Prentiss Riddle: Toys

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Hillbilly iPod

Here's the rig I used to get me through those long bus rides in Mexico: a cheap CD walkman, an assortment of throwaway discs burned in iTunes, and a pair of discount noise-canceling headphones from Fry's.

hillbilly iPod

The headphones worked much better than I expected. I'd flip them on and the rumble of the bus was reduced to a little background noise over which it was easy to hear the music at a modest volume. I guess the technology has improved -- I tried a more expensive pair years ago and returned them to the store. I need to scrape together the cash to buy a couple more for my daughters, who also listen to music on long car rides and have more hearing left to lose than I do.

For the trip I burned multi-CD sets of Café Tacuba and Maldita Vecindad, a reunion with two of my favorite bands whose music I haven't listened to enough lately. I also used my trick in iTunes of sweeping a bunch of tracks from a particular genre into a temporary playlist which I scramble and burn as a form of poor man's shuffle, in this case discs for cumbia, rock en español and mixed latin. And for a break from my program of Spanish immersion I brought along cool mixes by Jez and Gwen. Listening in the dark with no distractions was very nice; it's something I did a lot as a teenager and need to do more of.

All this, a Paco Ignacio Taibo II novel, water, granola bars, and Pepto-Bismol and I'm set for a ride to Patagonia and back.

toys 2005.01.04 link


A year ago I noted that a majority of the gringos deplaning in Rio had iPods. This time I didn't see a single pair of white earbuds on the whole trip. I'm sure it would have been a different experience in, say, Cancun.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.01.04
I'd recommend (or make explicit) one alteration to your Hillbilly iPod recipe for those buying from new: make sure the cheap CD walkman also plays MP3 CDs (which can also be burned directly from iTunes) in order to spare yourself so many disc swaps.

Gabriel Suerte [gabriel cxe suerte punkto com] • 2005.01.04
Ooo, I like them! I just did a little scouting around and they're very ska-like....

badgerbag [lizzard cxe bookmaniac punkto net] • 2005.01.13
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