Believe it or not, but the best part about getting the iPod has not been getting the iPod.
Shortly after getting the iPod itself and I got the tunes which people had nominated, I realised that what would probably last for longer was not the physical iPod but the education (musically) of new songs that I had been introduced to, just by the fact that people had chosen them, and I promised to listen to each contributors chosen tune at least once.
This meant that I listened to some music that I would have probably otherwise never have listened to in my life.
Of course, not everyone chose songs that I would like though. Some people went out of their way to deliberately choose tracks that they knew I would hate. Others just chose things that were downright silly, whilst some (knowing what sort of music I already liked) picked things that they thought I might not initially like, but given a few listens would slowly start to get into.
I also discovered a whole bunch on new tunes which I don't think I would have found had it not been for 'the iPod thing'. e.g. in the run up to Christmas 2004, Apple ran a website at www.ipodrocks.com just generally plugging the iPod product, and the default music that they used in the background was BT - Somnambulist. An an amazing modern, catchy electronic dance track with weird but wonderful production, and right up my street.
BT - Somnambulist (31 seconds, 64kbps/MP3)
When contributor Miles Mendoza (#320) got on board, he lent me his iRiver for a couple of days for me to compare it to an iPod (he actually doesn't think that the iPod is the player to have), and so I played through all his music collection, and found the totally amazing track 'Hayling' by FC Kahuna. I always thought that Groove Armada's "At the river" was the ultimate chillout tune, but then this suddenly became an amazing contender.
FC Kahuna - Hayling (33 seconds, 64kbps/MP3)
The silly songs
Actually, a lot of the the 'silly' tunes are either from child-contributors or animal related. The Firm's "Star Trekkin'" (#272) brings back memories of 1987 when I bought it on vinyl! I still have it to this day. Bob the Builder's "Can we fix it" (#318) made me laugh as where else in the world would you find an iPod with that on alongside, say - Pink Floyd, REM and Radiohead?
Contributor Henrik Nyh (#115) made me download a song which he's written called "Snoppen" (Penis), which links nicely to the fact that contributor Ed Padmore (#268) introduced me to the Goldie Lookin' Chain with their song "Your mothers got a Penis". At the time I'd never heard of Goldie Lookin' Chain - but neither had many other people. So when a few months later they eventually hit the big time and a had a smash hit with "Guns don't kill people, rappers do", I could be slightly smug about the fact that I was ahead of the musical game (for once).
The genuinely loved songs
Some people got quite obsessive about making sure that I got their specific tune which they obviously genuinely loved and had a passion for.
e.g contributor Brian Caldwell (#133) chose Sarah MacLachan's "Angels" as his tune, but he really insisted in many an email to me that I got the live version from the "Mirrorball" album. (I did in the end manage to get the correct version).
Graham Finn (#11) spent an age choosing a song - only to find that someone else had also chosen it, and he didn't want to duplicate, and so he had to go through the whole agonising process again before coming up with Aqualung's "Brighter than sunshine". But what I loved about Graham was the fact the he genuinely enjoyed agonising over the important decision of what tune to choose, and he earnt huge respect from me for that.
Songs that I didn't think that I'd like but I did!
If I had to pick any band from all the music chosen, then Radiohead would easily top the list of tunes of things I thought I would never like, but I now grudgingly admit it actually quite listenable.
Before I'd always thought that stuff by Radiohead was just good music to slit your wrists too, and whilst I still think that it is, my opinion has now changed slightly.
As a rule, my taste in music, is generally, umm.. 'light' - i.e. pappy pop and anything with electronic blips and blops in and nice piano stuff is all good on my ear. Things with guitars in, loud noises, and generally 'heavier' stuff take a bit more getting into, and - to be totally honest - not really liked by me at all!
So it was with great suprise that I did find myself getting into the two Radiohead tracks that were chosen, alongside some of the other 'heavier' stuff which people had elected to make me listen to.
Something that people didn't realise, but I was more than happy to do was to have duplicate nominated songs. People would choose a song - find that it had been picked by someone else, and then change their mind.
Now me .. I didn't mind - and not because it would take up less space on my iPod, but I really wanted each person to have their song that they'd decided - whether someone else had also chosen the same tune.
And in fact, when copying the songs to the iPod, with the duplicated song I've put them on twice (or three times!), each individually marked with the contributors name number - which means that when on random mode - it's possible to hear the same song two or three times in a row.
The most popular chosen songs were:
Counting Crows - Mr. Jones (Three times - the rest here were chosen twice)
Massive Attack - Unfinished sympathy
ELO - Mr Blue Sky
U2 - Beautiful day
Coldplay - Clocks
David Bowie - Heroes
OMC - How bizarre
Pink Floyd - Money
Rolling Stones - Paint it black
Billy Idol - White Wedding
The most popular chosen bands/artists were:
The Beatles - make nine appearences in the final list of 500.
Couting Crows - five times (including 3 Mr. Jones - see above)
David Bowie - four times
Pink Floyd - pop up six times in all
The Rolling Stones - make up four on the list
With REM, U2, Radiohead, Led Zepplin, Michael Jackson, The Jam, Dire Straits, and Crowded House all appearing three times each.
I've made a separate playlist on my iPod called NicePod which is my favourite selection out of all the contributors songs that I chose. Don't feel bad if your song isn't here, but if it is, then you can feel good that your chosen song was one that I either didn't even know of before / or didn't really like that much, but since having it as a contributed song has really really become one of my favourites. Thanks.
The complete list of tunes has been taken OFF the website for the moment, whilst the iBlogUSA podcast is currently 'featuring' them at random. I don't want people to be able to see the list and THEN choose a song - I want them to be totally chosen at random.
50 pence : iN Da Pod
The contributors are listed here in groups of 25 to make the pages easier to manage and read through. Click on aby button to jump to that group.
Statistics - We collected a whole bunhc of stats and figures abuot the 50p's collected, here they all are ...
iN Da Pod : The Movie - A video we made about the whole thing
50 pence (iN Da Pod) - Hear Geoff 'rap' in this rather silly 50 cent cover/spoof we made
Gold Coin Contributors - Some people went out of their way to help me get more 50's than just their own
The Tunes Chosen - My favourite music out of all the tunes chosen by the contributors
The iParty - After it was complete, I held an iParty an invited as many contributors along as possible.
The iColour Competion - At the iParty, we had the fun iColour competition - getting people to design their own iPods
What I did with the 50p's - As when I bought the iPod I actually used my debit card