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iPod-Jacked 661

Rick and Roll writes "In a story on Wired, entitled Feel Free to Jack Into My iPod, an iPod owner shares experiences he has had with other iPod owners, namely the plugging of his headphones into a stranger's jack. It began when a woman in her 30's walked up to him while he was on a walk, unplugged her headphone jack from her iPod, and motioned for him to plug his in. They then listened to each other's music for about 30 seconds. He has then shared with about a dozen iPod listeners, with most of the strangers reciprocating. According to the article, the practice has also cropped up in other communities. Listeners acquire tastes for different kinds of music, just like on internet/LAN file sharing networks. An interesting read."
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  • Commercial? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PurdueGraphicsMan ( 722107 ) * on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:36PM (#7531481) Homepage Journal
    "She walked right up to me and got within my comfort field," Crandall stammered. "I was taken aback. She pulled out the earbuds on her iPod and indicated the jack with her eyes."

    Warily unplugging his own earbuds, Crandall gingerly plugged them into the woman's iPod, and was greeted by a rush of techno.

    "We listened for about 30 seconds," Crandall said. "No words were exchanged. We nodded and walked off."

    Why do I get the feeling that this would make a great Apple commercial? I could see them playing this out and it still fitting into the clean and slick Apple marketing image.

  • so cool (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:36PM (#7531482) Homepage Journal

    That's quite cool.

    "What are you listening to?" may end up being the 2000's version of "What's your sign?". It's a nice, safe, social sharing event without the drawbacks and risks of disease or mental impairment.

    NB: I'm not saying that having an iPod will get /.'ers laid, that's just crazy-talk.
    • It's a nice, safe, social sharing event without the drawbacks and risks of ... mental impairment.

      You haven't been listening to music on the radio much lately, have you?

    • Re:so cool (Score:5, Funny)

      by dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:40PM (#7531532) Homepage Journal
      It's a nice, safe, social sharing event without the drawbacks and risks of disease or mental impairment.


      Mental Impairment?

      You'll have a heaping serving of both if you jack into an iPod full of boy band tripe. Then you can repossess the iPod on principle.
      • Re:so cool (Score:3, Funny)

        by Stile 65 ( 722451 )
        I'm glad the iPod wasn't around about 7 years ago, when I was 16.

        I can just imagine plugging into one and hearing "MMMMMMMMBOP!"

        I can also imagine subsequently spending about 30 years in prison for ruthlessly ripping apart a teenage girl.
    • Re:so cool (Score:5, Insightful)

      by naoiseo ( 313146 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:50PM (#7531663)
      so, what does this have to do with the ipod? we've had walkmen for 20 years or so, but now it's socially acceptable to walk up to someone and listen to their music?

      why, because they're rich enough to own an ipod so they're trustable?

      mmmm smells publicity stuntlishus.
      • Re:so cool (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Golias ( 176380 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @06:18PM (#7532615)
        so, what does this have to do with the ipod? we've had walkmen for 20 years or so

        The walkman could not store your entire CD library, sorted into playlists of your favorite singles.

        Walk up to somebody listening to a CD player, and they are probably listening to some deep track on the B side of an album, and the song itself tells you very little about them.

        Walk up to somebody listening to any high-capacity MP3 player that's sorted into playlists, and they are probably listening to one of their favorite songs at the moment you interrupt them.

        In my book, that's infinitely cooler... although there is the risk that somebody wants to hear what you are listening to at the very moment you are playing something off your "guilty pleasures" list (say, for example, "All The Things She Said", by t.A.T.u., that fake-lesbian pop duo from last year), leading to "you listen to that!?" awkwardness. People who worry about such a thing would always be listening to what they want to be seen listening to whenever they are out on the sidewalk.

    • by mithras ( 126772 ) <bamoon AT gmail DOT com> on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:52PM (#7531693) Homepage
      Actually, my iPod has gotten me laid. I met this girl on the bus, talked to her a bit, then when I opened my bag to get a pen and paper to write down her phone number, she spotted my iPod.

      "Oooh, iPod!" she said. Turned out that she was very much into music, and my having an iPod showed her that I shared that. Also that I had large amounts of disposable income, which didn't hurt.

      We spent at least a half-hour of our first date going through the music on my iPod. Dated for 6 months.

      I spot folks with iPods all the time. Largely male, though. But you can bet that I'm going to start "sharing" my music with any female iPod owners I see from now on.
      • Actually, my iPod has gotten me laid

        CUPERTINO, California (API) --Apple Computer today announced a projected shortage of iPods this holiday season after an unexpected surge in sales beginning at 3:52 pm Friday, November 21. Representatives from Apple expressed puzzlement, saying they were not aware of any promotions or advertising which could have provoked the sudden rush of sales. According to Apple, inventories expected to last through the December were exhasted in the span of a few hours.

      • Go get this intruder. He is not a real ./'er. He got laid.
    • Re:so cool (Score:5, Funny)

      by Walt Dismal ( 534799 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @05:24PM (#7532018)
      I load my iPod with the entire collected works of Britney Spears. Then I walk up to strangers and motion to them to plug in. After they collapse, writhing in agony on the sidewalk, I steal their wallets.
    • by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <> on Friday November 21, 2003 @05:39PM (#7532197) Journal
      Somehow the RIAA will attack this as illegal. You're listening to someone else's music! For free!

      Next, the RIAA will follow around boomboxers and low-riders charging all the innocent passers-by for the music they are listening to. The boomboxer/low-rider will be summarily executed for unauthorized distribution of music and performing copyrighted works without license. Mothers humming to their babies will be given tit-twisters as punishment unless they pay ASCAP fees. Especially nursing mothers with sore nipples.

      You know, I think I'd rather default to a booky than swap a song. After the Wired article, I think the mob treats people better than the RIAA.

      • by BrynM ( 217883 ) * on Friday November 21, 2003 @06:47PM (#7532864) Homepage Journal
        "Next, the RIAA will follow around boomboxers and low-riders charging all the innocent passers-by for the music they are listening to."
        Actually, it's called "public performance" and the RIAA tried to crack down on the Low-rider crowd about it in the early 90's and failed (they were often lauged at - even by law enforcement). I even got to see an RIAA rep (he may have just been a label rep, but none of my music biz buddies knew him) trying to pull this stuff here in Sacramento back then. The rep just hung out at sobriety checkpoints and spouted his crap about "breaking the law" and then the cops would get mad at him for being in the way and nothing would happen. Methinks the RIAA has more teeth now.
  • by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:37PM (#7531486) Homepage
    I have "karma: excellent", so it feels ugly to say this, but:

    I always thought Mac users were odd, and this proves it.
  • by tntguy ( 516721 ) * on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:38PM (#7531493)
    Jacking into someone else's iPod...I mean.../me shivers

  • Has her headphones up all the way...I can hear what she's playing all day.

    Right now it's Fifty Cent.

    Only 84 minutes until 5:00pm...thank god it's a Friday.
  • Unexpected... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ActionPlant ( 721843 )
    But not unlikely. I rather like this idea. I've heard from several outlets (read: older generations) who insist that our current tastes for technology are leading the world to become impersonal. Quite the opposite, really. As demonstrated, I think we're more "connected" with each other (and not merely our machines as some would suggest) than ever before.

    It's a small world afterall...and it's getting smaller every day.

  • bluetooth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ryanw ( 131814 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:38PM (#7531499)
    What would be nice is if it was bluetooth enabled, you could just have your iPod on constant broadcast mode, let people walking by snoop in on your listening... That way it wouldn't interrupt your listening.
    • What would be nice is if it was bluetooth enabled, you could just have your iPod on constant broadcast mode, let people walking by snoop in on your listening...

      This is a pretty fantastic idea... I'm sure our friends at the RIAA would like it too...

    • Re:bluetooth (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AchmedHabib ( 696882 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:45PM (#7531601)
      Speaking of Bluetooth, I was going home from work today, and for the fun of it I kept my phone searching for other devices, in the 10 minute walk I Found 3 PCs, one PocketPC and 2 Inkjet printers. One PC and the PocketPC seemed to accept my filetransfer of a picture. So did one Inkjet printer, I don't know if it printed anything but it got 4 pictures from the street printed out. All this time i was walking outside and I guess that the PCs and printers was inside the shops and small offices in that neighbourhood.
      When I got to the sub, I found 4 other phones and a Ipaq, one of them wanted the files from my phone. but all of the sudden, the trip home was a bit more fun. :)
    • Or, perhaps Apple will just put two headphone jacks on future iPods... this has been done before for CD players, and would be a nice feature without adding much cost, size, or weight.
    • Re:bluetooth (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Strudelkugel ( 594414 ) * on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:55PM (#7531720)

      Ever notice how people in planes, etc, like to see what the person next to them is reading/writing/doing/wearing? Just seems to be in our nature to know what other people are interested in.

      Imagine a technology that allows people to broadcast whatever content they choose to a small area. (Actually the technology exists. The standards aren't quite there, yet.) Call it eFashion if you want, but I have a thought that this could be a big thing, because it allows people to express themselves in yet another way. Just have to let the IP lawyers sort it out after the fact.

    • by Jesrad ( 716567 )
      And all this time I thought I was letting people "snoop" on what I was listening by setting the volume all the way up...
    • Re:bluetooth (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dixie_Flatline ( 5077 ) <vincent.jan.goh@ ... m minus math_god> on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:56PM (#7531744) Homepage
      The point is that they DO interrupt. It's a human contact and connection thing. We're all very seperated now, and bluetooth broadcasting would just KEEP us seperated. This is a way to connect (excuse the minor pun) with other people. You may never get to know them, other than the music that they listen to, but even that's a big deal. I'd never date a woman who listened to country music exclusively, for instance.

      This is technology bringing people together, which is pretty uncommon. Most of it just serves to keep us as far apart as possible.
    • by sulli ( 195030 ) * on Friday November 21, 2003 @05:08PM (#7531873) Journal
      What would be even nicer would be to "bluejack" someone else's iPod and switch their music selection from Justin Timberlake to Led Zeppelin. Instant musical taste fix!
  • STD? (Score:4, Funny)

    by GlassUser ( 190787 ) <> on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:39PM (#7531508) Homepage Journal
    Sound transmitted disease? I could see this being the plot for a cheap cyberthriller.
  • by Mononoke ( 88668 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:39PM (#7531510) Homepage Journal
    I never thought your letters were real, until something happened to me that I just had to share...

  • I used to do this (Score:2, Interesting)

    by welthqa ( 111199 )
    but with my minidisc player, it had 2 output jacks, so I'd let other people listen in. I've always wanted to be able to hear what others were listening to in their cars. I thought about somehow boosting the range on a FM modulator and letting people listen in on my mp3s.
  • REFUND! (Score:5, Funny)

    by PrintError ( 708568 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:39PM (#7531514) Journal
    I want my money back!

    Whenever I run into another iPod owner, all they ever ask is "what size is it?" No one ever offers to swap a little toonage.

    And I bet these are the same people who say size doesn't matter.

    This zig brought to you by Cats.
    • You have to understand, with some peoples looks, the only thing that can make themintersing to plug into is a large pod.
    • No one ever offers to swap a little toonage.

      I think you mean, "toon-tang", in this particular instance.

    • Re:REFUND! (Score:5, Funny)

      by PhotoGuy ( 189467 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @07:53PM (#7533333) Homepage
      Slightly off topic, but that reminds me of the time I was using my Toshiba Libretto on a plane, and the flight attendant comes by, points to my lap, and says in a voice that was far too loud, "Wow, that's the smallest one of those I've ever seen!"

      She turned quite red when she realized how that sounded.

      Ah, the joys of portable technology.
  • Kinda scary (Score:4, Funny)

    by BillFarber ( 641417 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:39PM (#7531515)
    Sounds like a great way to get slapped.

    Err, I'm sorry, I thought that was your earphone plug.

  • Remindes me of my school days, only instead of iPod, I was trying to do this with other kids lunch boxes.

    Don't ask me of the result, not a pleasing memory at all..

  • iPod Porn (Score:4, Funny)

    by The Turd Report ( 527733 ) <> on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:40PM (#7531522) Homepage Journal
    ...unplugged her headphone jack from her iPod, and motioned for him to plug his in.

    This reads like a line from some porn story.

  • How long before this kind of thing also results in a lawsuit?
  • by Silwenae ( 514138 ) * on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:40PM (#7531530) Homepage
    Wait till the RIAA hears about this one.
  • by Slider451 ( 514881 ) <> on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:41PM (#7531541)
    People like to say they listen to deep, sophisticated music to impress people. What better way is there to pierce the facade than to jack into what they're playing that moment?
  • Really?

    Will we read about flash mobs next ?

    Sunny Dubey
  • If you're jacking into a strange woman's iPod, wear protection.
  • by Valiss ( 463641 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:44PM (#7531585) Homepage
    I can already see RIAA lawyers scrambling to write up an amendment to thier copyright laws prohibiting the "temporary control of copyrighted material via the i-pod."

  • Soon we'll all be jacking into each other's squeezeboxes. []
  • Gosh and they never had headphone jacks with Walkmans, oh no.

    I'd be more impressed if the iPods had something like the Neuros and could broadcast stuff, and you tune into other people's local broadcasts. Doesn't Apple have Rendezvous autoconfig software tech, couldn't they turn every iPod into a convenient super-local radio broadcaster? That would be a tech story.

    This is just lame. Doing a search for the "Leander Kahney" it seems there is no iPod story too trivial for s/he to write and for Wired to publish.

    What's next? iPodders describe music they listen to as they poo? And we get to read about it? Ugh.
  • by Psmylie ( 169236 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:45PM (#7531607) Homepage
    I was sent home for wearing a shirt that said "Feel free to Jack me". I thought I was just being friendly...
  • STOP PIRACY (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:46PM (#7531615)
    This kind of rampant theft of music must stop. Artists and producers can't afford to have thieves and pirates steal their hard work.

    What if this "journalist" stole some music he was planning to buy, and didn't like it? He might never buy it! That's a lost sale.

    I immediately demand that Apple Computer permanantly bolt the headphone jack into the iPod, and the headphones should not be removable from the ear once inserted. Also, the volume should be capped so that others nearby can't "listen in" (or steal, in other words).

    We will sue one cute 12-year-old girl per week, until our demands are met. If our demands are not met after 60 days, we will begin issuing search warrants to 75-year-olds, to be carried out by federal marshals at 3am. If our demands aren't met after 120 days, then, well, I can't get into details, but the code-name for our plan is known as "OPERATION SELECTIVE SILENCE". It's pretty horrible.


    the new head of the RIAA
  • What next? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:48PM (#7531631)
    If this becomes a real trend, people will probably start adding headphone splitters so others can jack in easier. Adding one will become an open invitation. Then a backlash against Podmiscuity will develop...
  • by eviltypeguy ( 521224 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:48PM (#7531636)
    Obligatory Futarama Reference:

    "Bender, are you jacking on again?"

    Sorry, just can't help myself...
  • ...and a few days later my headphone plug developed an awful rash!

    Fellas, be wary of strange women who offer you to plug into them. Chances are that you're not the first, and her tastes aren't discriminating!

  • It's too bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rritterson ( 588983 ) * on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:50PM (#7531654)
    AFAIK, even though firewire is a host less protocol you can't transfer files from one iPod to the next.

    However, Creative jukeboxes can, and when the drab PC community catches up I wonder if people will not only listen to other people's music, but share it too- like a p2p network in flesh-space!
  • by tobes ( 302057 ) *
    That's the idea behind my site []. It takes your iTunes playlist and lets you see other people that have similar taste. It's a great way to find new music, and let other people check out what you are listening to.
  • As an aside, the very first Walkman *ever* introduced by Sony had a dual headphone setup. It cam equipped with a "Hotline" switch that either listener could push that would mute both headphones, so they could say something. For couples jogging close together or something like that.

    The dual headphone feature remained for a couple of product iterations but was then dropped to save a few pennies on production when they realised virtually nobody ever used this music sharing feature.

    The thinking is that Sony were wary of introducing an exclusively personal electronic device and wanted to be able to market as having *some* social aspect.
  • important note (Score:4, Informative)

    by squarefish ( 561836 ) * on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:51PM (#7531674)
    apple began offering applecare [] for the ipod as of today.
  • Going around sticking your thingy into the thingy of random strangers all willy nilly is certainly NOT a good idea these days.
  • Wanna bet... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by uradu ( 10768 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:53PM (#7531712)
    ...that if HE had initiated the jack swap she would have pulled out her pepper spray?
  • What....? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Android23 ( 212551 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @04:56PM (#7531753) Homepage
    Why does this sound like another Wired attempt to make something hip?
    I mean, isn't this like flash mobs, satellite radio, and Cue Cats?
    I've never met anyone who'd want to "jack my Pod", and I think I'd probably slug anyone reaching for it.
    • Re:What....? (Score:3, Insightful)

      " Why does this sound like another Wired attempt to make something hip?"

      Actually, it feels like a PR plant. You know, those things that seem too scripted to be real? Given that a large portion of Apple's success in creating its current image came from (aside from cool ads) extensive PR.

      Remember, Apple has managed to take a small user-base, and turn them into a bunch of fanatics, right on par with Harley fanatics, only probably more feeble.

      P.S. I'd rather be modded insightful than funny to help people who

  • by sweatyboatman ( 457800 ) <sweatyboatman AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday November 21, 2003 @05:01PM (#7531807) Homepage Journal
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but people have been listening to portable music devices for years. They all use the same headphone jack.

    I used to do this on the school bus when I was twelve. But I didn't think it had anything to do with the brand of walkman I was listening to.

    Which brings me to the question: is this a news article or astroturf?
  • Dubious (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrgeometry ( 689087 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @06:00PM (#7532426)
    The whole story smacks of dubiousness (OW!). They quote this one guy, Crandall, about 15 times. They reference his blog. The publisher of some ipod web thingy has heard of it... from the same guy. There's an unnamed Pixar spokeswoman who's never heard of it... but she's too busy to look into it? What the heck?

    Wired reporter: I need one source that doesn't flow directly from this Crandall joker. I think I'll phone up Pixar.

    *ring* *ring*

    Pixar: Hello?

    Wired reporter: Hello! Ipod jacking, blah, blah, blah...

    Pixar: Uh... look... I'm really busy with... umm, the Finding Nemo DVD release! Yeah!



    OK, why on earth should I believe even one word from this story?

    The guy's blog, says that they thank each other:

    We then stand and listen to each other's music for a minute or so, unjack, thank the other person and move on... (from: od_greeting.html [])

    The Wired article says they don't speak at all:

    "We listened for about 30 seconds," Crandall said. "No words were exchanged. We nodded and walked off."

    OK, so some people say thanks and others don't. Fine.

    But here's the clincher: He listens to indigenous music from northern Europe all the time, and has never heard trance. Yeah, right! Indigenous music from northern Europe?! :-) Nothing against the sub-sub-genre of indigenous music from northern Europe, ok, but I doubt he's really into it... all the time... and has been for the last ten years.

    This monkey Crandall desperately wants attention. He desperately wants people to let him listen to their iPods. So he decides to start a trend. So he calls up Wired and plants a story, and the reporter doesn't think to question the fact that noone else has heard of this...

    (Tinfoil hat time: And maybe he's traveling to Cambridge soon, so he nudges them a bit, saying he's heard it's starting there, too, so they'll be ready when he gets there!?)

    OK, I'm done ranting now.


"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler