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iPod swapping? A great way to find new music

Forget mix CDs, turn your friends onto your best tunes, lend 'em your iPod.

Steve Guttenberg

When I was a kid I was always going to my friends' houses to check out the latest additions to their record collections. We'd sit around playing new records, getting high, eating crappy food, and generally having a great time. As we got older that happened less and less, but we started to trade mix cassettes, and more recently mix CDs. Mixes are hit or miss in terms of finding good new music, but now that everybody has an iPod, it may be the best ever way to tap into my friends' music collections. I figured that if I spent a couple of hours listening to a friend's iPod over a weekend I'd find some gems.

That was my theory at least, so I called up my pal, Wes, to see if he was up for it. He seemed a little, well, shy, about letting me peruse his musical taste, but happily lent me his 80GB 'Pod. It did feel a little weird at first, as if I was exposing his personal tastes as I sampled a bunch of great stuff. Soup Dragon's "Mindless" and "I'm Free" got me going; I loved the acoustic folk stylings of Robinella and the CC String Band; and Rufus McKenzie's spine tingling a cappella blues stopped me in my tracks. Rosanne Cash's Rules of Travel turned me onto a new side of her music, and Steve Winwood's killer Hammond B-3 organ on his About Time record had a harder, meaner groove than I've ever heard from him.

And I don't know how I missed it, but I finally got to hear Thom Yorke's Eraser, wow, it sounded amazing! I liked it even better than Radiohead's In Rainbows, gotta get Eraser ASAP. Thanks Wes!

Point is, there's so much great music out there and a little iPod swapping among friends can be a lot of fun. Let me know how it works out for you.