I finally took the leap. I’m not sure what took me so long. Perhaps I was waiting to see who would win the format wars, or some odd sense of loyalty. Perhaps I was just waiting for something better to come along or for the next generation but nothing ever did. So today I went to the Apple store in Bellevue and picked up a 20 gig iPod with the new ClickWheel technology.
Apple does a great job with packaging (well—they have for the past 6 or 7 years at least). It is always an interesting experience opening a Mac or some other Apple product. The iPod was no different but in some ways, it was stranger than I expected. Pulling off the outer wrapping felt like I was trying not to tear the wrapping paper that someone had clearly spent a long time trying to get just so. Then I unfolded the black cube inside and was greeted by the words “Designed by Apple in California”. As I opened the left flap, it said “Enjoy.” Ahh.. a bit of class, and a bit of good old American (or at least Californian) nationalism.
Then as I open the right flap, I am confronted with a warning. It says “Don’t steal music” right on the top of the iPod. Whoa! I’m getting a stern talking to from an electronic device I just met. It also has the same warning in French, German and Japanese (I suspect). Strangely, only the German version seems to say please. It makes the Enjoy a little bit less friendly, like someone is saying it cautiously through squinting Clint Eastwood eyes with their hand on their revolver just waiting to draw at the first sign of Kazaa.
I go to the Apple website and download and install iTunes. During the install, it starts to yell at me about some file being busy, then it brings up a dialog with the title “Error” and the only thing in the dialog is the number -2003 and an OK button. I click the OK button and it comes up again. I hit enter and another dialog pops up and disappears, then my computer starts to shut down. WAIT – I’m writing a blog entry! Stop! NO… DON”T DO IT!!
It’s too late. The computer proceeds to shut down and everything that I try to copy and save this text is in vain.
Why did I need to reboot? I can install Windows Media Player updates without rebooting. OK, start re-writing this entry. Odd sense of loyalty... Wrapping paper… Stern warning (except in German)…
Now I run iTunes. I don’t want it to search for MP3s. It will convert my WMAs to AAC but I don’t want that either. Really, I don’t want AAC anywhere; let’s just stick with the format that works on all of my players.
I need to get all of my music in a form that makes it easier for me to sync to the iPod, so that will take a while. I looked at the iTunes Music Store for a few minutes. It is very nicely done though I am curious about some of their searches. I click on the Van Halen II album cover, then click to Fair Warning. On the right side it says that people who listened to this album also bought 4 other Van Halen albums (no surprise) and “Hymns Ancient & Modern” by Passion Worship Band. Somehow, I don’t think so.
I hear there's a great new iPod book: Hacking iPod + iTunes. Everyone should buy it, I think! ;-)
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