The iPod – a window into the soul?

The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday ran an article entitled, You show me your iPod, I’ll show you mine which makes the very bold statement that “if only you could see that playlist, you would know so much about him, about how compatible you are and gain insights that could otherwise take months of stalking to get.” It then goes on to say that the humble iPod or MP3 player “can reveal one’s past, personality and even whether they are ready for a relationship, or still getting over one.” Really??? Does what I like to listen to define who I am and broadcast to someone if I am worth starting a relationship with?

Here are ten songs selected at random off my iPod (love that shuffle function);

1. Mel & Kim – Respectable

2. E.S Posthumus – Nara (Cold Case Theme)

3. Missy Higgins – Any Day Now

4. Michelle Branch – It’s You

5. Rent – Seasons of Love

6. 5 Girls + Guitars – Here We Go Again

7. Alanis Morissette – The Couch

8. Jess McAvoy – The Fire

9. Europe – The Final Countdown

10. Billie Piper – Promises

Now let’s see what that reveals about me; Mel & Kim and Europe reveals that I am a child of the 80s, Jess McAvoy, Missy Higgins, 5 Girls + Guitars, Michelle Branch and Alanis Morissette reveals that I have a strong liking for female singer songwriters, Cold Case Theme shows I like crime shows, Rent shows that I am musical theatre buff and Billie Piper means that either I like UK pop or that I am a Doctor Who fan.

Actually all of that is pretty accurate (except that bit about the UK pop), so maybe they have stumbled onto something here. Perhaps the music we do like to listen to can reveal some truths about us, but is it really a relationship starter or killer? Would you date someone purely on what they list on their iPod?

Dating sites would like you to believe that and even recommend that you do not put daggy songs on your favourites list if you want to score a date. Now the iPod has gone from your own personal radio station to a dating tool complete with a list of iPod dating dos and don’ts such as “don’t spy over someone’s shoulder at their playlist, don’t store an over-abundance of sad, daggy songs in your favourites, do give potential dates a chance to talk to you by taking out your earpieces, do look for familiar artists and common ground in a prospective date’s playlist”. There are actually people out there who make their dating decisions based on what is on someone’s playlist without ever actually speaking to that person. It is little wonder that teenagers and twenty somethings are downloading songs that are seen as popular rather than songs they actually like. Welcome to the herd mentality, where expressing individual opinions, likes and dislikes are frowned upon.

What someone listens to can provide a great icebreaker and can give you something to talk about to get to know them better, but seriously, it is not the be all and end all of a relationships. If it was I would have never dated Lelak – she likes bluegrass and the more banjo it contains the better whilst I run away from anything related to country to the safe confines of bad 80s music, musicals and acoustic rock with a little bit of pop thrown in. However over the years I have come to appreciate bluegrass and today I caught Lelak trying to find a recording of the musical ‘Wicked’. I can’t tell you how happy that made me.


10 responses to “The iPod – a window into the soul?

  1. 1. Kristin Hersh – Milk Street
    2. Tori Amos – Precious Things
    3. The B-52s – Summer of Love (Original Unreleased Mix)
    4. Dizzy Gillespie – Manteca (Verve Remixed version)
    5. Thea Gilmore – Edge of Me Seat
    6. Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine
    7. Yes Sir – Echo
    8. Murmurs – Don’t Lie
    9. Gillian Welch – Revelator
    10. Patty Griffin – Rain

    4 out of 5 of my favourite artists managed to show up purely by chance – or perhaps my playlist is disproportionately weighted?

  2. I think the latter is correct. I know you have a lot of Kristin, Tori, Gillian and Patty on your playlist. I am just surprised I only got one Alanis Morissette song.

  3. I have that Respectable song in my head now – and also own half of the songs on your list. Good tastes!

    And I really do think that a person’s musical tastes tell you alot about them. Or at least a little about them!

  4. “do give potential dates a chance to talk to you by taking out your earpieces”


    That bit was MEANT to be funny, I hope :P

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  6. Alyndabear – I would say I was sorry about putting bad 80s music in your head, but I am not, I love infecting people with bad 80s music. It is so pop-y and trashy, but for some reason it does make you feel good.

    Naomi – Unfortunately, I don’t think they were joking. Scary huh?

  7. I wonder what my playlist says about me?

    1. I Get Along Without You Very Well – Diana Krall
    2. Only the Good Die Young – Billy Joel
    3. What’s Happened to You – The Call
    4. Easy On Your Own – Australian Crawl
    5. Narrow Daylight – Diana Krall
    6. Drive-In Saturday – David Bowie
    7. I Don’t Care About the Past – The Senators
    8. The Language of Life – Everything But The Girl
    9. In The Echo Chamber – Hoodoo Gurus
    10. Frozen River – Everything But The Girl

  8. Pingback: The iPod Personality Test | - Life : Faith : Family

  9. Rodney – That you have good taste in Australian music?

  10. The best part of ipod playlists is when your kids (well, MY kids I guess) get old enough to suddenly appreciate that their mother actually has really cool taste in music. (At least some of the time.) My 16 year old has been downloading all of the old stuff from my ipod and cds, and it’s like we now have a new connection. It’s lovely.

    But it’s definitely not dating material. That’d be disturbing and plain wrong!

    However… I’d suggest that you back slowly away from the bluegrass…. back away……