Is there really a music addiction

consumer : Music, addiction and friendship

THE TEST RULING: 9 points 0 points: Hands off and warn all acquaintances, 5 points: Sleep over it again, 10 points: Buy now

It is white, my drug; white and expensive. And it strengthens my moods. Sing when I'm fine, scream when I'm frustrated. My best friend tried it too, the drug - several times. But he can't do anything with her. It does not have the hoped-for effect, worse: it often did not work at all. Since then he has been moaning and despising me for my addiction.

My drug is the size of a pack of cigarettes and has a screen. Her name: iPod. The dealer: Apple computer company. I saved my entire music collection on the little thing. Robbie Williams trills his songs on sunny days, while Nirvana thunders on stressful car journeys. This may not be the very latest on the music market, but my iPod is over two years old. My best friend already had three iPods and three times he lost all of his favorite songs and audio books because he didn't use the device lovingly enough (my argument) or because “the dirty thing can't do anything but look good” (his argument).

Apple has now brought the “iPod Hifi” onto the market for addicts like me: a shoe box-sized loudspeaker altar on which I can plug my iPod and listen to music without headphones. So the neighbors can tell whether I'm in a good or bad mood. For Apple and me it is "the stereo - reinvented". My best friend describes it as “insolently expensive active boxes in a white box”. In my clear, calm moments, I think: Okay, he's not entirely wrong. 360 euros - that's a lot of money. But the sound is really good and the box is just beautiful.

It is also mobile because it can be operated with batteries - but they don't last long, for me just three days. But you can show off with the box. The other day twelve guests were there for dinner, all risked a jealous look and marveled at the design, praised the sound and even endured my choice of music. When I controlled the acoustics by remote control the size of a lighter, there were "Ahhhs" and "Ohhhhs". Only my best friend was not impressed.

Now it's gone again, the newly invented stereo system. Sent back to Apple. The test is over and I'm on rehab. But my best friend gave me a present: an audio cable with which I can connect the iPod to the old stereo system. There is a sticky note on it: “Only 7.99 euros!” That is true friendship.

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