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19 June 2005

iPod thoughts

Now that I have had it for a while

Now that iPods are finally taking off in Greece, the kid who does the gopher job at my workplace asked me what iPod to buy. There is a much wider range of models now, compared to about 1.5 years ago, when I bought Generation 3 iPod with 10Gig. A wider range means more chance to get exactly what you need, but possible harder to decide. For myself, my iPod has turned out a good buy...

It soon turned out for Christos it won't be an iPod, since his main criteria is radio listening. No iPod does radio listening (though there are rumours that this is to come, since apparently Apple hired someone with radio experience). You can of course send radio signals with an iPod, by hooking up one of the 3rd party devices that let you listen to the iPod for example through your car radios speakers.

For myself radio listening is no criteria, at work the radio doodles all day long. I use the iPod to listen to music that helps me concentrate, so I need my choice of music. The smaller iPods won't do, as I need a wider collection of music at hand. But my 10Gig model is so far sufficient for me.

I don't care so much for the "cult status" or the "everybody has one" and all that of the iPod. What I care for is that it cooperates nicely with my Mac, and even what I've seen so far for PC based MP3 player software, I'd install iTunes even if I had a PC. After all, Apple still has the knack for user interfaces. The iPod generally works without much fuss.

Of course, when you really have a problem with your iPod, it turns itself into a black box. And then resolving iPod trouble turns out to be hard. For a while my iPod did not mount in Finder or iTunes on my work Mac. I solved the problem with a bit of luck. It's not like every iPod has trouble (more likely it's just a small, small percentage that will couse the owner trouble), don't get me wrong.

My battery lasts longer now than it did when the device was new. No scientific tests here, just from what I seem to get as listening times. I couldn't even say how many hours straight. But it turns out that some of the iPod firmware upgrades could have helped there, as hinted on the wikipedia entry on the iPod. Now it's definitely long enought to last for the ferry to Limnos (not that I would listen to music all the time on the boat).

Talking about Limnos island: My iPod has survived some rough road biking there. It's of course scratched all over (like I would ever be carefull with my hardware...). But it survived the bike, the beach, the sand and the heat.

Since I stopped lugging my laptop to work, I started using my iPod as a portable HD. This turns out to be making the iPod experience a bit more complicated (have to unmount before unplugging... big thing), but it's worthwhile. I had lost downloaded files on my PC-formatted USB drive stick. The iPods Mac-filesystem is tougher. My iPod is Mac-formatted, so I can't transport data cross-plattform. But when I need that, I take the risk with the USB stick. No idea how the iPod shuffle is doing in that regard, since it uses the same flashdrive technology as the USB stick drives.

Conclusion: Since I bought it, my iPod has become part of my lifestyle. What few problems I had, I was able to resolve them (with some luck). Especially the bonus use as a data transport device fits me well. For me the investment was worth it.

Posted by betabug at 12:20 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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iPod shuffle thoughts

Well the ipod shuffle comes formatted with msdos filesystem, iirc. Inside itunes you can define the amount the space that you want for music and data.
One gripe is that you can't use with more than one computer. So if use your home computer with the shuffle and then decide at work to plug it in and transfer additional music, itunes will ask you if you want to associate that ipod with that computer. If you respond affirmatively, it will then erase your current music that you have on it, so you can add music from work itunes library. Of course if you say no, it won't mount itself on itunes but then you can't change it's music.
An alternative to this is to stop using itunes and use this: iPod shuffle Database Builder. A python script that rebuilds the database that shuffles uses to play your music. So you can just copy mp3 files to it and then run this script and it will update the database.
Now what about some pix of that scratched ipod? :-)

Posted by: Rodolfo Gouveia at June 19,2005 15:45
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