Sunday, July 16, 2006

iPod Apolegia

    I've been a geek pretty much all of my life, and I'm fine with that.  My first computer was a Vic 20 (Thanks Santa!), and I've had a computer ever since then (except for a brief period of time when I was off living the off-off-off-off Broadway life in NYC).  So, I've given a lot of thought to the whole PC/Mac tension.  See, the thing is that I really love the stylings of the Mac.  I love the idea that it doesn't crash as much and that it's elegant in so many ways, software and hardware.  The Mac designers really seem to care about the way that the computer is used and the way that it looks as well as its performance (We'll say nothing of stories of laps being singed by overheated Macs).
    But, here's the thing - The Macs don't do all that I want them to do, or at least not as easily as the PCs. 
    A Mac is probably the best choice for digital image and video editing, of which I do a fair amount, but that's not all I do.  I have grown very accustomed to being able to try out all the new software right when it comes out.  Betas and alphas, shareware and demos - I love 'em all, even when they don't love me back.  Windows does crash for me on occasion, but it's a wonder it doesn't crash more often, with all the crazy stuff I've installed and uninstalled over and over.  Windows has to be flexible enough to handle any little garage startup software company's devilish designs as well as the vast majority of the black hat bad boys trying with all their might to bring down Aunt Bessie's 486. 
    I love options.  I love being able to choose between many many options when picking out word processors and music players and funky field-specific mashups, some of which I can't find even one option for on a Mac.  I also play video games (or used to anyway, when there was time), and the outlook for Mac gaming is fairly gloomy, despite some noble attempts. For Macs, the recent victory here is that Civilization IV just came out for the Mac.  It came out for the PC last October.

    So the end result is that the reason I don't think I could ever buy an Apple is the exact reason I bought an iPod.
    I'd used and loved the Creative Zen Micro MP3 player for quite awhile, but I was always frustrated by the fact that I couldn't get accessories for it.  If I wanted an arm-strap to use when I run, there were only a couple of options - mostly style-deprived ones.  Because of the rather sickening rush to be a cool kid with an iPod, all of the accessories companies went crazy putting together all the toys that I wanted, just not for my MP3 player.
    So popularity bred coveting, if not of the product itself, than of the options that the product presented, and I hate that.  I do not want to be one of the cool kids.
    I still hate the fact that you can't change the battery easily on the iPod, that it seems to be designed to be thrown away eventually, you can't get radio reception with it,  and that it's not easily separated from iTunes - it's not that I dislike iTunes that much, although I'm not really a fan - it's just that I don't like being told what software I should be using. 
    The last straw that crushed my resistance was the Nike/Apple pedometer system (although it needs a better name.  They call it the 'Nike + iPod.' Isn't that more of a description than a name?  What about iRun?  iSweat?  iNike?)  I use the old Nike system.  The software and support was never that good to begin with, and it looks like they're just never going to update that anymore, and the new Nike online system looks useful and stylish, so there I go. 
    I got the 4GB Nano and a nice armband for running and a little prophylactic sleeve thingie to keep it umm... safe.  It certainly does look nice, doesn't it? 
    The pedometer is rumbling its way toward me thanks to the fine ladies and gentlemen at, but I ain't buying any of those 'designed for the pedometer' shoes from Nike.  I'll either cut a little hole into my innersole or velcro it onto the tongue of the shoe.  Feh.  I already feel bad enough for caving in on the iPod thing...


jayfish said...

cool! i was by the apple store over in sf today and was going to look at one of the ipod pod thingys but they were sold out. i think there are plenty of ways to attach the little pod piece to a shoe without too much of a fuss...

let us know how they work for you.

zerodoll said...

it looks like it will fit quite nicely under the laces on the tongue and not slip too much...
i gave in to the ipod thing a while ago and am really happy, although i think there are things that could make it even better. the "on the go" playlist creation does not work at all like i would like (it's a why bother feature at this point), and i don't see a way to sort music alphabetically once it's on the pod. but otherwise, a beautiful product.

Camera Obscura said...

Ducky, don't you understand what Macs having "Intel Inside" does for you now?

mendi-la said...

i like iSweat - you should send that to them...i love macs too for all the reasons you said but all my software is for my PC (which has crashed horribly at least 3 times since Nov). i may convert just so that hubby is no longer stressed out by my calls for tech support :)