One Reporter's Ramblings: $20 well spent

I’ve never been one to text while driving. In fact, I’m usually the buzzkill who will sound like a disappointed father from a 1950s sitcom if a friend looks at their phone while behind the wheel.
Of course, my reason is I don’t want to die when they veer left while reading what someone thought of the new Power Rangers movie.
As much as I get on to others, I’m guilty of cellphone-related infractions, just not in texting.
As a product of my age, my phone isn’t just a phone. 
I use it to watch stupid Youtube videos at night. I use it to Google the answers to useless trivia that comes up in day-to-day conversation. (Occasionally, I will search for something important, but that’s much rarer.)
I also have used it to play music for quite a while. This last one is the major problem as Windows, Android and Apple haven’t perfected a music player that doesn’t require a glance down to switch albums or artists.
They all have voice activated assistants but those usually require pressing a button to activate, which also requires a look at the screen.
They also have varying levels of accuracy with road noise. 
“Siri, play The Lumineers.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t find any music by ‘The Room and Rears.’ ”
Recognizing the problem of playing music from my phone while driving, I hit eBay and bought a piece of cutting-edge technology ... from eight years ago.
I found a used iPod Shuffle — a device made primarily for joggers and others who just want to throw a bunch of tracks onto their player and either play them straight through or shuffling through them at random.
Because of its age and the lack of demand, I got one refurbished for $20. 
The raised play button and arrows around it make it easy to raise volume or switch tracks while keeping my eyes on the road.
It enables me to play my music while keeping my wife and I as well as those around me safer. (There are also several similar devices aimed at the athletic type, so there are options for those not wanting iTunes or wanting something newer.)
It really is amazing all the things we can do with our smartphones today, but almost all of that functionality requires an eye on the touchscreen so you can see what you’re pressing.
If, like me, you need tunes while driving, it might be worthwhile to get something else to handle your music for the safety of all.

Gaudette is a staff writer at the Dublin Citizen and can be reached at 445-2515 and

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