Indie music scenesters--bands and fans--often pride themselves on the DIY ethic and on staving off corporate meddling as much as possible. Yet just as Pearl Jam's failed in its plea a decade ago to U.S. Congress to bust up the Ticketmaster monoopoly (which makes the rest of us, er, Ticketslaves), rivals have failed to stop the leviathan that has taken over the eardrums of much of the world. I'm talking Apple and those little white (and sometimes black) boxes called iPods.
All right, maybe it's not fair to deem Apple evil. They simply succeeded where others failed. And CEO Steve Jobs really is a music-phile: Kanye West played live at an Apple media event last year (see pix) even though the rapper extraordinaire was all but unknown among the techno-geeks in attendance. But just as indie music aficionados value alternative choices among artists, so should they apply that same value to the things they play that music on.
Now, despite years of failed iPod killer wannabes, it seems that some makers of portable media players (PMPs), as well as content providers or makers of technology therein, are poised to take a bite out of the big Apple. Or at least nip at it annoyingly. Check out: