iPod – Day One

May 10, 2005 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Music, Web/Tech 

The iPod arrived yesterday.

First, a big thumbs-down to buy.com.  I ordered the iPod last Tuesday – “In stock – delivery in 3 to 5 days”.  They claimed to have shipped it on Tuesday – “order by 4pm EDT for same day shipping”.  However, all they apparently did was send the package info electronically to Fedex Ground.  Fedex didn’t see the package until Thursday.  They delivered in Monday, 6 days from ordering (not 3-5 as advertised).  On top of that, the packing list in the box was for some poor person in Parma, OH for a rack-mount Ethernet router.  I hope that item made it successfully.

The box that it comes in is tiny – and so is the iPod itself.  It’s about the size of a cassette tape case (or, if you’re really young a cassette case is about the size of an iPod).  It seems to have come about 80% charged – I had to plug it in for about an hour to fully charge it.

Installing the software was tricky.  I had to load the CD, wait for it to activate, and then plug in the iPod through the USB cable.  It chose to format my iPod (since I’m a Windows user rather than Mac).  After the reboot, the computer didn’t see the iPod for a while and I had to pull the USB cord (after waiting 15 minutes with “Do Not Disconnect” on the screen) and re-enter it.  It then let me into the serial number screen.  That accomplished, the PC rebooted and iTunes came up.

I’d already loaded music into iTunes, so it started sync’ing the approximately 350 MP3 files.  That took quite a while (at least 45 minutes).  While I was waiting, I ripped a few more CD’s, though that ran at 1/2 speed (about 3x).

So far, so good.  I’ve used it at work, and the sound quality is very good.  I used the Apple earbuds for a while, but found them to be uncomfortable after an hour or so.  I plugged in the cheapie headphones that I keep at work, and had to crank up the iPod’s volume (though not all the way up – full volume is still too loud).  These headphones play treble stronger than the Apple buds, but I was able to turn on Bass Booster on the iPod and it seems to help.

The User interface is pretty straightforward, once you figure out that you have to drag your finger around the dial to get the menus to move.  I haven’t had any trouble finding the menu options that I want.  The games are a little hard to play, but that’s not why I bought it.

My music selection is decidedly skewed by the small number of CD’s ripped thus far – and the fact that they were all sorted together on my shelf.  I suspect that Shuffle will produce more random play once I’ve got more CD’s loaded.

I definately need some accessories:
Car Cassette Adapter
Car Charger
Better headphones

I also want to download and play with iArt to put album cover art on the Photo iPod.

Joining the iPod Generation

May 9, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Music, Web/Tech 

I’ve decided to join the iPod generation.

I’m a Systems Analyst.  I do project planning, requirements definition, design, programming, testing – the whole gamut of the system project lifecycle.  That means a lot of time spent sitting at my desk typing.  I work in cubicle-land, and until lately my cubicle neighborhood has been pretty sparse.  However, it’s getting more crowded lately – and therefore noisier.

I’ve burned an MP3 CD and listened to it on my PC at work, but I get tired of the number of songs that fit on one CD.  I also listen to Internet radio, but I assume that someday the network folks are gonna catch on and ask me to stop.  Therefore, what I need is a way to carry my CD collection around with me.

Sounds like an iPod to me.

I ordered an iPod Photo 30GB from buy.com last Tuesday.  I’m a little annoyed at them for slow shipping – they claimed to have shipped it the same day on Tuesday, but Fedex’s system shows that they didn’t get the trailer until Thursday.  It’s really a one-day delivery to me, but it’s not here yet.  Should arrive this afternoon.  buy.com claims “3 to 5 day delivery” for this item, so they didn’t make it.

In order to get ready, I downloaded iTunes from Apple and installed it on my home PC.  I then started what I thought was the CD burning process.  It was taking just a few seconds per CD, and I went through a small pile in an hour.

That’s when I realized that I wasn’t getting anything in iTunes from the CD’s.

As it turns out (after an hour of digging on the Internet), my old Dell (purchased 1/2000) needed an ATA driver update in order to play/rip CDs with iTunes.  After installing that, it worked fine.

I have two drives – DVD/CD reader, and a CD burner.  I got about 7-8x speed on my ripping 192 bitrate MP3’s.  That translates to about 10 minutes per CD, or 6 an hour.  It’s gonna take me quite a while to get all of my 100+ CD’s (probably more like 150) ripped.

I’ll post more as I get a chance to play with it and use it.  I expect to be buying some accessories as well – probably an AC charger for work and a car charger plus a cassette adapter for the car.