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A startling revelation

So normally, I bring my trusty iPod video to work. It’s to keep me entertained, keep me busy, and keep me focused. And plus, the rest of the development team brings theirs too, so peer pressure. Today, however, I forgot my iPod.

I went to the next best thing, Yahoo! Radio. (I can’t believe this is the next best thing. Please, somebody invent something better than this.) For those of you who don’t know, Yahoo! Radio is basically free streaming music online. There are a bunch of different “stations” to choose from, but they try to push you to create your own station so it can mold to your tastes. As I would find out, though, the taste-molding leaves much to be desired.

So I fire up my “custom station”. First song that comes up is “Spilt Needles” by The Shins. It’s a good song, one of my favorites on my iPod (in fact, it just misses my Top 40 Played playlist). Maybe today won’t be so long after all.

Next song: *N*Sync. SKIP. Britney Spears. SKIP. Rihanna. SKIP. (And Yahoo!, I explicitly remember telling you I’m not a fan of this new urban music, what the heck are you thinking?) Usher. SKIP.

I’m fed up at this point, so I go to one of the pre-chosen stations, the “Classic Rock” station. I didn’t skip another song for at least two hours. I got home tonight and downloaded like 10 new songs. And it was then that I came to my startling revelation:

What the heck have you people done with popular music?

For every Maroon 5 of this generation, I guarantee you I can find at least a Bachman-Turner Overdrive of the “classic rock” generation. My point is that today, music is wildly worse than it was 10 or 20 years ago.

And I think the reason is simple – people like mediocrity. That’s why MySpace, the iPhone (any Apple product, actually – they may look sexy but they can’t do half the stuff other products can do), Hannah Montana, American Idol – it all sells.

Do yourself a favor: tune into some classic rock on Yahoo! Radio. It’s free, it’s great music. If you’re as lucky as I am, you’ll get a couple Creedence Clearwater Revivals in a row, or maybe experience the epicness that is “Free Bird”, or maybe see a million faces and rock them all with “Wanted Dead or Alive”.

P.S. Yes, I know I have an iPod, when I just said it was mediocre. Well, I stand by it. See this entry for some more criticism, or ask me how much I hate iTunes. I have an iPod because at this point, no one has done better at selling mediocrity to the record labels. The iTunes Music Store has all of the music.