When The Computer Listens To Bob Newhart

Here’s a philosophical one for you: is your computer forced to listen to everything you play through it? Is it perhaps very, very sick of so-called deep cuts from Carly Rae Jepsen? I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but as we learned yesterday by way of a murderous navigation app, Apple products—and this certainly includes iTunes—can have a mind of their own. Which brings me to legendary comedian Bob Newhart.

Yeah, there’s a Bob Newhart album in my iTunes: Something Like This … The Bob Newhart Anthology. Really funny stuff, and groundbreaking, too! Still, when I clicked over to my “Top 25 Most Played” list, I didn’t expect Bob to be taking up every slot. And I surely didn’t imagine I’d listened to the album all the way through 22 times. Yet that’s what iTunes was telling me.

Okay, there are explanations for this that don’t include my computer being an obsessive Bob Newhart fan. Maybe I did listen to him a lot. Or maybe I left the album on repeat, muted. In that case, though—the endlessly looped but muted album—what is actually happening? Is the computer not still unspooling the relevant information, running a hand over it … in effect, listening? Alone? Honing its comedic timing? Could explain why I saw mine at the open mic last night. 

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

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