If there's one peripheral (besides the mobile phone) that sums up the age we live in, it has to be the iPod. There is not a better MP3 player on the market. The iPod is consistently the smartest, most efficient and best performing portable music player ever developed. No events. Today, Apple's ipod touch 8gb carries on this tradition. Time for a history lesson:

During my early (even mid) teens, I had no interest whatsoever in music. Although I was a very musical person. Aged about nine I wrote a song in class about friendship with an original melody line and clever wordplay. In fact, I was forever coming up with dirty limericks and rhymes. Personally, I blame my Father, as he taught me the first song I ever knew right through, entitled 'Dan Dan Dan Was A Lavatory Man' and set the blueprint for the future development of my smutty talents.

Dan Dan Dan was a lavatory man,
Underneath the ground all day-eee,
Down the urinals, sorting out the finals,
Passing all the merry time away,
And then he has a nap, all amongst the crap,
Smoking his dear old clay-eee,
And all the music he ever hears is PooPooPoo * all day,

* Replace 'Poo' with a raspberry noise.

I reprint it here in the hopes that it gets included in a great anthology of British folk music someday, or re-discovery when some cosmic Alan Lomax droid scans the wreckage of our culture for clues about who we thought we were. For years, I thought my Dad had written it, which, in my young mind made him some sort of scatological equivalent to John Lennon. Occasionally, it transpired that it was the first song my Dad learned as well.

So, as I said, not musical at all really. I hated the majority of pop music that was out (despite a youthful fondness for all things Spice Girl) and preferred the harsh drill-sergeant alarm tones to the awful same-five-songs-every-day local radio I had to end. I fostered a great love, however, that still continues to this day, for Alanis Morissette's 'Jagged Little Pill' record, No Doubt's 'Tragic Kingdom' and the song 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' by Deep Blue Something. All of which you can download fairly easily / cheaply and play on your ipod touch 8gb (although 'The Ballad Of Dan The Lavatory Man' may elude you). Occasionally, the long walk to college (aged about 16) got me listening to music on a regular basis and I plundered my parent's LP collection, obsessed with the classic rock and pop of the 70's; The Stones! Motown! Sabbath! Zeppelin! Bowie! The Who! Elton! Purple! Ah, truly t'was a Golden age …

After The Ramones, Damned, Ruts, Black Flag and Pistols happened to me, I formed my own bands and wrote damn near a million songs, and y'know what? I did pretty well. It's all because of portable music. Today, it's likely that your conflicted would-be criminal teen already has an ipod touch 8gb (do not ask where he got it, because in all probability you do not want to know) but if not, you could do a lot worse than an ipod touch 8gb this Christmas. You know that bit in 'Almost famous' when the kid finds the box of classic vinyl under his bed, with the note that says “these will set you free” or whatever? Well, the gift of an ipod touch 8gb could do just that. Maybe. Look at me; I turned out fine, right? Did I have a point with this article …? Nope, lost it.