The iPod Misses The Mark (when the mark is a poor ass slacker)

posted July 1, 2005 by Jer


Last week, Mac lost a convert. For now, at least.

I started a new job last week. It's not bad, it's remedial web work but it's a steady pay check. Coolest part of this job is that I had to sign a confidentiality agreement that said if Nintendo gives us advanced material for a website, I'm not allowed to leak it or I get sued... which translates to I get to see cool shit long before you do! Ha ha!

So anyway... I've been poor and MP3-player-less for a good long time. Since the last computer I purchased was my Mac Laptop (named "Kanti"), the i-Pods have been tempting me. Oh so temptingly they have tempted me. The fact that I'm in major debt is the only reason I hadn't bought one for all this time (that, and getting Free I-Pods to work is a royal pain in the tuchus). So now with employment, it's time to re-evaluate the purchaseability of the world's most famous MP3 player.

I headed to the Mac store to play with the I-pods. Subsequently, The I-pods completely and thoroughly failed to impress me.

It wasn't that they weren't cool, it's just that they don't seem like $300 worth of cool. It was time to do some comparative research

I hit Target. In target, I discover that they have a tiny 128mb Memorex MP3 player for $40. It's dark green. I adopt it. I named it "Emerald Weapon," cuz in 1998 I Emerald Weapon from FF7 became MY BITCH. But that's another story.

Time to put it to the test. Let's start with the downsides.

Down Side 1: Barely Any Memory - The poor little punk only holds about 24 MP3s. Not atrocious, so far it's been enough for two good CDs. It's enough to get me through a day of work without without getting sick of the same music.

Down Side 2: Pissy about Macs - Most of my MP3s are on Kanti because of I-tunes. Unfortunately, this means my PC (named "Escaflowne") has barely any MP3s upon it. Emerald Weapon was designed to mesh with Musicmatch on the PC. It doesn't like Kanti, particularly when he deletes files. Emerald Weapon refuses to free up the space the file took up. To give E.M. a new play-list, I must first plug it into Escaflowne, format it, then plug it into Kanti and add the MP3s.

Down Side 3: No Locked Music - When you buy songs of i-Tunes, they are computer specific. You have to log yourself in to play them, and i-Pods are automatically equipped to do this. Technically, so is my Memorex POS, but I gotta install MusicMatch on my PC to do it, and as I said, most of my music is on my Mac.

That's about it. Only three, but they're sizable. Now then, lets analyze the benefits.

Cool Thing 1: Upgradable - It's got a slot for up to a 512mb flash card, effectively multiplying it's memory by 5. Upgrading i-Pods means e-Baying your current one and buying the next in line. Have fun!

Cool Thing 2: It's Dark Green - Most of the Splurdagumi I've discussed i-Pods with agree the Mac designers were chodes about color choices. For the i-pod proper, you can get white or Bono Black and Red. Weee. Not that I don't like White. My car is white and black by choice. I just wish I could CHOOSE white over the rest of the colors. This would not be a stretch, considering the i-Pod mini's pastel assortment. In fact, I'm going to go so far as to call the colors gay - not as a slur but as an accurate description.

Cool Thing 3: DOUBLE-A, BABY! - You heard me... the battery is a good ol' fashion AA battery. Since I'm a tree-hugging hippy, I have a shitload of rechargeable sitting around from before my old-style GBA hacked with an Afterburner light (named "Ol' Ironsides") was replaced with a GBA-SP with the traditional NES controller design (named "Precious"). So while I rock Emerald Weapon with one AA battery, I've got three pinch hitters in the charger at home. Battery life is sweet, I play EM constantly at work, and eight hours of music only takes 1/4 of the battery life, according to the handy little digital display. Long ass battery life without paying for some custom battery. Dig that shit.

Cool Thing 4: It was 40 fucking dollars - Upon telling Q about this purchase, she remarked that she didn't realize MP3 players came in the $40 variety. $40 vs $200 for the mere privilege of music that fits in your pocket? Good deal.

In conclusion, I would like to say that of the $200+ MP3 players, the i-Pod is still the coolest. If, however, you're a poor ass slacker, head yourself to Target and get the $40 Memorex POS. Rock your ghetto power.