Ok, so I went and ordered (and today received) an iPod. 20g version. I feel so dirty. Say whatever else you want about Apple and their products, but they have product marketing and packaging and presentation DOWN PAT. All their products (ok, maybe there are a few exceptions) are pretty to behold. The iPod itself is light, compact and holds a buttload of music. Battery life and other such measures will become apparent pretty soon.
At the moment I’m downloading some 2000+ songs to the damn thing. To be more precise, I’m downloading 2225 songs that will take up 13.37 gig of space. As I continue to rip new stuff off my CDs, I’ll fill the rest, but this is a good start, to be sure. I also ordered a dock (I’ll most likely end up using that at work or in the data center when I want to keep it charged, and eventually get little speakers (or just take ones I already have to use with it. We’ll see. Convenient portable music, blah blah blah. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that music is a pretty central part of my life, and that I couldn’t very well live without it. I’d go so far as to say that when I don’t have music in the background, my life is less full, less rich. It feels empty when it isn’t there, like something’s missing.
Now that I’ve blathered on about the philsophy of this for a bit, I suppose I’ll give some specs. First, all my music that I store for any length of time (barring stuff that I’m “testing” to see if I want to buy), is ripped from my own CDs. This is a personal decision, I realize. Many see the Internet as a mechanism for free music. More power to them. In fact, I have a theory about this. It is pretty indisputable that there is a percentage of the population that downloads music for free from the Internet without paying. In fact, I freely admit to doing just that (under the above listed caveat). However, I believe that there is a portion of the population (and it includes me, so I know the portion is at least *that* big), that only did so because they had no mechanism to otherwise support their ‘music habit’, being in college, jobless, or under some other similar financial duress, BUT FULLY INTEND to purchase the (rights to the) music once their resources are restored or gained. I want to support the artists that produce the wonderful stuff that is so central to my life. The same holds true for computer games, movies or really any other form of media that has become ubiquitous in this day and age. I don’t necessarily agree with the manner in which publishers manage the rights and profits of those artists, but that is an evil (I think) that will fix itself. Look at me, guys. I AM YOUR TARGET MARKET. I am the one who WILL pay (eventually) if the quality of the product is sufficient.
Boy, that turned into a rant. Oh well. In any case, music specs. I use EAC for ripping to WAV, and LAME for conversion to MP3. with the following settings:
--alt-preset standard -Z
Argue all you want. This is the right balance point for me for quality/file size. So instead of the advertised 5000 songs, I will probably only get about 3000. Phew. Wow, I feel so slighted.
I was pleased to see that it supports behaving as a ‘drive’, so I can just copy files over to it, however, in order to get MUSIC to play, you have to use one of the supported programs so that its internal indexing/playlist/database is updated and can “see” your files. Thats an acceptable balance, I think. I was disappointed to see that the version of IEEE1394 in my Audigy doesn’t fully support the RFC, and as such, won’t work with the iPod for file transfers. While USB is working fine, I’m a geek, and I want the things I buy to work. Is that so much to ask? I wasn’t even aware that the Creative Labs implementation wasn’t full until this didn’t work right. Ah well.
So far so good. Music quality is good, no skips or jumps from motion, volume goes to VERY loud. earbuds are adequate (I’ve never been fond of them, the little bastards). Installation was quick and painless. Software is intuitive and easy to navigate. I think I made a good choice.