It’s been officially two months since I broke down, without warning or premeditation, and bought an iPod Nano 2G. Not quite the big old honkin’ iPod 30G, and not the itty, bitty, almost pointless Shuffle — rather just the right size, all Goldilocks-like.
I went to the computer store to buy some RAM for my 4 year-old, broken-down POS — not a brand, just a generic title we have anointed the computer many, many, many times over. As I meandered through the various rows of computer components and gadgetry, I found myself inexplicably drawn into the special cordoned off area just for Apple products.
It was like stepping into a world all its own. The sleek, shiny, sparkly design of the Apple line can only be compared to the difference between department store cosmetics and the crap you find at Rite-Aid. Some marketing genius put some serious time into making these products appeal to the eye-candy gene that lurks within all of us.
I stood there for a good long while. I mentally justified why we needed an iPod. I benevolently pictured Eric, no longer being weighed down by heavy CDs through airport security, carefree walks in the park listening to Roxy Music, music reviews made easier. Oh yes, iPod would make my life better, my teeth whiter, my butt smaller, the world more gentle, peaceful. This is how the subtle genius world of Steve Jobs lures you in.
Have you ever talked to an Apple owner? These people are part of a cult, a mindset, an ideology. These aren’t just computers, they are a way of life.
So what do I think of my (our) iPod? Generally speaking, I like, I like a lot. It’s pretty, the sound is crystal clear, and it’s small and unobtrusive.
It does have some drawbacks though. I worried that the size and sophistication of the device would make it fragile, but so far it has resisted my sweating and occasional drops during vigorous workouts. The battery life (I hear) is limited and the accessories are expensive. I have yet to purchase one additional accessory, excluding the docking station (Logic 3) with speakers I bought with the iPod itself. The entire unit folds flat, making it very easy to pack and take with you.
I had some issues initially setting up the iTunes software and downloading my songs, but now I find it really easy to use. For people used to Windows applications, like myself, it takes some time to understand the nuances of how to interact with the iPod. I still haven’t mastered the on wheel design controller and often end up having my ears blown out by the time I get to the volume control. I am sure this is user error.
Some of the cooler features in the software are the various sorting methods for your music library. You sort alphabetically by song, artist, genre, album, or compilations — as well as download pictures. It has an area to store contact information, games, clock, calendar, notes, and a stopwatch. You can record playlists on the fly with a simple select and hold method, or select shuffle if you like living on the edge.
All in all, the iPod is as cool as the commercials make it out to be. It did not however, make my butt smaller…yet. But rest assured, the iPod is a tenacious mother-effer.