November 10, 2006

I, Pod

Though I've owned it for nearly a year, I've recently become an even bigger fan of my iPod. I started taking it to work with me every day. I noticed recently that a lot of other employees listen to a radio or headphones during the day, so I decided to give it a shot.

My iPod is a black 2GB Nano, purchased by my wonderful girlfriend for me last Christmas. I quickly added a nice leather protective case and better quality headphones, as the iPod is particularly vulnerable to aesthetic damage and comes with very poor quality (though trendy) headphones.

I'm by no means an iPod obsessive. I enjoy listening to it, but it's not a way of life. I've seen a number of new iPod owners who take pictures of the unwrapping process when they purchase a new one. Not me.

It's interesting how well the iPod has taken off. At the time they first came out, MP3 players had already been on the market for quite a while. I can remember them pretty distinctly 6 or 8 years ago, when I worked at Circuit City. There was usually not much more than 128Mb of storage space on the unit though, which made for a short listening experience. When the iPod hit the market a couple of years later, it was accompanied by not only a very large hard drive at a marginal (but still high for high school kids) cost, but also an absolute barrage of marketing. Apple made the MP3 player cool. It could hold virtually your entire music library and it came with hip headphones.

I originally didn't particularly want an iPod. After all, I'm tech savvy enough that I don't need the user-friendly interface to get the gadget to do what I want. A cheaper competing model would be adequate. The more I was exposed to the device, the more I was drawn to getting one for myself. It had a color screen, could hold pictures, categorize everything automatically, and it would sync perfectly with iTunes, which I was already using to store my 20Gb music collection.

Recently, I've thought about upgrading to a full-fledged iPod. One with video and a huge hard drive. I'm not gung-ho about it yet, so we'll see. I'd just like to take advantage of the video podcasts and be able to put my whole music collection on it instead of just a fraction of it, as I have now.

Because I listen to my iPod pretty much all day long now, I've had to add more than just music to keep my mind occupied while I cut & paste spreadsheets from 9 to 5. I started downloading podcasts regularly, which is something I unsuccessfully tried before. When I didn't listen to the iPod on a regular basis, the podcasts quickly became outdated and pointless to listen to when I remembered they were there. But now that I listen to it everyday, podcasts are a highlight of my day. Here's a brief list of my favorites, all of which can be found through iTunes for your listening pleasure:

The Body Odd - Two doctors discuss interesting things your body does in a funny but interesting 10 minute cast. Look under NBC to find it.

PTI - Also known as Pardon the Interruption, this cast is taken directly from the ESPN show. No commercials, and you get to listen to Tony & Mike badger each other.

ABC News Nightline - Also straight from TV, this cast tackles a major news story each day.

NBC Nightly News - Straight from Brian Williams everyday.
Travel with Rick Steves - The famed guidebook writer discusses travel destinations.

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