Monday, February 21, 2011

The Newly Discovered Option

I have an iPod. It was purchased in 2004. It doesn't have video. It has a gray screen. It stores 20GB, which seemed like an unlimited supply of music when it was purchased. It still works and for that I am grateful. It is, however, old. When you put it next to a new iPod it looks like an Apple IIc sitting next to a Mac PowerBook. All that said, I didn't realize exactly how old it was until the other day.
Even my playlists are old, though just wait when the college kids hear about this band.
The car provided to us here is the Honda City, which is basically a mini Honda Civic. They're relatively new and clean yet fairly basic modes of transport with few frills. Regardless, they get the job done. I recently learned that if you flipped the face of the radio down, it opened a secret compartment with a USB cable. We never really listen to Indian radio so this cable was the opening to a whole new world of listening to music while in the car. To be honest, when you're always in the car with another person, lack of music doesn't really seem like that big of a thing; however, any new discovery (even something as mundane as a USB cable) seems like a bigger deal here than it really is.
My trusty driver Kailash piloting the Honda City
I plugged my iPod into the car and expected instant gratification. The display on the radio said, "Loading...", which as you might expect I took as a good sign. A few seconds later the display switched. It read "Old iPod" and was followed by silence. My dream was dashed. Temporarily.

Not to be defeated, a few days later I remembered (I can be a little slow at times) that the wife had a slightly newer iPod. I went through the routine again. After the display read, "Loading", something magical happened. The iPod started to play. It would only play the playlist that was previously playing but alas there was music. I was fairly certain I could at least change the song by hitting the "forward" button the radio, but when you're being chauffered around, it can be a little awkward to reach into the front seat. Plus, I can't say "next song" in Hindi and didn't feel like I really needed to bother the driver to change the song. Regardless, I was happy to just have music in the car, even though I really hadn't missed it.

On Sunday we headed into Delhi and I figured I'd bring the iPod along for the ride. Ashok, our Sunday driver and the driver I consider to be Lindsay's, stepped out of the vehicle to call for directions to Sharma Farms (more on that in the next couple days) and I took the opportunity to plug the iPod into the USB. When Ashok hopped back in the car, he seemed surprised that there was music playing. He immediately flipped down the radio cover, pulled out a small object, and said, "Here, sir." Surprised, he handed me a remote control. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was surprised that there was a remote or that my trusty driver Kailash (with whom we had made the working iPod revelation) had neglected to tell me about the remote the day before.
The remote (with Ashok safely navigating a roundabout in the background) 
I'm just relieved that my "stuck on one playlist/song" issue that I discovered the day before had magically disappeared. Such are the issues you encounter when you're stuck riding in the back of a car seat for two years.


  1. Love it!

    We purchased a cord thing-a-ma-jig that lets us use any free radio frequency for the same purpose ... to play ipod/iphone music. I just now realized after reading this post that it's still sitting in the office --- unused!

  2. I had one of those cord thing-a-ma-jigs in Chicago. The only down side was that there really weren't any free radio frequencies in some a crowded metro area....though not sure you'll have the same issue here!