Friday, June 10, 2005

Why I still don't have an iPod

"These men have helped design the most beautiful object art in music culture since the electric guitar. That's the iPod."

That's what Bono recently told Greg Kot in an interview for the Chicago Tribune. I don't know about you, but I think that line is hilarious. Anybody remember the Walkman?

Since I'm on the subject, my "devil's advocate" voice wonders why I don't have an iPod. I am not knocking the iPod here, but for my own personal use, I have a lot of reasons why I don't have one.

1) Too expensive
-From $100 to $400, that is too much change for something I don't think I would use very often. If you want more music stored in your iPod, you have to pay up. Besides, what I want to hear changes from hour to hour (sometimes from minute to minute), so I'm not sure if even 60-gigs of space are enough.

2) The annoying two-second gap
-A lot of albums do not have gaps between tracks (especially live records). The listening experience is enjoyable when the transitions are seemless. Since each MP3 must stop before the next MP3 plays, there is a gap. While I believe there is a fade-in/fade-out option between tracks, the transition is not the same. I know that's very picky, but I want to let the tracks play and not worry about glitches or pauses.

3) Too impersonal
-I like to peruse other people's record collections. Always a great conversation starter, you can learn a lot about somebody from his/her's collection. Seeing the album art, reading the liner notes and looking at the tracklisting, there is a lot of information to process. When you have an MP3, you have the artist's name, the track's title and the album it came from. There are no credits listed and there is no interesting artwork to look at. You're basing your feeling off of what you hear (which is not a bad thing at all). Visuals are helpful: it gives you something interesting to look at while you're listening. However, I've found the experience of just seeing the basic information a little cold and impersonal.

4) It needs a battery
-I know Apple is working on the battery situation, but because there is a battery, I have a concern. Thanks to AC power, I don't have to worry about my music player (boombox, PC, multi-disc changer and single-disc changer in the car) going out on me after a certain amount of hours.

The iPod has done great things for others with personal use, but I'm still entrenched in my old ways with personal listening habits. I don't see any major reasons to change them.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I think three of your problems are solvable, but the impersonal thing is very true. I couldn't do without my album art, and I love showing off my collection when people come over. My main problem with ipod is all the license security crap. I just rebuilt my girlfriend's computer and you should have seen the hell I went through trying to get everything off itunes re-registered and licensed and all that crap. It was even with stuff we own on CD that was "ripped" with Itunes. If you want portability for your whole collection, buy something like the Archos drive that simply acts as an external computer hard drive with a headphone jack. Much more flexible...