Sorebrek's Musings and Ramblings

In search of the holy grail of an MBA (class of 2008 hopeful), this space will hopefully chronicle the search and my other quixotic pursuits.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I'll never leave my pod again

After agonizing for several months over plunking down $300 for a music player, a very sexy one at that, I finally broke down and bought myself a first generation 5 Gb Apple iPod. I had sworn a blood oath that I wouldn't splurge on an iPod until the price hit the cost of the storage media; once it hit $150, I broke down and went for it. Ok, some first impressions:
  • Terrific interface, but hey, you've come to expect that from Apple. I've been through a couple of MP3/encoded music players in my life, but this one wins hands down when it comes to design. Pretty decent companion software, iTunes.
  • Average earbuds - I highly recommend buying a better pair like the Shure E3C or if you can spend the extra bucks, go for the Bose Quietcomfort 2, especially if you travel often and need a noise-canceling headset. With the signature white earbuds, while the bass response is decent, the sound reproduction is not exactly very detailed. I have my own Glenn Gould test for this. With an el cheapo headset, you just hear Glenn do his magic on the piano. On premium car stereo speakers you could hear screechy notes, while on the OEM earbuds you start hearing the fuzzy notes of Glenn humming the bars. On a QuietComfort, you can hear him throw his head back with every lilt like he is a condemned man making love for the last time :-) See what I mean?
  • While we're on Goldberg Variations, I think the most of novel aspect of the iPod for me is that now I'm able to quickly switch from a piece and see how it relates to another. Having far from perfect pitch or a decent music education, I can only conjecture that a particular melody in a classical piece repeats in another piece by the same composer (sometimes also in works by other influenced composers). For instance, I had always suspected that one of the GB variations was repeated, albeit at a slightly different pitch range, in the second movement of Bach's 5th piano concerto. I had never been able to confirm until now, because on a regular CD player that would require the super-human effort of switching CDs! Not any more. I mark the location in elapsed time and switch to the piece I want to compare with and voila - Eine Kliene Repeatmusik!
  • While the interface was designed very thoughtfully, I do have some nit to pick; I always do. While most music is released as individual tracks on a CD, which can then be ripped and listened to in no particular order, when it comes to classical music, this approach falls short. Each movement of a piece is a separate track and it makes no sense listening to them in any order other than the intended sequence. iTunes allows you to join tracks, but the catch is that the tracks have to be joined before they're ripped. Unfortunately that doesn't work at all for pieces spanning multiple CDs. While you're at it, check out this article on listening to classical music on an iPod.
Other things geeks do with their ipod and much more can be found at http://ipodlounge.com. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go memorize the inaugural dates of the 42 presidents.

5 Comments:

  • At 7:43 PM, Anonymous colours said…

    Interesting co-incidence. I had just finished checked up iPods before coming to your site. I decided to postpone the purchase due to the cost.

     
  • At 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey did you know you can get a free ipod pretty easily?
    just go to www.getipodsforfree.com, sign up and do an offer

     
  • At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    www.getipodsforfree.com has this cool thing where if you just sign up and do an offer, you can get a free ipod

     
  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger BlogDawg1 said…

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  • At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi all!
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