Jaybirds, are bud style which have to lodge in your ear canal to stay put.  When they do, the sound is incredible.  If they slide out the sound is only just good, and it feels like they are about to fall out as I ran.  Invariably, I can't get the right size tip and the holder to make a perfect fit.  Soon, though, someone will take the Yurbud idea (a rubbery thing that molds to your ear and make them Bluetooth and sweatproof...and bang.

I called the iTunes revolution.  The next one is Bluetooth headphones.


  1. I really like the idea of the nano with the bluetooth headphones. That's the way to go!

  2. What would you recommend for non-phone people? I have an iPod Touch and an old school iPod Nano, and I too hate wires on headphones. The catch is I also hate earbuds (old phobia of having stuff in my ears--goes back to lots of ear issues when I was a kid). Any recommendations? I LOVE the idea of runs without wires.

  3. Good story about the Apple stock. Great idea for headphones - think I'd listen to music on easy runs a little more often if I had a pair like that.


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