If it was thought that I entirely forgot about this blog, fear not. Productivity comes and goes, and is direct result of real-life commitments. But, enough about that – here’s a review.
Being a fan of music, the advent of the mp3 player was not only beneficial, it was a godsend. Quite suddenly, much of my music collection could travel with me in a hand-held device instead of needing to tote around cases full of disks. There was no longer a fear of scratching CDs, and now I’d just need to recharge a battery every once in a while to play my tunes again.
My first (and until a few days ago, only) mp3 player was the Creative Zen Touch.
At 40 GB, this machine was well-suited to my musical tastes. A relatively long battery life and decent storage capacity allowed me to enjoy the benefits of the digital age without the cost seen in models from Apple or Dell. Unfortunately, this thing was a beast. Instead of being a compact storage space, the Zen Touch had the width of more than two CD cases. This meant that pocketing the player, while necessary, was impractical and uncomfortable. Furthermore, a very inconstant touch bar and (in later life) incompatibility with my computer caused frustration that turned to rage. Without access to the media stored on the Zen Touch, the device lost most of its uses. I couldn’t organize new playlists, I couldn’t put new albums on (Beck’s Sea Change was a victim), and I was forced to deal with the increasingly temperamental user interface if I hoped to achieve actual entertainment.
Enter the iPod – a New Conversion
So, after much reluctance but an understanding of my portable music position, I knew that I needed to buy a new player. A few options presented themselves as worthwhile. The Microsoft Zune was a very attractive choice, as most of my music was already in .wma format (thanks to the Creative product). However, the Apple iPod Classic and the Creative Zen (a new, flash-based player) also seemed very interesting to me.
After much debate, I decided to finally join the bandwagon and buy an iPod (the 80 GB Classic, in particular). The simple elegance of the product and its very user-friendly interface proved to be important selling points, especially after the incompatible and confusing nature of the Creative player.
My initial impression was in size. Instead of being larger than two CD cases, the iPod Classic was thinner than a single case. This served as a source of both shock and joy. I was pretty pleased to see that my new music device wouldn’t force me to have leg pain as I carried around the player.
However, not all was jubilant with the iPod. As the Apple product did not like to communicate with Microsoft-based music formats, it was necessary to convert the majority of my music from .wma to .mp3. This change, while not a function of the iPod’s functionality as much as my own music library, was annoying. Spending three hours waiting before playing any music was awfully frustrating.
Yet, success was achieved, and eventually I got to listen to music. And this is where the iPod shines – functionality in music listening. As attractive as the machine is, the ability to hook up to my computer and easily add songs is liberating. Now I can just listen to things without having to reset a player four times per session.
So, instead of analyzing the particular merits of the iPod over other players (which I can’t do as I’ve never used others, beyond my Zen Touch), I can use this review as a point of discussion. Thanks to the addition of a worthwhile mp3 player to my musical life, I can now listen to albums in more situations, perhaps leading to new reviews.
Really, a sense of fun emanates from the iPod, thanks to a cool interface, the ability to add games, and a general usefulness. It is my hope that with a nice player, I can finally get back to the music I so dearly missed on long car rides and just lounging around the house.