iPod 15GB

iPod 15GB
Company: Apple Computer, Inc.

Price: $399.00

This 15 Gig iPod review is just like all the others you have read. It can be summed up in two words: Buy One!

I saw my first iPod about a week after it was introduced. It was at a seminar on OS X Server and someone in the audience had one. I got to hold it for about 10 seconds. Techno-Lust. It must be what Segway owners go through everyday. We all gathered around this new marvel from Apple.

I have had serious misgivings about the iPod. I was worried about the disk size, the battery life, the durability and sticking ear-buds in my ear. When I played with them at the Apple store, the interface seemed clumsy, and I never liked the squared corners. Wow, did I miss the big picture! The price is a killer, but it is worth every penny.

The new iPods are technologically mature. The corners are round, the drives are spacious, it has a dock for an easy power charge, and a few games for when you are really bored. I still don’t like ear-buds, but it works just fine with regular headphones too, and the ear-buds travel more easily. The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones are next on my wish list. I think that combination will calm my audiophile lust. Oh, and the interface that I thought was clumsy in the store, the new button controls have taken care of that. The iPod comes with a 54 page user manual, but in a few uninterrupted minutes you can master the controls without reading them.

My only complaint is that there is too much cable. The remote controller is on a separate three foot piece which attaches to the ear-buds. This leaves too much cable for spontaneous entanglement. I’d rather the control just drop into the center of my chest, like it does on my cheap Radio Shack headphones. When you attach the remote to the ear-buds, which are four feet in length, you end up with seven feet of cable. I do not understand the logic of this at all, since the controller is now four feet from the ear-buds, which is considerably longer than most peoples reach. The Radio Shack headphones are six feet long, with the controller at the 18″ spot, and the six foot length is usually long enough when at the gym or laying in bed. It’s too bad too, because the Radio Shack only controls the volume, where the Apple remote controls volume, pause/play, and next/previous. On the plus side, the remote works with the Radio Shack headphones as well. So if you do not mind having extra cable, you can have the best of both worlds, a better controller and your favorite headphones.

Speaking of laying in bed, I really wish I had an iPod when I was in the hospital for a week last fall. If there was ever an environment for an iPod, this is it. I was starved and bored. Storing and changing CD’s is a nightmare under those sparse accommodations, and more so when you are sore after surgery. My wife thought I was nuts. She would bring in ten CD’s and I would want twenty-five more. By the end of the week I had a gym bag full. Except for not being allowed to eat (including water,) I enjoyed my time listening to music and talking to my room-mate Louie. (You will never understand how good hospital-issue Strained Cream of Asparagus Soup can taste, until you have had nothing pass your lips for five days. Delicious!) iPods should be standard issue with an intravenous, it would comfort a lot of patients to have their choice of music.

Figuring out what to store on the iPod is a challenge if you have a huge music collection like I do. Fortunately, when I bought my 60GB PowerBook I had already decided what would make the cut. The house tower has a (not full) second internal 120 GB drive to hold music. I managed to select only 14.5 GB of it for my PowerBook, which is 7.5 days worth of music. Dumping that playlist to the iPod didn’t go as smoothly as I would have hoped, since the 15 GB iPod actually only holds 13.9 GB, so I had to pare the list some more. Other than that, the process went smoothly.

I should point out that I did not buy my 15 GB iPod, it was a “gift” from Apple. About six months ago, they denied me AppleCare service on my iBook because of a clerical error. After a lot of ranting, screaming, and raving, I was finally heard. My iBook was repaired, and I cancelled all my AppleCare contracts. Since there was a formula problem in issuing me full refunds, I was given a partial refund and graciously offered an iPod. (Thank you, Jacquie!)

Music forms the bookends of our lives. There is no better invention for making your music collection portable, except for maybe your laptop. The Walkman is good, the iPod is insanely great. Buy one, you will not regret it.

MacMice Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Steve Consilvio

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