Dear Reader, this weekend my wife and I succumbed to the latest fad when we broke down and bought an iPod. I know what you’re probably thinking, What took them so long? I know, I know. I’m probably the last American technophile who doesn’t work at Microsoft and had never used an iPod. That’s right, I’d never used an iPod, let alone bought one. If you’re my cousin Wade, a Microsoft loyalist, then you’re actually wondering why I didn’t buy a Zune, Microsoft’s rival product. The main reason we didn’t invest in a Zune is that it’s a new product and doesn’t the clout that Apple has in the music download market. iTunes.com and its $.99 downloads actually sealed the deal, not the iPod itself. Zune will probably be successful in its own way, but much like the ongoing game consule wars between Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation (a war that Nintendo’s Wii is actually winning), it will be difficult for Microsoft’s Zune to unseat the iPod.
We held out buying an iPod for the past few years. I didn’t want to buy into all the hype surrounding this little unit that looks like a personal digital assistant (PDA) that only does one thing well. I have a PDA that runs Microsoft’s PocketPC operating system, and I find it indispensible. Like the iPod, my PDA also stores music and video. However, it lacks sufficient memory to store more than a few dozen songs or one hundred photos. It is well nigh impossible to store long video clips. Memory sticks enhance the PDA’s storage capacity, but it cannot come close to the storage capacity of an iPod. We bought one of those black 80 gigabyte video iPods and a TEAC iPod/CD player/speaker system.
So far I have a positive impresson of the iPod. It’s a pretty slick system. My wife is already hooked and wants one of her own. The iPod finally allows us to consolidate all of our music (including CDs) as befits our mobile lifestyle. Instead of carrying dozens of CDs in cases, we can transfer the songs to the iPod and take them in one unit. I’ve never owned an Apple product and stopped using Macintosh computers in college, but I realize now why so many people rave about Apple’s product designs. The end-to-end configuration of the iPod, from synching with one’s computer to downloading songs, is fairly seamless and easy to use. I’m very impressed…so far.