Sunday, February 04, 2007

Runs, iPods, and Bears - Oh My!

Full disclosure - there are no bears mentioned in this post. Except that one.

Well, first off, I haven't been publishing my runs recently because it got a little when there were more run posts than other kinds, but I am still running. The marathon is coming up, so I'm increasing my mileage a little bit. Today I made a big move and ran about 14 miles. I didn't even really think about it until I got home. That's more than a half marathon. Yea me!

See, the thing is that I should be working off of one of those charts that tell you how many miles you should be doing to hit you goal time when you do the marathon, but frankly, I'm just aiming at finishing safely. If I can do that, I'll be just fine, thanks. I am looking at the charts though, just to see by what kinds of increments it's safe to increase mileage, but that's about it.

Anyway, my legs hurt.

Beware - Here begins a huge rant and venting of steam.

On a related note, iTunes and iPod are getting on my last nerves. The only reason I caved and picked up the iPod was so I could use the Nike+ system (which is actually getting better - they just added route mapping - yea!). I immediately was unhappy with the way that iTunes wanted to control my library and not let me listen to my music like I actually owned it. I bought a couple of tracks from iTunes, but then realized how restricted the usage rules were. I mean, yeah, I could strip the DRM if I wanted to, but I'd like to be at least mostly legal. The iTunes selections were ok, as long as you only listen to music in English or Spanish. And so long as you don't want to listen to the Beatles (although that too is changing I hear). Oh, yeah - and the playlist system seems to be completely broken - I tried to put a couple of podcasts together on a playlist for today's long run. Cool, until it just repeated the first podcast and wouldn't let me skip forward. And of course you can't actually choose your music during a run - only playlists or shuffle all. And don't even get me started on how every month or so I have to reset to factory settings because the silly thing just decides to not turn off any more, or the fact that I have to politely ask iTunes to eject it before unplugging it, lest the poor little iPod brain completely frazzles (in fairness, these last too problems may be related). And finally, it seems a little disingenuous for them to say that iTunes doesn't work well with Vista. They had plenty of time to work out the bugs - heck I was using Vista months ago. It just seems like they don't care. They know you're hooked in. It's like they want you to believe that it's Vista's problem - just another example of how Vista doesn't work. And while I'll admit that Vista has plenty of problems (including the DRM system in question), the fact that iTunes doesn't play iTunes purchased music looks to be mainly the fault of iTunes.

On the other hand, I really liked the podcast support in general, which I hadn't used with my last MP3 player. And it is a really gorgeous piece of hardware, too. I look back at that last paragraph and perhaps I've been a bit too venomous. It has actually done mostly what I wanted it to, and with a little research, I probably could have found out about all the problems before I bought it. I just really wanted it to be as wonderful as everyone else seemed to think it was.

As a side note, I'd been using the Yahoo Unlimited Service to stream music based on my tastes, but because of iPod's moats and battlements, I couldn't move the subscription music to it and listen to new music on the road. Now Yahoo is falling apart too, so I guess I'm heading over to Pandora until I can find something better.

Wow. That turned into a lot more of a rant than I thought it would. I guess I was repressing all of that. Or maybe it's the testosterone rush post-run and pre-Super Bowl. Hm.

Huge long boring post, but here's the upshot - The rumor mill says that Nike is going to push out a new watch that'll let you bypass the iPod altogether. I'll buy that. Then I'll get a MP3 player that doesn't shackle me to a player. Heck, even the Microsoft Plays For Sure would be better than this because they license it out. That way you get options in hardware and in software. There are no options with the iPod. Except color.

Don't worry though, I'm not buying a Zune. I may be frustrated, but I'm not crazy.


voyageur said...

I've thought about a Zune, but as good as it might sound, it is the first release of a Microsoft product, and those never go well.

I found this blog using the "next blog" button, and will try to check back in on occasion.

jayfish said...

funny, i haven't had any ipod issues but of course, i'm using a mac.

have fun with vista! :)

voyageur said...

The iPod is crippled so you can't transfer your own files as easily as you could back and forth between it and other machines, and it doesn't play many file formats compared to something like the Creative Zen.

The Zune has its own problems, such as WiFi that is also crippled so it isn't useful.

Yes, I've been looking into all of these. I'm leaning toward an Archos now.

mendi-la said...

sorry you've had so much trouble - mine's been fine but then again, i don't have vista...hope your legs feel better.