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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Taste of paradise: Behold the Buddha Box

By Zachary 'Buddha' Bernstein

We all  have iPods nowadays, it seems. It is all about convenience. It is cool to  be able to cart around  thousands of songs on something that is thinner than a pencil.

Well, what I am talking about here is not even close to that. It is certainly not thinner than a pencil; in fact, it is barely thinner than a pencil holder.

It comes pre-loaded with nine songs. Forget about Lady GaGa or Coldplay among them, forget about syncing with your computer and  above all, adding more songs. Yes,there is an application for these tasks but it is not quite the same as the real thing.

It is called the Buddha Machine (see why I’m a fan?). It is made of plastic and comes in a bunch of different colors. It is one of the coolest things ever!

The machine is very simple. Pop in a couple of AA batteries and turn it on. From there, ambient music begins to filter through the box’s one (admittedly not high-quality) speaker. (It also has a headphone jack if needed) .

Do not expect any lyrics, though. It is just music. In fact, it is the same music repeated over and over again.

The group that made this invention is a Chinese band called FM3. They actually have some music on iTunes. FM3 wrote nine pieces of music, ranging from two to 42 seconds in length.

Turn on the Buddha Machine and the first piece comes on and plays over and over, until you press the small button on the side. This button allows  the second piece to start and play repeatedly until you press the button again.

You may be asking: And I care about this, why? I have an iPod for that, and it does not play the same music over and over.

Well, your iPod is great for walking around or killing time waiting for the subway, but the Buddha Machine serves a totally different purpose.

It is all about the atmosphere, for when you just need to lay back and unwind,with a little soothing background music.

Never underestimate the power of a few minutes of Buddha Machine-sponsored goodness. It can be the difference between a massive pre-exam freak-out and a very chill quasi-mediation session.

The box itself costs $23. You can find a list of sites that sell it on FM3’s website,

If you prefer instant gratification and not spending that much, the group has a Buddha Machine app on iTunes that costs only  $1.99!

 It has the same nine songs, in somewhat better quality and  you can see colors that change on demand! While both versions are worthy investments, I like having the Buddha machine actually fill the room with sound( you can do this with a speaker dock for your iPod as well).

Life is stressful. Sometimes, convenience is not what you need. For when things get too overwhelming or you need life to slow down for a while, there’s the Buddha Machine! Take it from a would-be monk: this stuff really works.

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