Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bosses don’t eye iPods with favour
Mike Musgrove

The popularity of the iPod is visible on city sidewalks and in gyms; now the popular digital music player’s distinctive white earphones are becoming a more familiar sight at the office.

Phyllis Davis, a business etiquette expert, condemns listening to music on the job as “tantamount to stealing” because, she says, workers who are listening to digital players aren’t as focused.

But some bosses say they don’t mind. Timothy Shey, co-founder of Proteus, says: “Half the office at any given time is listening to music’’ at his company, which builds software for mobile phones. The popularity of iPods means that workers use e-mail and instant messages to communicate, even if they are sitting practically next to each other.

The iPod lets users share their tunes over a network, allowing colleagues to poke through and listen to each other’s music libraries. For iPod owners with guilty pleasures — say, a catchy Britney Spears song — that particular feature sometimes can be embarrassing.

Hence, a rule at Proteus: “The only policy we have is not to make fun of other people’s iPod collections,” Shey adds.

— LA Times-Washington Post