I, iPod

I have wanted an MP3 player for a while, and my upcoming UK trip forced the issue – I do not want to get on another freaking plane without some portable tunes. I will cover this in more detail later, but I decided on an iPod 4G 40GB unit. Pricy, but ultimately super user friendly, simple to use, extremely portable, and ultra-sexy.

I just started using the iTunes software to burn my CDs and upload them to my trusty new iPod. I have not even touched the surface of my collection yet – I have only used 1.10GB of storage space (at 128 kbps using built in AAC Encoder), which comes out to 289 songs, good for 20.5 freaking hours of music. Holy f*c^! That is a lot of damn music.

I have to hand it to Apple for making everything so damn easy. From the word go you know that you are dealing with a stylistic, easy to use product. From the square box, with plenty of “Made by Apple in California” imprints, to the iPods jog wheel, to the extremely small and light-weight design, the iPod is made for ease of use. I guess sexy is also the operative of the day – Apple makes the whole process of getting up and running, using the iPod, and using iTunes to sort and upload your music library a complete breeze. Sexy rules. Easy of use is what drives adoption, and Apple looks to have this digital music thing figured out.

I am really impressed with the iTunes software – it allows me to easily convert my CDs to uploadable formats and of course upload to the iPod. This process is fairly quick and easy. What is really cool is that I can put my own rating on each song (1-5 stars) and use that to help determine my play lists. I have read that I can create my own play lists, but I have not played around with this feature; I assume it will be as simple as everything else has been with my iPod from the word go. The iTunes software also tracks the number of times a song has been played, and when a song was last played. All in all, very impressive stuff.

I have yet to venture into the world of downloading music from the iTunes music store – it seems too damn easy to drop a ton of cash in a hurry. I do not know about you, but $0.99 songs will pile up on my credit card quickly. As with the rest of the iPod world, the story is also stylistic and easy to use. You can quickly search for songs by artists, title, and more. I have always loved “Voices Carry” by ‘Till Tuesday, so I did a search by song title and found two different versions of the song in no time flat. As I said, this can get expensive in a hurry.

I am not going to go on a tangent, but I like to “own” stuff, and I do not illegally download music. It is a subject for another debate, but $0.99 per song should be low enough for anyone to afford. It will be interesting to see if any sort of trends will be able to identify if cheap digital music slows down music piracy.

I’ll update more about my iPod later, but for now let me say that my iPod absolutely rocks.



One thought on “I, iPod”

  1. Good to hear you like it. But it’s designed in California and made in the Far East somewhere.

    Yeah look into the Smart Playlists. I made one of the least played songs so I can hear some stuff in my library that didn’t play too much in the shuffle mode. It’s dynamic so as you add more songs, it updates automatically.

    I’ve not bought a single song from iTunes Music Store. Still have a lot of CDs to rip yet (BTW, with 40 GB, I would look into ripping at 192kbps AAC). They have some free downloads occasionally and a lot of spoken word content. For instance, they had free downloads of the VP debates, if you really want to listen to something like that.

    But the record companies are really greedy. Even though iTMS is doing well, there are rumors they want to raise prices to protect CD sales. Other rumors suggest that they’ve raised the fees so companies like Apple are forced to eat costs in order to maintain the 99 cents prices. A lot of albums which were 9.99 have increased in price.

    ipodlounge is a great resource, if you want to hear about getting new headphones or ideas on getting the most out of the iPod. They have a review of a "Tivo" for radio called the radioShark. You can schedule recordings of FM shows (not sure about AM) or rewind broadcasts you’re listening live. Then you can save as an AAC file and upload to your iPod. Very cool.

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