I think it was youtube which changed my attitude towards the portable modalities.
Used to be that I listened to the music on the portable audio player a lot, whether it was walkman or iPod. Nowadays, I don't listen to portable music that much.
The fun of listening to music on the youtube in the hotel room when traveling has changed my sensitivities to the portables. When you are walking on the street, or on the train, you are exposed to a lot of noise naturally. Listening to a portal music is done on top of that, which is sometimes OK, but not really perfect.
Listening to music in a hotel room, based on your whimsical moods, has opened a pathway for joy hitherto unknown, and in a sense made the portable music outdated.
Now I am more interested in portable reading. Whether it is the Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader, I think portable text has a great future.
In my life, portable music would keep having a place, but I foresee more importance assigned to portable text, while the music would return to the room and concerts. In that mood, I would be needing less of the earphone.