Miscellaneous, Seen on the 'Net

iPod, uPod, we all Pod

01.05.06 | 4 Comments

It’s been a while since I posted anything. Not for lack of anything to post about, just a lack of motivation. But here I am. It’s the start of a new year, and I’m more or less winning this fight with my sinus infection. So lets stop dwelling over what a shitty vacation I had and move on to happier thoughts.

Mrs. Flametoad bought me a new, 5th generation iPod (the one with video) for a combined Christmas/Birthday present. Normally my birthday is far enough removed from Christmas that I don’t get combo presents, but considering the expense I don’t mind in the slightest. To be honest, I was totally caught off guard. I’m a dad with a toddler and an new infant only months away. We made due, but we’re not exactly swimming in disposable income. After two years of being a parent, I’ve pretty much mentally trained myself to stop lusting after the next new gadget. My iPod was a wonderful, unexpected treat.

So what have I been doing with it? I was finally assimilated and joined the masses of folks who used iTunes beginning maybe a year ago. I don’t really purchase a lot of music, but I converted a lot of my CDs to mp3s and it was a convenient way to keep them all organized. I also enjoy some of iTunes’ radio stations. A few months ago I finally started trying some podcasts. Yes, it’s ironic that a blogger and a e-publisher would be so behind the curve on electronic delivery, but chalk it up to married life, fatherhood, and other limits on my time. Anyway, I burned several to CD and listened to them on a long car ride. I immediately discovered A) I really dig some of these podcasts, B) converting a mp3 to standard CD format (AIF, I believe?) eats up a LOT of room on a CD. This wouldn’t be practical on a regular basis.

However, now that I have an iPod, I can subscribe and listen to several podcasts without worrying about using up media. I suspect that I’ll be using my iPod much more for listening to podcasts than I will for listening to music. So what am I listening to so far?

The Secrets — Michael Stackpole’s podcast on writing and the world of publishing.
I Should Be Writing — another show on writing
Writers on Writing — this show seems to have died out, but it has two very good interviews with agents from 2005 about agents and the world of publishing
Rocketboom — You’ve seen me talk about the vblog Rocketboom here on numerous occassions. Now I can watch it on the go!
Have Games, Will Travel — show about RPGs
TheForce.net — Star Wars podcast. They’ve had interviews with Stackpole, etc.

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Comment by Jerry
2006-01-06 10:35:27

I had never considered an IPOD until recently. Was really considering a palm pilot. But I learned the IPOD can communicate with Outlook and I have totally changed my opinion. Thinking about getting an IPOD Nano. But I noticed you got a different IPOD version. Would I be better off with one like yours, or go for the IPOD?

I’m looking at using MS Outlook for task management and calendar features, as well as podcasts and music. Would like to hear your opinion on these things. I’m truly ignorant.

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Comment by Prest0
2006-01-06 11:07:53

Well, my iPod does communicate with Outlook. You might want to verify that the nano does as well. Keep in mind that the iPod has limited input features, so you won’t be able to enter data on the fly like you would with a PDA. If you’re in a meeting and need to make a note or create a calendar appointment for the next meeting, you’ll have to go back to your office, enter it in Outlook, and download it to the iPod. If those features are the most important to you, then the iPod probably isn’t want you need.

Mine is of the new generation of “regular” iPods with the video screen. I can watch videos as well as listen to music. It’s pretty slick. If you buy one, you might consider getting it at Best Buy and getting their extended 3 year warranty. I hear iPod batteries are like cell phone batteries, which get dodgy after a couple years and can’t be user-replaced. The standard warranty is only 1 year.

I’m pretty sure at least some PDAs play MP3s, so you might look for a PDA that plays music versus a music player that keeps calendars and notes. I hear PDAs that use WindowsCE for their operating system have more add-on applications available than PDAs that use the PalmOS, so that’s something to consider when shopping for PDAs.

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Comment by simple american
2006-01-09 18:54:28

Actually I am glad you recieved the IPOD. Learning what I have from you I am definetely leaning toward the 30 gig job or maybe even the 60 gigger. I mainly wanna be able to plug into the car. MS Outlook capability just makes sure I keep my schedule straight as well as my to do list.

It would display the to do list okay, right?

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Comment by Prest0
2006-01-10 11:19:02

Technically, it’s supposed to. I’ve never tried it. Don’t expect much –scratch that– ANY sophistication out it. Those features are really just afterthoughts.

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