Rediscovering music with iPod shuffle

At work today I had to focus on finishing off a paper, which I’d started writing during the Bank Holiday weekend. Working in an open plan office can be quite noisy, so when you need to focus you have to do something to cut out the distractions. For me, that means putting on the music.

Some people find a musical background distracting. That’s never been the case for me. I can go back to my revision for exams at school and university and recall the music I was listening to as I mugged up. Ever since, when I have work to do at home, it is always with music pumping out. Rather than a distraction, I find it gives me focus, even inspiration.

So, today, sixty songs went by as I knocked out the prose. A lot of the time, when I’m listening to the iPod, I shuffle playlists, like my Rockmix, which has about 2,500 favourites on it. Today I just went for the full works, getting on for 25,000 tunes, close to the limit of the 160Gb iPod Classic. Some put on by my kids, but mostly stuff that I cannot deny responsibility for!

Here are the sixty that swept by today:


The great thing about this lot is that most of them I didn’t fully recognise as they came on. I looked back afterwards.

17 tracks I recognised both song and artist. 28.3 %

16 tracks I recognised the artist but not the song. 26.7%

27 tracks I recognised neither! 45%


I’d have to say, well, not all of it that intimately. Sometimes I’ll buy something once or twice and forget it. Then quite a few things are compilations and you don’t focus on all the names, just the ones you most like. And then, of course, there are the ones I love.

Nearly 25 grand in all. Bound to be a few that slip through the net.

Or about half,  based on my sample of sixty!

But the good thing is that you are always rediscovering songs. I hardly need to listen to the radio, or Spotify, or anything else, because I have my own radio, full of surprises, there on my iPod.

That’s good.

And here are a couple from today that were as good as new, and I really liked.

“Spiders (Kidsmoke)” by Wilco. Their rocky angle, rather than the country stuff. Beware, this is ten minutes long. And takes a while to get going. Good, though.

And “A Test” by DJ Sneak, off one of the many great compilations put together by Gilles Peterson, this one called “Gilles Peterson in the House”. So it’s kind of House…

The joys of iPod shuffle and rediscovery!

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
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9 Responses to Rediscovering music with iPod shuffle

  1. Osama Rahman says:

    Nope. I can’t work to music. Just end up focussing on the music and not on the work!

  2. DyingNote says:

    I’m lousy at multi-tasking, the exception being when I’m drinking to music while walking up and down the room. I’ve not thought of music as a distraction from work. I just can’t listen to music at work because I find work a distraction to the music.

  3. I love listening to music when I work, but I like it in the air. I don’t seem to get along with headsets, ear buds, etc. I must say you enjoy quite a wide range of music styles. 25 grand, is that how many songs are on your IPod?

    • John S says:

      I prefer music in the air too, but I guess the object yesterday was cutting myself off from colleagues, so I could get on with writing. And yeah, 25,000 songs almost, on one small gadget. Never ceases to be a thing of wonder to me.

      • WOW!! I’m humbled with my miniscule collection!
        IPod is a thing of wonder. I think that what makes you special is you aren’t taking things for granted. You enjoy, knowingly. I like your Blog! _ Resa – big hugs to you.

  4. dc says:

    robin trower- rock on dood.
    lisa stansfield- seeing her live on 14 june…
    bad company- cool.
    be bop- fab.
    metallica overkill- \M/
    deep purple- burn… in hell dood.

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