Jocelyn came back home from California at the end of August, and brought with her two iPods - we've named them Barney and Betty :-) Mine is rapidly turning into the new love of my life - I can't believe I took so long in getting one, being such a music wonk and all. 60Gb is a lovely amount of space - sufficient to hold our entire CD collections, with room to spare.
I mostly love the instant access to any point of my music collection, even the dark corners that I've long since forgotten about. Carrying around a box the size of a fag packet is soo much easier than a bunch of CDs, and there's no agonising decision about which CDs to take along on a journey. I adore setting up smart playlists along the line of "Any songs from these genres / decades which I don't dislike and haven't heard in a month", setting Barney to Shuffle mode and leaving him to his own devices to surprise me (though I note that he does seem to have a fondness for Half Man Half Biscuit, and juxtaposing Mogwai with Bach (is that supposed to be clever? I dunno...)
But I also like being able to spend time creating more specific playlists, such as "Female vocalists", "noisy contemporary indie guitar", "songs with prominent pianos", "favourite cover versions" and the like, without actually having to go digging through my CD collection getting dust everywhere.
After being initially concerned that iTunes didn't have an "Album Artist" concept in the same way that Windows Media Player does, I've quickly come to accept its way of organising my music, and in fact I now quite like the Genre/Artist/Album simplicity. I love the tight integration with PodCast XML feeds, ensuring that I get the latest editions of Dot Net Rocks, This Week In Tech and From Our Own Correspondent automatically downloaded and synched across to Barney with no intervention required from myself - sweet.
I like the fact that there's a healthy developer community in existence creating applications such as EphPod and the iTunes Art Importer. Very useful. I like the massive range of accessories available (I've bought an iSkin evo 2 from iPodWorld, and want a Griffin Roadtrip for Christmas (hi, Mum!)).
I haven't yet properly tried out the other functionality, such as Photos, Games, Notes, Contacts, Calendar, etc - generally I think I'd rather continue using a laptop or PDA for most of this stuff, although I can see the appeal of having a few photos stored on there to show off occasionally.
So far the only negative thing I have to say about the iPod is a bug that I and others have experienced with On-The-Go playlists not synching to iTunes correctly. Most annoying, and I was disappointed to see that this wasn't fixed in iTunes 5. I don't even know if Apple are aware of this bug. How can I found out? Do Apple have an equivalent of Robert Scoble?
- iPod Bartender - store hundreds of drink recipes on your iPod
- Multi-User iTunes - essential for two-iPod families like ours if you want to share a single iTunes library
- Tagging classical music - helpful advice for tagging the classics
- iPod Subway maps - I'm going to try these out in London later this afternoon
Overall, I'm really chuffed with my new iPod chum. I just hope my PocketDAB doesn't get too jealous...