DAP Wars

This entry has been hanging around since November 2006. Pathetic.

iPod Wars, DAP Wars, call them what you like, they weren’t just a New York fad. And it turns out a lot of people came up with the idea at around the same time. Now, I’m not making any claims to originality here, but it was created spontaneously one day in
early 2005.

As long as my friend Robin and I have had DAPs (iPod for me, Creative somethingorother for him) we’ve been playing a variant of this game. For us though, it’s not about a confrontational ‘face-off’ between strangers. It’s about a shared history, and overlapping tastes in music. Anyway, on to the rules…

The version of the game described in the Brooklyn Rail piece is a bit dubious really. After all, if someone suddenly shows you one cool song on their DAP, how do you know that isn’t the only cool song on the their DAP? The real test is what happens when you get them to skip to the next track – but by then they’ve hopped on the A-Train for a bagel or whatever.

The other version is more similar, but I think it’s a bit over-engineered. What I’m saying here is when we meet to peet a pint of black and suds, we play a few rounds while we pull the earbuds out and put the damn things away.

Anyway, now, definitely on to the rules…

Requirements: You both need a DAP (Digital Audio Player), or similar piece of glorious musical technology, with the ability to shuffle ALL the tracks on it. This is key.

  1. Both set your DAP to ‘shuffle all’ mode. Countdown, 3, 2, 1, press NEXT.
  2. Compare songs. This is where it gets tricky. I could bandy around words like “subjective”, “opinion” and so on, but what actually matters is “cool”.
  3. The coolest track wins. It’s up to you to decide, and it’s the fun bit.

It’s a bit like Paper, Scissors, Rock, except without the definitive win-lose rules, although some guidelines did emerge after playing for a while. These are not rules, as they depend on mood, and the phase of the moon.

  • Dollar’s ‘Hand Held in Black and White’ beats pretty much anything by Tortoise, or indeed anything.
  • Pretty much anything by The Frogs beats Dollar’s ‘Hand Held in Black and White’
  • Anything with brackets in the title automatically loses, except where this rule contradicts the rule about The Frogs (e.g. ‘I’ve Got Drugs (Out Of The Mist)’, ‘Men (Come On Men)’).

Do you see? Now go!