More music thoughts
The proprietary nature of the iTunes music format used to bother me, until I realized that everyone is doing it (maybe because of iTunes, maybe not). I was offered some free downloads through some perk (airline miles, credit card points -- can't remember) but to play them I had to download their player (something junky), so I downloaded it, burned the songs to disc, and ripped them back into my format of choice. Windows Media Player gives us wmp files, not mp3 (although wmp can be played on other devices, which I think is Greg's point). Than again, Apple has always been proprietary with their stuff, which was almost their downfall in the late 80s/early 90s. But I digress.
What I do like about the evolution of how music is delivered is that I now do have access to music that I otherwise might not have been exposed to. I can download Human Radio's unreleased second album (although the link has gone bad), or go to the Fabulist and get exposed to bands that I might never listen to (some good, some bad, but still music), or get Ben Folds' fake leaked album. And some bands, like Coldplay, that I like one or two songs, but have learned that the rest just fade on the album, I can get those songs without having to buy them all. (Greg, I remember you bought Extreme's album for "More Than Words" just to realize how bad the album really was.)
But like Greg said, "Technology is not making our lives any easier. It's just raising expectations, speeding everything up, and dumbing us all down."
I see the impact on the upcoming generation, where we are more connected, yet less interpersonal. Back when Y2K was rolling around, I wondered if it would really be all that bad if we had to go without all our technology for a while. I think I'll put my iPod on, tune out, and think about that for a while.