L’ “autonomia dipendente”: la rappresentazione dell’iPod
| COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2008 - 3. Il dito e la luna. Rappresentazioni mediali e costruzione sociale della realtà
The article examines the ‘iPod case’, in its structural particularity inside the market of the new communication
What characterized this device – within the paradigm of mobility – is the particular dependence from
network and PC. The hypothesis of the author is that not only music is permeated by dialectics between
extreme personalization and desire of community (and communication), but also the management of the
meanings associated to iPod device is conditioned by this bipolar system. This is particularly evident in the
link between iPod and iTunes software, from the specific point of view of contents. We are assisting here to
two contrasting phenomena: from one side iPod tends to become more and more capacious and ‘independent’
from a point of view of digital memory, from the other side Apples promotes and follows a policy of gradual
release of contents through iTunes MS, which stimulates a continuous dependence from the web.
Actually, we still have to underline the duplicity of the iTunes MS phenomenon,: from one side the shop
is a place where one can buy ‘already known’ music, but on the other side it works as a top-down information
place (a sort of news window) and mainly as a place for the diffusion of underground and indie contents.
In iTunes MS there are both typical tendencies of a commercial reality and phenomena, which are more
similar to the creation of an Internet community.
IPod value is in its being a cult object allowing a synthesis between the will to a tendency to freedom,
to the independence of choice of the single persons, though linking them to the network society of shared contents,
and the community of values and distinctions of who is a part (or wants to be part) of the iPod generation
(and of the podcasting-generation).