Magician Jason Palter’s latest effect, iKnow, is quite an entertaining bit of mentalism. It begins with you allowing a spectator to borrow your iPod and listen to a song. Then you listen to their ear for the sound of the music “echoing about in their brainless head” (as one frequently assaulted street magician put it) and tell them the name of the song they were listening to. If all goes well, the spectator is so impressed that the idea of running away with your iPod instead of returning it never crosses their devious little mind.

I’ve worked on an effect like this myself, on and off, for some time. The biggest drawback, for me, is the fact that they keep telling me I’m voiding my warranty by opening up my iPod and doing a little soldering here and there to see if I can make something magical happen. So it was nice to find an effect like Palter’s that didn’t require all the hardware and expensive experimental short-circuiting.

The only problem I have with iKnow is that people keep looking at the songs on my iPod and pretending that they have never heard of Foreigner, Grand Funk Railroad, or other ever-hot artists. One magician who saw me performing suggested that I should “either update the collection or let folks listen to the music right off your 8-track.” As if I’m going to perform out of my car. Ha!