I'm headed for Central Park. I love running around the reservoir when I visit New York City. I'm looking forward to streaming some tunes despite the fact that the business model of streaming has flattened the wallets of my fellow creators. I am a songwriter. And a blogger. Streaming isn't going away. If I'm going to be writing about it, it behooves me to become fluent in it's workings.
I clip my TuneBelt around my waist. (My daughter has teased me profusely about this contraption but I don't care.) I adore my TuneBelt. I lift my iPhone. Poke the Apple. Search for Brandon Flowers. (I love the Killers so why not check out his solo effort?) There he is. Ask and I shall receive. Just like they said. I slip my phone back into the pouch of my TuneBelt and I'm ready to rock.
The first track "Dreams Come True," blasts me off.
"Punch the clock, baby on the nightstand
You close your eyes, waiting for the Sandman
Spend your life, bracing for the crash land
You forget, baby it's a dreamland."
Thank you, Brandon. You raise me up.
Girls half my age wiz by...and there I was thinking I was going just as fast as they were. Funny how a song can make me feel.
Second track. Then the third. I'm in the Zone. I am the star of the movie-in-my-mind that is Brandon's song. But then...the music stops. Why? Is it something I did? Was I too vain in imagining I was a movie star?
If I investigate the problem I'm sure to exit the Zone...and get tangled in my earbud wires.
But I do it. I investigate. I want so to join the land of everyone else who seems to be able to run and listen to music at the same time. There's a message on my iPhone screen that says: if I want to hear to this album while not connected to the Internet, I have to have made it available OFFLINE before my run! What!?!? Now they tell me. (You mean Internet isn't everywhere all the time?)
Silence. I'm running in silence. There's a fourth song queued up in case my phone detects Wi-fi or 3G or whatever it is that allows me to hear all the f***ing music I signed up for--the music I was told I could access so Effortlessly. Mindlessly.
Admittedly, I am of a certain age and they call my generation "digital immigrants" for a reason: we had to adapt to the digital world, unlike the young "native" millennials who were born into it. They make it look easy. But I'm determined.
Ah...there it is! Welcome back. I don't want to lose connection again so the question is...should I do it: poke the place on the screen that makes the album available OFFLINE? Then I remember THE MERGE...that Apple Music interface issue everyone was talking about...the one that messes with your personal iTunes library when you sync it with your OFFLINE music. If you are a songwriter who happens to own 25 years of song demos, you don't want to risk their evaporation. Even if you have an external back up--which I do--it still isn't prudent. It could take me weeks to retrieve those demos. I would drive the genuises at the Apple Genius Bar mad.
Forget it. I'm not opting to MERGE. They can't make me. But then there will be no music. F***. It used to be simple. I just Pressed Play. I miss my AM/FM headband. The one that's as geeky as my TuneBelt. I don't want to have to think so much. I used to listen to whatever song was on the radio. If I didn't like it I changed the station. Eventually there was something I liked. If it was only the back half of "Angie" so be it. It was worth it. I don't need to have everything I want whenever I want it. It's an onerous proposition for a baby boomer.
Sigh. Will young minds ever hear Carly Simon's "Anticipation" and have any idea what she was talking about? We don't have to wait for anything anymore. We don't have to wonder. We just Google and find out. I used to love to wonder.
Forgive me. I slipped into a momentary spell of nostalgia. I'm back now.
Three quarters of the way around the reservoir. Still no song 4. Sometimes I like running in silence but that's not what I had planned to do today and I feel like I've failed in my mission. Maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something. But what could it be trying to tell me? Why would it want to keep me from music?
I'm coming around the finish line. My friend the Internet is back. But it doesn't matter. My run is complete.
I'm exiting the park. Ironically, I look forward to another run tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be more user-friendly by then. I'll blend in with all the other joggers who will be staring straight ahead, white wires hanging from their ears, huffing and puffing inside a Zone of their own. I'll give the impression that I've rolled with the changes...successfully transitioned from old school to new...a Twenty-First Century woman jogging along confidently in a digital age. I just hope my TuneBelt doesn't give me away.