I think I'll sit this iPod out

by Jason Deraleau

Related link: http://www.apple.com/ipod

Almost three years ago, I walked into a brand-spanking new Apple retail store. I was a recent convert, having switched over to the Mac mere months prior. I approached the table and admired the perfectly cube-shaped boxes stacked atop it. Opening day for the store and one of the first days for the iPod.

I stepped out of the store with a wallet $400 lighter and stepped into the wonderful world of portable MP3 players. Well, it wasn't so wonderful back then and to be honest, the iPod wasn't my first foray into that world. I'd suffered with the tiny 32MB Sony players. I struggled with an original Rio and later the Rio CD player. I even had the Samsung cellphone/player. Then, Apple came in to lift me out of the quagmire, just like they'd rescued me from the Windows world.

The iPod was instantly a constant companion. Chock to capacity with a carefully constructed collection of cherished composers, myPod was always in my pocket or on my car's console. But then! The capacities grew and the new solid state wheel control drove me to sell my little love to a friend to help fund another iPod.

And the process repeated. Now, myPod II had 10GB to fill! Not a challenge, really. iTunes had made it all too easy to import my entire CD collection. Any new CD purchases were put in the computer and then right back in their cases. I hadn't listened to an actual CD in months (and still haven't now, years later). With a pocket full of MP3 love, who needs the bulk of a CD player?

Some more time passes and the 3rd generation of iPods was released. Ooh! Docks and all kinds of other goodies. myPod II was sold to the highest bidder and the 15GB myPod III came into my life. And then... the iPod mini was announced. While waiting in line to purchase myPod IV, a silver mini to match my 12" PowerBook, I realized the true extent of my addiction.

Four iPods in less than three years? Perhaps it's time for me to relax a bit and stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. At this point, I can't fit my entire music collection on any of the available iPods, so I think I'll stick with my well-managed mini this time around. It already has the beloved click wheel and it clips oh-so-nicely to my shoulder pack.

And to be honest, I'm not as impressed with the features this time around. The accelerated speech playback is interesting, but I don't really listen to any audio books. Battery life isn't a huge concern for me; I do much more driving than walking. Multiple On-The-Go playlists sound good, but I barely use the one that my mini offers.

No, nothing overly compelling, but the price came down. So I can certainly applaud Apple for offering a slightly revised product for a hundred bucks cheaper. And if I weren't so happy with my mini and were still toting myPod III around, I'd probably make the jump. But, I'm sorry, Apple, I think I'm going to sit this one out.

Ready to upgrade? Waiting for a "bigger" mini? What are your thoughts on the new iPods?


2004-07-22 19:09:01
Until they make it so you can easily replace the battery for a reasonable price ($50 or less), I won't be interested in getting one for the first time, let alone replace one.
2004-07-22 19:30:47
Buh-bye then. The battery issue is overblown. 2 year old 20GB Gen 2 and still going 8 - 10 hours a charge.
2004-07-23 03:37:18
I agree. A €400+ where you can't even replace the battery is ludicrous and clearly designed with a carefully planned point of failure so you'll have to buy a replacement at preset intervals.
2004-07-23 06:37:18
There are battery deals out there
BSR Technologies, LLC http://www.basestationrepair.com offers the 1 and 2 gen, and 3 gen batteries for $31, plus they can install it for around $50.