The relationship between publishing, music and technology is up for examination in The Independent today, and the iPod remains a device defining a time.

Mat Snow, editor-in-chief of forthcoming digital music for music fans magazine, 'Rip & Burn' (which launches September 30) explains: "Every successful mainstream music title has sprung to life off the back of a technical innovation in music consumption".

Snow looks at the relationship between the success of NME and the vinyl single; Smash Hits, and its debt to the Sony Walkman; Q's connection to the CD-buying boom of the eighties and Mojo's relationship to Amazon's wide catalogue of CDs.

Defining changing times

"So, when we find ourselves amid the biggest change in music consumption since Edison's come the music magazine market presents such a picture of stagnation?" he asks.

"The new music consumer still needs hardware, but today's generation-on-the-go is most likely to listen to it on an iPod or similar player, which liberates him and her from home base, just as the mobile phone has done," he adds.

The new title aims at the new audience, he promises. The launch reflects a new wave in publishing, as established music and lifestyle, and some leading technology publishers begin to attempt to define the new market meme.

New ways for sound waves

Q has relaunched itself as a magazine for this generation, UK publisher Development Hell ensures plenty of iPod coverage in its title, 'Word'. Macworld recently released a special 'iPod user' magazine, and a swathe of Web sites for iPod users are springing up in multiple languages across the world.

On a less serious note, iPodLaughs is a new site that dedicates itself to delivering a selection of time-wasting, humorous 'utilities' for iPod users.

These include: iAshamed - a place for music fans to "submit the song they should have deleted a long time ago"; The iPod Engraving Utility - where users can submit witty iPod engravings they may not necessarily buy ("Waterproof model: go ahead, try me!", for example); and more.

The iPod is also taking its place in live entertainment, with London's emerging Playlist club part of a growing stream of experimental iPod (and other music player) events, offering individualised yet participation-based events that reflect the technology-driven change in musical taste and buying habits.