The BBC ran an interesting article asking (and seeking to explain) why young people like to broadcast their (often poor) music tastes to everyone in shouting distance on crummy, tinny mobile phones, from equally crummy tinny MP3/MP4 files. The Urban Dictionary refers to this as “sodcasting“.
I think the article is wrong, and here’s why: Based on my experience with call centres recently, every time I get put on hold I get to hear some new canned music. My usual response is to put the phone into “speakerphone” mode so I can get on with other things at my desk, thus broadcasting the mess to the rest of the office. This has two effects:
- Everyone else in the office gets an opportunity to ridicule the company in question, awarding points for the longest wait, the cheesiest music, the worst call quality, and the highest importance placed on the call.
- Everyone else gets to have a bit of their soul eaten by whatever garbage is spilling out of the phone. It’s group therapy of sorts. “I *so* know your pain…”
This happens on standard desk phones. Well, now that mobile technology has moved on to allow for handsfree kits of any reasonable usefulness, the kids are making good use of it. Maybe we need to give them more credit, and assume that the piped garbage is not actually part of their own music collection. Maybe it’s the hold music of the companies they’re having to call to get topups and such. And maybe when they call on the move, they’re only doing the same as I do here in the office.
I’m inspired to write this as I watch a colleague growling and gnashing his teeth at a recently purchased mobile phone.
Something that’s often perplexed me is that whenever I’ve been in the market to choose a mobile phone, the handset/network choices were explained in detail on paper, and even by enthusiastic fans or salesman. Yet no mobile phone reseller has ever offered me a loan phone that I can take home and try to live with for a week to assess the hardware, software and network performance. When I’ve asked about this, the salesmen have basically just shrugged their shoulders and said it’s not a service they can provide.
I for one would be more than happy to pay for a week’s worth of contract for the plan/phone I’m testing, and it could help prevent me buying the wrong thing and ending up blaming and flaming the network, the store or the manufacturer for my trying to use a phone that clearly wasn’t designed or intended for that particular purpose I’m griping about.
Surely I can’t be the only one who would like to think carefully about tying myself to a contract I can’t escape from for two years – so I wonder why this kind of service isn’t available? Are the shops or network providers scared that they or their products will have their flaws exposed for all to see? Or do they simply get more money out of unhappy people who end up buying one or more handsets after realising their phone doesn’t actually meet their needs?
Saw this earlier this evening and had to post. Where does one *not* leave a mobile phone? Where there is sensitive electronics of course…
…sound nerds/geeks among us might notice that the phone is left on top of a valve pre-amp, RF rejection capabilities unknown.
Ah well, their gig sounds pretty good so I won’t complain!