Wednesday, August 09, 2006

To MP3 or not to MP3


That is the burning question at Chez Wrath today. They are down nicely in price - $69.99 for 1 GB, which I think is good. (Isn't it?) The problem is, will I use it enough to make it worthwhile? And am I too lazy to copy the music I already own on CD and too lazy/cheap to download music? The thought of the hours I would have to spend to load the thing up is daunting. And I'm not sure if I want one because I think I'll use it or just because all the other kids have one.

I don't need one for the gym - there's already music and TVs there. I don't need it for the five-minute car ride to work, unless I decide to walk (which wouldn't be a bad idea). I couldn't wear it at work. The only time I'd really use it is while walking for exercise and I'd really enjoy it then, but that's unlikely to ever be more than an hour or so a day. But they're so pretty and all the other kids have them!

And so I pose the question to my thousands of readers worldwide... okay the half dozen Canucks, Yanks and Brits (and a couple of Antipodeans) who read this - do you have an MP3 player? Was it worth the price/trouble? Should I not bother or am I just being an old fart?

32 Comments:

Blogger zoe said...

i had one like that and frankly, it was shite. the Twat bought me a great, fantastic doubry and gave it to me with the words "Eh, this will be fantastic when I go to Doha next year, eh ?" (to record interviews.)

I gave it straight back to him - but personally speaking, go for something more expensive. I think the Twat's is a 'Zen' or summat.

August 9, 2006 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger mmat said...

see, my car stereo plays mp3's so i don't need one, and as far as going for a walk? if you've got a portable cd player, don't bother. if you don't - then why not. but i would suggest an iPod Shuffle rather than some no-name brand (costs maybe $30 more).

August 9, 2006 at 6:13 PM  
Anonymous edt said...

Am still in the ice age here with me 4th CD player and a set of Active Battery Powered SONY speakers, bought in 1987 and still going strong, an earlier version of the SRS-A27 here which I find VERY useful when travelling. I'd go with the iPod, though the Zen Touch sounds interesting. Have a read here other product stories/links there too. Good Luck.

August 10, 2006 at 12:33 AM  
Anonymous Ricardipus, auditory said...

No mp3 players here m'dear. mp3 audio is shite.

I always found it amusing that the Napsters of the world kept telling us mp3 was as good sounding as CD, so we'd use Napster et al. Meanwhile, the record companies were telling us the same thing to emphasize that Napster et al. really were a menacing threat to them.

Same lie from two different sides of the debate. Amazing.

'Course I *am* an old fart and am sticking with CD and minidisc for now.

/rant mode

August 10, 2006 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Thanks, all. I think the main thing that appeals to me about MP3 players is the size. I've always found discmans too unweildy, plus even if you burn suitably paced walking tunes you're stuck with the one CD for the entire walk (usually around an hour long), and while you can get really small radios, that gives me no choice about the music, plus too much talk.

BTW - R'pus. You can't even see old fart from where you are.

August 10, 2006 at 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee, finally I agree with Ricardipus - mp3 quality is rubbish. That assertion via the other half, btw, who is also sticking to CDs, and good old-fashioned tapes. (The quality of sound from minidisc is amazing, but the quality of the units to play them? In our experience, crap.)
I've resisted an mp3 player so far. There's barely an hour a day where I can't have music of my choice.
If you don't think you'll use it much, it's probably not worth spending a lot. If it's a 'prettyshinymusthave' I'd be inclined to go with the cheapest, and upgrade if you find your life fulfilled and enriched...
GoodTwin

August 10, 2006 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Tai said...

Well, I only have a wee Ipod...but I do enjoy it.

August 10, 2006 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger nanuk said...

My mp3 player is my computer and not really all that portable. I really find blocking out ambient sounds when you are jogging (in my case jiggling) is not only dangerous, anti-social and just too bloody trendy, but with my penchant to hum along to the music, I expose myself in public to being unjustly accused of Tourettes Syndrome. Especially when I listen to rap.

August 11, 2006 at 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Ricardipus, rockin' on! said...

Wrathful One - I guess not, but it's coming into view rapidly...

The other comment I've heard is that iThings can skip while jogging (or walking vigorously?), the hard-disk ones anyway. Flash-based players obviously don't have this problem.

GoodTwin - my Minidisc player (Sony) has had a door latch problem (fixed by judicious bending) and the headphone jack is now a bit dodgy (requires wiggling in order to actually hear in stereo). Otherwise ok, even if the software is really clunky.

Sigh... back to vinyl I guess ;)

August 11, 2006 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Good Twin, you're thinking along the same lines as me. Try cheap first, if I use it then upgrade. If not, no great loss.

Tai, is a wee Ipod relatively inexpensive?

Oh, funny Nanuk. I tend to walk on walking trails, so little danger (although there is the rare assault from time to time) and I can still smile at people I encounter, so not too anti-social. And that's what you get for listening to rap.

R'pus - T'isn't, you know. But I can see the whites of his eyes. And they're beginning to look like mine.

With regards the mini-disc player, as someone who's worn a Walkman with duct tape for a battery compartment cover, I feel your pain.

August 11, 2006 at 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Kat said...

I have a 30GB iPod Photo, which I bought almost a year and a half ago and haven't gone a day without using since. I had a portable CD player before that, and also a mp3-CD player at one point. I found that the CD player didn't hold enough music and the mp3-CD player ate batteries like mad. That and they both skipped, which was a pain in the ass seeing as I like to listen to music when I do just about everything.

I like having a 30GB iPod because I have my entire music library on there. It also comes with a set of kickass earbud headphones. If you don't want to spend $500 on the current equivalent (30GB iPod Video), then check out eBay and other places to get an older model second-hand; they're such a fashion accessory these days that a lot of people must have the newest, thinnest one and hence get rid of the older models pretty cheap.

August 11, 2006 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I bought hubby the new Sony walkman for his birthday this year. He totally loves it. For me, that makes it worth the cost.

August 12, 2006 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger Misty said...

What's an MP3 player...?

August 12, 2006 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

No advice on that, but are you on the Newfoundland blogroll? P.S., this is not spam, just letting you know about other Newfoundland blogs out there.

http://nlblogroll.blogspot.com/

August 12, 2006 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Mystic mog said...

I bought one of the first "big" ipods and its very strange - you get obsessed with trying to fill it up - I had 15 days worth of music on it before the damn thing went wrong (2 weeks out of warranty!) Got so used to using it whilst reading - creating diverse play lists and when you "shuffle" you get some really strange mixtures Bach preludes followed by ZZtop then Bob Dylan followed by Wagner - I have had to buy another one - which, so far is reliable (60gb) and am still only a quarter full !!
cheers
mystic

August 13, 2006 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Mystic Mog has hit the nail on the head. You become obsessed with filling it up. I do not need another obsessive hobby. Not, not, not.

It sounds, MM, as if you've got similar taste in music to mine. I'd end up with "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana followed immediately by "Summer Nights" from Grease. That's got to be wrong.

August 13, 2006 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

My iPod is my life. My life, I tell you!

Well, Mrs. Fab is important, too.

August 13, 2006 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Yes. She buys the batteries for the iPod. And for that we love her. We truly do.

August 13, 2006 at 8:30 PM  
Anonymous TC said...

Don't start me about iPods, Dawn, or it could get ugly! Stupid things only work with Macs.

I now have a 1 GB card full of music on my Sony Ericsson phone, but hardly listen to it. Seem to listen to most music in the car.

You wouldn't be missing anything, m'dear!

August 14, 2006 at 5:29 AM  
Anonymous RicardiPod said...

The 'filling up with music' thing is really pervasive and insidious... I recently filled up 3 minidiscs with, oh, about 18 albums total.

On my way to work on the bus this morning, could I find *anything* I felt like listening to?

Answers plz on a postcard to:

Old Fart
c/o rapidly decaying music formats, inc.
12, the technology crap-heap
somewhere in Canada
postcode LOL RTMF IMHO it won't help



P.S. Must repair turntable [clunk]. Must repair turntable [clunk] (etc.)



/33.333333 rpm mode

August 14, 2006 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

TC - If iPods only work with Macs, that's me settled, then. PC at home and at work.

RicardiPod - What is it with being unable to find something you want to hear from your own music collection? I get like that.

I have two turntables. Yes. I am that incapable of disposing of outdated technology if it still works. My parents put me through the Great Depression by proxy and I fear I shall never recover.

Old fart! Who you tryin' to kid, kid?

August 14, 2006 at 1:10 PM  
Anonymous edt said...

The latest ipods DO work on a Windows PC (iTunes site downloads on XP, not 98se, but don't quote me on that)...a couple of extracts from the Wikipedia entry on ipods, definately worth a read... Quote "iPods originally shipped formatted with Apple's native file system, HFS-Plus, and therefore would only work with Apple's Mac OS" AND "With the advent of the Windows-compatible iPod, Apple switched the iPod's default file system to FAT32"

August 14, 2006 at 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Kat said...

To second EDT, it's been a really long time since iPods only worked on Macs. I have never owned a Mac (although I'd love to); I load my music to my iPod from my PC.

And as for getting obsessed with loading it with music, well, it is possible to rip your CDs in the background while you're doing something else. These days, most CD ripper programs will download the album information from the Net and you don't have to do a darned thing other than pop your CD into the drive, select a directory for your mp3s, and click "go". You can even set up iTunes to automatically update your iPod's song library whenever you plug it into your computer.

No matter what kind of mp3 player you buy, you're going to have to rip your music to mp3 and/or download music in mp3 format, right?

August 15, 2006 at 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have held a walkman together with basic means - an elastic band, in my case :)
Rik, the recently purchased, s-hand (exchanged, checked by Sony and completely guaranteed to be fine) minidisc refuses to play the 1GB disks and has decided to start eating previously recorded ones, resulting in the loss of some recordings completely. The other half has spit half a duck, let alone feathers...
GoodTwin

August 15, 2006 at 12:15 PM  
Anonymous TC said...

My point was that every iPod I've tried on my (Windows) computer has had to be repaired, and then promptly frozen again upon next use. They like to think they work with Windows. At some point I guarantee you will have a problem.

The net is full of such stories.

Waste of money.

August 15, 2006 at 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Ricardipod, mental said...

There's some rumour that Apple doesn't *ever* repair iPods, just replaces them.

I envision an enormous landfill full of dead iPods, probably in Malaysia or somewhere.

Perhaps they could be used as building materials for a futuristic settlement, white, shiny and comletely devoid of functional music playback.

I am not mad.*


*instead of the usual (TM), I believe this statement is open-source and available under the GNU Public Licence v 3.yadda yadda yadda, or something.

August 16, 2006 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

You're AWOL!

August 16, 2006 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Yes, I am, aren't I? I just noticed it. Sorry. Busy. Back to work, rehearsals and I just agreed to enter 200 invoices and receipts into an Excel file for a friend. I am mad. Completely bonkers.

But I do have stories to tell (some with illustrative pictures!) and will be back soon.

Just talk among yourselves.

August 17, 2006 at 1:02 AM  
Blogger jkirlin said...

You should get one just to deny other people the chance. It's all about the avarice.

August 17, 2006 at 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Ricardipus, bored said...

Invoices. Arrrrgh!

I myself am doing something similarly exciting involving a long list of names without email addresses, and a large interwebby thing that has some email addresses buried in it somewhere.

Please come back to distract me from this. Please?

August 17, 2006 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger TRT said...

I have an MP3 player in the car.

August 17, 2006 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Well, that doesn't do me any good, now does it?

August 23, 2006 at 12:21 PM  

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