Finally it’s the off-season and gardenbloggers can go off-topic with impunity (more or less). So here’s what’s on my mind a lot – how to get great content to my ears while I’m driving, working out, grocery-shopping, and of course gardening.
The good news is that I’ve gotten over (most of) my fear of iPod and iTunes, and it’s only taken me two years! Lots of frustration but I was determined to be able to listen to whatever I want, whenever and wherever. Like JUST the tracks I really like on all my CDs (plus many more I hope to borrow). All my favorite public radio shows, gardening podcasts, and Real Time with Bill Maher, too. Good lord, with MP3 players we’re our own deejays and have access to practically everything ever recorded, all brought to us on devices that don’t cost much. (I remember when the family “hi-fi” cost a lot and was a big old piece of furniture.)
Here’s the quick version of my Adventures with MP3 Players.
My Gotta-Have Features
- Absolutely has to be a clip. Players that hang around your neck are annoying and get caught on things. The ones that guys just drop in their shirt pocket or attach to their belts are fine – for them. Last year’s iPod Nano had no way to carry the damn thing, and the offered “solution” was to buy one of those horrible armband holders. I’ve tried several; none came close to making it easy to carry and adjust the player. But clips are super-easy to attach anywhere, and just as easy to use the controls while multi-tasking.
- A radio. So, why has Apple been so stingy with them on their entry-level iPods?
- It has to show me what’s on it and let me choose easily what to play. Notice I said show, not tell me in computer-voice.
- The rest is a matter of quantity – how many hours of battery play, and how much stuff they’ll hold. So you pay more for more, but the prices seem to stay the same as capacity jumps up with every new version.
- I first tried a couple of iPods, but with each one I had trouble figuring something out so I sold them and started looking elsewhere. (Yes, I know I have a low tolerance for electronic frustrations and that’s not going to change.)
- Next I tried the little Samsung I really liked, but because it’s not an Apple product, I couldn’t load it directly from iTunes. It actually required the use of another whole program as an intermediary (Windows Media Player). What a pain.
- So I gave the iPod another try (do they leave us much choice?), and mysteriously find that I’m loving my little clippable Shuffle. So much so that I recently bought the newest version and now have two.
- It’s smaller. Actually, too small. Now when I squeeze the clip I accidentally touch the controls.
- It tells you what’s playing, and what else is on it. While that’s better than not knowing anything, that lady talking to me just makes me want the information in writing.
- It comes in cool colors, so I have blue for music and silver for podcasts.
Lusting for the Newest Nano!
But I’d hardly loaded up that second Shuffle when I heard about the newest Nano – the 6th Gen! Below, hear Steve Jobs chatting it up at launch. Seems they learned from their mistakes (the quickly forgotten Nano 5th Generation).
Coming soon – my Nano 6th Generation Review. Could it be possible I’ve found everything I want in a music device? Hopes are high.