iPod: The problem with getting something good is that you'll want something better.I've finally gotten my iPod. After months - actually, closer to years - I've finally succumbed and bought an iPod (and not some Creative clone).
What's good about the iPod? Well, before you even use it, there's the packaging. It's beautifully wrapped up in a dinky little box which unfolds and unfurls to reveal the iPod and its accessories (a pair of headphones, two connection cables, a power adaptor and a plug thing, if you're counting).
Then there's iTunes, the desktop software that acts as a interface between your real-life music and your iPod. As a player by itself, I still prefer Winamp, but it's hard to see how they could radically improve on the design as an iPod conduit.
iTunes works pretty much the way you would expect it to work. It's actually a front-end to all the MP3 files you have on your hard disk. If your MP3 files are on a folder, you add the folder. If you have a music CD, you insert the CD, and it converts it to digital format and stores it on the hard disk. When you change the properties of the MP3s, you're changing the MP3 meta-information, not information in some proprietary database. There is some information related to volume levels, start and stop times and equaliser settings that are kept in iTunes, but they have no ID3 counterparts anyway.
There's also this thing called 'intelligent playlists'. You set criteria, and it can update playlists dynamically. So, for example, if you want songs that have a certain word in the title, you just set up the playlist, and everytime you add more songs that fit the criteria, the playlist gets updated. Works much better than I explain it, trust me.
Finally, the iPod itself. Small, dinky, stylish. It also has an ingenious interface designed to be used with one thumb. It does exactly what it's meant to do very well. You can even operate the basic functions in the dark. Now, I've taken to keeping the iPod in my top pocket and keep looking as if I'm rubbing my nipple when I change volume and tracks.
Also, in my case, 20GB of disk space. Or, if you prefer it in apples, about 200 albums. I've dumped everything I have in my collection, but I still have more than half the space left.
The problem of having everything so good is that you want MORE. The following list are things that are "could have" things that would make good things better:
- No lyrics: You can embed lyrics into an MP3 file, but neither iPod nor iTunes can read them.
- Transferring CDs to the iPod require an intermediate step: You have to rip them to the hard disk first and can't transfer stuff directly to the iPod. Ditto with internet radio and some video formats
- Gets warm: When it's charging, the iPod gets hot. Well, at least my nipple's warm first thing in the morning.
- Text files: You can read text files on the iPod, but they are limited to 16kb files. Well, the screen isn't really designed for reading either. But wouldn't it be good if I could load up my novels into the iPod and read them while listening to Debbie Gibson? Eh?
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