Friday, 7 January 2011

iPod Start To The New Year

Aargh! What a start to 2011 - it looks like Apple has finally got me. After many years of studiously avoiding iTunes like the plague by use of my trusty Creative Zen, I have now relented and replaced it with the unfeasibly tiny iPod Nano. I’d like to think that there are several compelling reasons for this so I’m going to state them here just to reassure myself that I’ve done the right thing:

1. My 20Gb Zen was feeling its age and was beginning to have all sorts of disc start-up and shut-down problems making me spend hours rebuilding libraries and trying to hard reset the thing in an effort to make it work at all.

2. Having changed my computer, I have found that Windows 7 does not support the software associated with my old Zen, so I cannot add or manage the music files any longer. Well, there’s a surprise. And the Creative website offers no upgrade either so I’ve been made obsolete. There’s an even bigger surprise.

3. My daughter already has an iPod so iTunes has become a way of life for her and vicariously for me. I’ve learned that it is possible to keep multiple music libraries in a single install of iTunes. By holding down ‘Shift’ when you fire it up, it allows you to choose which library you wish to see and thus sync to. This is not generally advertised on the iTunes website – I discovered it on a user’s forum. That probably means it will be withdrawn when the software next updates, leaving me high and dry.

4. I don’t actually like the new generation of Creative products – hence I have been enticed by the undoubted style (over content?) of the iPod.

My only other consideration was which iPod. Up until now, my Zen has housed a large proportion of my music collection but I’ve come to realise that now the novelty of having access to most of my LPs and CDs on tap has worn off, I don’t really need them all. So instead of a bulky, disc driven device that makes holes in my pockets, I’ve gone for a lighter, solid state 16Gb model with the intention of only carrying around stuff I am currently listening to and changing the playlist every so often. It means that I pay less and can therefore afford to replace it when it, again, becomes obsolete - as it will. It has no camera or other useless gimmicks and just plays music - perfect. Whether all this works in the long term or has me hankering for a larger capacity model remains to be seen but for the moment the experiment continues.

Watch this space!

PS - I've just discovered that the damn thing has no on/off switch.  You can only put it into standby which eats the battery - great!


Jayne said...

I swear Apple has a magnetic field slowly luring us all in. :)

I have a five-year old ipod nano, which carries around approx 200 songs and I mix them up as it suits me. It does nothing but play music and is a very reliable soul (although battery time is approx 7 hours or so). The only prob I had with itunes was when I upgraded the software on my computer it threw a paddy and I had to reinstall the drivers on Windows, which was rather scary!

music obsessive said...

Blimey Jayne! You're sounding like a real techie! It seems that whatever route is chosen, something always goes awry in the end involving much poring over user forums and help screens. So far so good for my mini nano even if I am beginning to miss having my 4,000-odd songs within reach of a click.

Perplexio said...

I went off-brand for my wife for Christmas with an 8GB Archos 2 mp3 player with micro SD card slot. It was the same price as the 4GB Sansa. I checked the reviews for both. They were comparable. So I went with the 8GB.

I just couldn't justify the extra money for going Apple. Yes they are more user friendly (or at least are supposed to be) as they've been "in the game" longer than most. But I do wonder when buying an iPod, how much of that extra money is getting you that extra user-friendliness and how much of that money is just paying for the Apple logo on your mp3 (or should I say, m4a) player?

music obsessive said...

Perplexio - you'd be right to wonder about price. There's no doubt you are paying for brand, However, the unfortunate fact remains that at the moment there are no other makes that I like the look of, so I'm prepared to pay for the style and usability (sort of...) of the Apple. Having been a Creative user for several years I was VERY disappointed with their current models

Hopefully next time around the competition will be more up to scratch.

YourZenMine said...

Welcome to the Darkside...

We inherited our Ipod and have slowly been adding our collection to it. Prior, we were using a Zen device which was okay but a pain to load.

Our Ipod has a massive 120 gb and so far we've managed to put 50 gb of music on it. While I love the fact I can carry so much music around easily, this also means it could be misplaced or stolen quite easily as well.

music obsessive said...

YourZenMine - I was quite attached to my old Zen, but it had to go. Having a huge collection on one device is very convenient but like you say, you are open to losing the lot in one go. Also, I was beginning to find that there were too many so-so tracks picked up on 'shuffle' mode!

This time around, it's really good stuff only!