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Be Wise

Staff Blog

One of our staff (Lauren) has decided to write a blog! Now, she's only just started, but already it's looking good! Let's hope she doesn't forget iPodWise when she's famous with her blog...

Random thought to send us off into July...

Random thought of the day:

Remember: the grass is always greener when you're looking through a Sprite bottle.

This iPod obsession has gone too far...

Today's adventures in iPods: Will there ever be an iPod phone? (sorry, guys, it's been done- see the Nokia N91). Do you think if I send in my broken iPod I can get a free color one? (No.) What do YOU think of the new color iPods? (They're the same as my color one. Only mine's bigger. Therefore, I'm still cooler than you ;) )

But back to the reason for this interesting header. I decided today, on a whim, that I wanted an iPod shuffle. I ride horseback, and it seemed like a good idea to have an inexpensive flash-based player around the horses, and it seemed so much more portable than the adorable brick that is my iPod (I call him "Pookie!" And yes, I'm kidding.) So off I ventured to the local mall, feeling much reminicient of the scant two weeks ago when I made this walk of shame for my "big" iPod. I ventured into Best Buy, noticed that they had the 1GB version for the correct new price of $129, and passed for the moment on to Target, birthplace of my big iPod and local retailer extraordinare. They did have a pile of shuffles, but their prices hadn't reflected the line update, and I wasn't really thrilled about buying a second iPod from them. I momentarily paused, though, remembering that I have a billion Target gift cards from my high school graduation, but I decided I would want those more in college than I did at the moment. That decided, I ventured back to Best Buy, where I encountered a pile of kids fussing over the iPod collection. I looked at the shuffle, held it, decided I had a spare $100, and set about to get a salesperson to take the thing out of its lockbox.

This was no easy task. I kid you not, three different salespeople walked by me at various times during the half an hour after I decided I wanted a 512MB shuffle. None seemed all too concerned that I was practically waving a Visa card in their faces.

Finally one girl, who had walked past me at least 4 times, decided I might look like I potentially wanted to purchase something. I'm a simple person. All I want is the product. No accessories, no support plans...just the iPod please. With fries. To go.

She rings me up, apparently with some trepitation as she inspected my credit card very carefully, and handed me one small neon green box, sealed inside an armor plated clear bag. And I really mean sealed. It took me fifteen minutes to cut the bag apart to get to the thing when I got home. If I wasn't feeling quite enough like a theif after all this, there was always the security guard at the door to encounter, who looked at me suspiciouisly but signed my reciept anyway.

So I've got yet another new iPod. So far I like it. My computer fussed a little bit at first, since I already had iTunes and it wanted to wipe it and reinstall, but it appears to be working just fine. So, let the compulsive shopping begin.

But first, your intrepid editorialist is off on vacation, so thankfully her iPod shuffle should be taking the brunt of the sun and sand, while her small, white, easily scratched baby will enjoy the air conditioned comfort of its own vacation home. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

Maybe I'll adjust soon to the vast...simplicity of this device compared to my "big" iPod. It seems so...serene and unremarkable. I like my big iPod better, but this is sort of like taking just a part of it off to carry around with me. That's kind of nice.

I had something really witty to put here, but I completely forgot what it was. I guess it wasn't all that funny after all.

Tune in next week for: Adventures in iPod cases that cost more than my shoes, and we'll find out who might actually have ears big enough to use the stock iPod headphones. Also: Pictures of the resident iPods!

iPod version...4.3?

All these posts seem to be showing up on the same day, but as far as I know they were actually all posted on different days. Ah, the wonder of the internet.

In today's news: Apple has surprised us all (not) and released some new (Generation 4.5?) iPods. Shockingly enough, all the full-size iPod models have color screens, including that annoying U2 iPod. I was really hoping they'd get rid of that model. It's not really a "special edition" if you make an endless supply, Apple. It just costs more to buy. When that starts making things "special edition," count me in. I can eBay all my handbags and get extra for them!

I'm not too upset about the color screens. I saw that coming. But why on earth did Apple drop a midrange size? 20GB to 60GB is a huge leap, and I can't be sure how well the 20Gb will sell, since for only $100 more you get the equivalent of buying three of the $300 iPods. Um, that doesn't make sense.

I'm glad I bought when I did. I got my color screen, a bigger capacity, and while I can't podcast, I also don't care. That feature has absolutely no appeal for me, and I can't really imagine why Apple felt the need to introduce a whole new iPod line just for that.

Call me when the 5Gs come out.

This is one of the reasons I hate technology. The rate of change is so rapid that at any given time a very pricey purchase can be rendered "obsolete." My iPod is 12 days out of the box, and people are already calling it "old." If 12 days is old, I'm flippin' ancient. Maybe this means I can finally get that promotion at work!

For those of you looking for an update, the current iPod line now looks like this:

512 MB Shuffle for $99

1GB Shuffle for $129

4GB Mini for $199

6GB Mini for $249

20GB "iPod with color display" for $299

20GB iPod U2 (color display) for $349

60GB "iPod with color display" for $399

These price drops mean for the first time ever no iPod will retail for more than $400. It also means, for those of you drooling, that Apple has removed all the goodies from the boxes. Anything you want will have to come seperate, and at a premium price. Tread carefully (see "On Accessories and Compulsive Shopping")

On a different, less bitter note:

As my shopping compulsion becomes worse, my latest hunt is for a new pair of headphones. I've pretty much settled on a pair of Etymotic ER-6i's, which I have yet to purchase only because I have a $600 credit card bill that I should really pay off before I fork over another $110. I can't wait to hear my MP3s in all their glory, although they will probably actually sound pretty bad with high-fidelity earphones. The wonders of digital music.

I had my first iPod hardware failure this morning (the drama!) I arrived at work at 7:15 having seen nary a drop of coffee, and turned on my iPod for some tunes while I thought up something to do. Apparently, the iPod hadn't had its morning coffee either, because it refused to wake up (every day, this thing seems more like a child. See my earlier description.) I flipped out, as well as someone who's only been awake half an hour can flip out, but thankfully rebooting the iPod solved the problem and my tunes are now blasting through my (woefully inadequate, because they were only $50, headphones). So, I am no longer a hardware failure virgin.

In The Onion today: "VENTURA, CA—A third-generation, 30-GB iPod, serial number AP356372, died early Monday morning at age 2. "I'll never forget all the great music it used to play during my workouts," said the late iPod's owner Sarah Zartman at a brief memorial held over the junk drawer. "It was convenient, portable, and really pricey—almost $500." Zartman said that, had she known the iPod's lithium-ion battery would have such a short lifespan, she might have spent more time listening to it. AP356372 is survived by a BlackBerry"

Next: Will the new headphones wing their way to my doorstep? And also: The wonder of iTunes.

On Accessories and Compulsive Shopping

It's no small wonder that the second I brought my iPod home, I was shopping for accessories. There are hundreds available, from a multitude of manufacturers, and pretty soon I was feeling like I'd opened a can of Pringles: once you pop, you can't stop.

My first foray began with tracking down a case for my new iPod. See, I'm obsessive, and the mere thought of my glossy new iPod being marred by a scratch made me feel ill. On that thought, I decided I was going to exercise willpower (for the first time in my life) and not even break the seal on the iPod box until I found a case. Since my willpower is short lived, I decided I needed to find a case in the same shopping trip.

Such found my cousin and I staring at the section of iPod accessories in the local Radio Shack. Case options were not so hot, but I left the store $30 poorer but with three Speck SkinTights in hand. I got lucky and they're great cases (my boyfriend immediately hijacked one, not that I needed three anyway.)

So formed the runaway train. Come monday, I realize that while I remembered to bring my wall charger to my apartment (I live at home on the weekends and nearer my office during the week), I had intelligently neglected my USB cable, and it remained contentedly plugged into my USB hub on my desktop, which was also residing about two hours away. So much for that.

Well, at about 3pm on my wonderful monday workday, I realized my iPod's battery was just about drained. Oops. Immediately deciding I couldn't live without my iPod was the first precipitator- so I stopped all my work and went on a hunt for a local electronics store. After finding out there are approximately none in this town, it was off to the next state to track down a Circuit City. I left work early (you heard me right. I took time off work to buy an iPod accessory) and drove off with dreams of dock chargers in my head.

After I finally find Circuit City in Nashua, NH, I immediately find what I'm looking for. I'm inspecting the box for the iPod Photo dock when I notice that it doesn't appear to actually include a dock-tp-USB cable. Well, that's helpful, Apple. So onto the pile goes an dock-to-USB/FireWire cable. Then, since the place is airconditioned, I start poking around a little more.

What did I leave with? A Dock ($39), the cable ($24), and a pair of Macally PodWave2 speakers ($35). Total charged? $109. I went for a dock. I left with speakers.

Was that the "Jaws" theme I just heard?

So it began. Pretty soon I was dreaming of every accessory on the market. The cassette adapter? only $15? Great! oh, and that glowing skin? Gotta have one!

I'm quickly going broke. My iPod is better dressed than I am. And I've officially spent every penny I saved buying this thing on accessories for it. Oops.

Speaking of cassette adapters, this brings me to the reference to my Volvo sedan. Apparently, the people in whatever place they make Volvos now have decided that Volvos and iPods shouldn't get along. My Belkin FM transmitter, which works in perfect harmony with my Dodge, comes across like the spies in that flower van across the street are trying to scramble my radio. The static is louder than the music (and imagine! The reason I bought that premium sound system, to listen to premium static!) and after about ten minutes it makes you insane. I figured out that it sounds fine if I hold the device, but as I was only given two hands, and I do have to drive the car and shift, I was a little short of available extremities. That was out.

I've so far refused to buy a cassette adapter since this thing works so well in my other car. It's managed the honor of being the only accessory I can successfully keep my hands off of.

So, compulsive shoppers, don't buy an iPod. Never before has something driven me to so many impulse buys (and I'm obsessed with handbags.) Right now I can just hear my iPod telling me all the other iPods will make fun of it if it doesn't have that cool case that glows in the dark.

It's like having a small, expensive, metallic child. Who scratches easily.

Next: The new iPods and why I'm beginning to despise technology. And also the next impulsive buy: new headphones.

Okay, so I'm an iPod newbie

I'll come right out and say it. Yep, I'm an iPod newbie.

For years I've been one of those irritating people who hated the iPod. Why? Because it was an Apple product (I'm a PC user and have been my whole life), it was exspensive, and most importantly, because I didn't have one. The mad green monster of jealousy runs rampant here. Instead, I was goaded into purchasing a Creative Zen Touch at christmas time. While it's not a choice I regret, and that was a great MP3 player, something about it never felt quite...right.

Well, two weeks ago I had a spare $350 lying around and I decided to make myself out to be a total hypocrite. With my cousin along for moral support, I ventured off to the local mall, not really intent on making a purchase but damn sure I was going to look. Best Buy didn't have any in stock, so it was off to Target. They were so kind as to have one available and before I could lose my nerve, I bought a 30GB iPod photo.

Boy, am I glad I did. Never have I been so pleased with a device. I love iTunes (except for the blatant lack of several major artists from the Music Store) and my device is a joy to look at and use. I'm a total convert and inside of a week have become a total addict.

Straight from the source, my apologies to anyone I dissed for having an iPod. You were totally right all along.

So, minor addiction aside, here I am. I somewhat enjoy writing semi-humorous opinion pieces, so I thought it a not-so-bad idea to hop on the blogging bandwagon while I was joining in on a few national trends, and so came the birth of Let's hope it's a good one!


Next: Why iPod accessories are not appropriate for compulsive shoppers, or, apparently, my Volvo sedan.

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